Fully Convinced: Raising Your Children to Love and Follow Jesus

PulpitPastors, you may have heard the numerous statistics about the high percentages of children raised in the church who walk away from it after high school. As a youth pastor for over 13 years, I’m more convinced than ever that a thriving church youth ministry program is not enough to equip our students for today’s world. We must start younger and outside the walls of our churches. We must engage parents to take the lead and own their biblical roles as the primary disciplers of their children.

Many parents in our churches would acknowledge that they are primarily responsible for discipling their children. However, for many parents, their involvement in the discipleship of their children is limited to only bringing them to church programs. Most parents are woefully uninformed and unequipped in the area of home discipleship. They are leaving it all to the church.

On Friday and Saturday, February 26-27, Fishkill Baptist Church will be hosting Chap Bettis from The Apollos Project to lead a seminar for parents with children of all ages. This seminar will inspire, encourage, exhort, and equip parents to fulfill their God given responsibility to disciple their children.

Chap will share what he has learned in his 25 years of pastoral ministry in Rhode Island while raising four children with his wife Sharon. While he has made many mistakes, by the grace of God, Chap has gained much wisdom from his devotion to studying God’s Word and studying his children.

Chap has had articles from his blog featured numerous times by The Gospel Coalition. This past Fall, The Gospel Coalition featured a very insightful article of his entitled 3 Ways You Might Be Teaching Your Children the Prosperity Gospel.

As a youth pastor and father of five young children, I have become convinced that churches must do more to inspire, exhort, and equip parents to engage their children beginning at an early age. While this seminar will benefit parents with children of any age, I am especially praying for many young parents to attend and catch this important vision for Christian parenting.

Pastors, please consider partnering with us in this valuable investment in the next generation by promoting this seminar for parents called “Fully Convinced”. The event registration page is now live at FullyConvinced.eventbrite.com.  Early bird tickets are available until January 26th. For more information and promotional materials please contact MikeBMura@gmail.com or call 845-896-9386 x228.

By Pastor Mike Mura

photo of Chap Bettis

2016 Leadership Learning Communities


We’ve all heard the mantra, “Leaders are learners.” Well, it’s true. Leaders are learners. That’s one reason why pastors and leaders have participated in a Leaders Learning Community (LLC) this past year. Another reason is because most of us are not gifted as a natural leader. We need all the help we can get! Besides leadership issues that pertain to personal leadership and church leadership, pastors and leaders have benefitted greatly by being in an LLC because we discuss ideas as a group, and the insight and comments of others sharpen and broaden our thinking.

We are ready to kick off a new semester of LLCs. In the past year, Stan Rieb and Paul Borden have skillfully led our LLCs and they have been a great help. Stan continues to be a resource to give us input and direction. David Forsythe, our new Lead Area Director, and Steve Murray, the new Executive Board President, have collaborated with Stan to guide this new semester. The LLCs will run from February to June.

Here’s the plan:

We will be reading three books, but taking more time to process and apply the books.

The first book for February is:

The book is broken into 5 areas that resilient ministry workers need to focus on. The five areas are:

  • Personal Spiritual Formation,
  • Self-Care,
  • Emotional and Cultural Intelligence,
  • Marriage and Family,
  • Leadership and Management

We will take one part of this book each month to digest further, but also integrate the next two books into the session starting in March. The next two books are:

These two books focus on strategic planning and how to do it, giving us not just an overview of how to develop vision, mission, and values, but then showing a person how to do it.

The session format will be to break up each meeting into two separate segments focused on both information and application.  Our mission in Mission NorthEast (MNE) is to help develop effective pastors (and effective ministries) and healthy churches (and ministries). The first segment of each session will be to work through the sections of Resilient Ministry, with the focus on the pastor’s and leader’s health. Beginning in March, the second part of the session will be to discuss and apply the strategic planning, focusing on the health of the church and ministry.

We offer two incentives for each pastor and leader (besides the joy, comradery, and learning): one is that the region will pay for the books for each person. If a person wants to pay for their own books, that’s fine too! The other incentive is that the region will pay for a one-year subscription to Leaders Book Summary. This subscription condenses the main ideas of thirty of the top leadership and ministry books so that a person can easily gain the essential points of a book without reading all of it. You can check out the site here: http://www.studyleadership.com/. This is a $119 value that the region is picking up, but you must be committed to be in an LLC this spring.

To continue your participation in an LLC, if you have been in one last semester, or to join for the first time, fill out the application here:


Since our sessions will start next month, we need to order books for you and give you time to read them, so please sign up as soon as possible.

If you have any questions about the LLCs, you can contact David Forsythe at D.Forsythe@MissionNortheast.org, Steve Murray at PastorSteve@Trinitynh.org, or Gershwin Grant at g.grant@missionnortheast.org.