Episode 016

Midwest Leadership Summit, Ukraine Troop Buildup, & March for Life

Jan 24, 2022

Nearly 1,000 church leaders from the Midwest convened in Illinois for the Midwest Leadership Summit last week. Russian troop buildup around Ukraine concerns missions workers. Thousands of pro-life advocates gathered at the March for Life on a frigid day in Washington D.C. on January 21.


Hundreds of church leaders at the recent Midwest Leadership Summit in Springfield, Illinois heard from Ben Mandrell, president of Lifeway Christian Resources. He told of personal challenges since taking his post… continued financial downturns, the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to reinvent the ministry of the Southern Baptist publisher.

“Sixty-six percent of pastors say they are struggling to trust God,” Mandrell told leaders, citing recent Lifeway Research. He admitted that he also struggled to trust God.

Mandrell called the leaders to “fierce optimism,” a term he said could be substituted for faith.

He encouraged the church leaders to remember the people of the church are counting on their pastor to exercise bold faith. “The leader, if he is to be stable, must believe that God has the power to reverse a trend, to overcome statistics,” he said.

A buildup of Russian troops on the Russia-Ukraine border has drawn all eyes to the two nations and a call for prayer from a former International Mission Board missionary in the region.

Buck Burch, a former International Mission Board missionary in Russia now serving as a missions strategist at the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, said the tensions should be a matter of prayer.

“The thing to remember in all of this is that the churches in Russia and Ukraine are very closely related,” Buck said. He said many churches have members who live on either side of the Russian and Ukranian border.

He asked believers to pray the political turmoil will not cause division among believers living in the area.

Good News for Today is made possible through our friends at The Voice of the Martyrs, a nonprofit organization that serves persecuted Christians around the world. Founded in 1967 by Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, VOM is dedicated to inspiring believers to deepen their commitment to Christ and to fulfill His Great Commission — no matter the cost. Find out more and sign up for their free monthly magazine at vom.org/goodnews.

Thousands of pro-life advocates gathered at the March for Life on a frigid day in Washington D.C. on January 21. This year marks the 49th year for the event where marchers pray for the end of legalized abortion in the United States in the wake of the Roe. vs. Wade decision in 1973.

Many participants believe this year’s event may be the last before the Roe vs. Wade decision is overturned by the nations’ Supreme Court.

A number of church leaders, legislators and celebrities spoke at the event aimed at raising awareness for pro-life causes. You can watch the main stage program for the event at the March for Life Facebook page.

Related Episodes

Doe v. Catholic Relief Services, Doors Opening for David Pollack & ‘The Blind’ Movie

The Maryland Supreme Court has ruled 4-3 that a Catholic employer was lawful in denying health benefits to the spouse of a gay married employee because such unions violate church doctrine. This college football season is unlike any other in David Pollack’s life. For as long as he can remember, the sport dominated his Saturdays in ways most people haven’t experienced. And, from 2012-2017, the reality TV series “Duck Dynasty” told many stories of the Robertson family and their duck-call and decoy business. “The Blind,” coming to theaters Sept. 28, tells the story of Phil Robertson’s life before he became a Christian.

Going Through a Valley, Kidney Day & How to Spend More Time in Prayer

Hard times often are described as “going through a valley.” But Bruce Watson, pastor of First Baptist Jeanerette, La., describes life’s valleys as the place where the soil is the richest. Rudy Kebreau and Randal Lyle are bound by far more than their mutual faith and pastoral calling these days. And, maybe your church has a prayer list. But have you ever considered have a personal prayer list? In a piece in the Baptist Press Toolbox, Kie Bowman says it may help you remain faithful in prayer.