On Sabbatical

This article will give you an overview of the timeline of the sabbatical leave.


July 26 – July 31 Attend the North American Baptist Triennial gathering in Edmonton with Pam and the younger girls and then drive back home to Steamboat Rock.

Aug. 1- Aug. 19  Catch-up on mail, sleep, exercise, yardwork, have a couple days at a family reunion and a couple days of solitude to reflect on the gift of this time and prepare for re-entry.

Thanks for your generous support in granting us this gift.  Please pray that God will use this time to renew us physically, emotionally, and spiritually to continue to love and lead the people of Steamboat Rock Baptist Church to Follow Jesus…further!



Blessings - Pastor Harrison


Attention: All Men of SRBC

Opportunities for each of you


4 Man Best Shot Tournament—Join us on Sunday, August 19th at 4:30 PM for the annual “SRBC 4 Man Best Shot Golf Tournament”. This event is open for men of all ages and all experience levels. This is a fun event and gives a chance for the men to have fun, food, & fellowship. Meet at the Clubhouse at 4:30 PM at Pine Lake Country Club in Eldora and we will pair up and play 9 holes with supper served around 6:30 PM. Cost is $20 per person to cover greens fee and food. A sign-up sheet will be at the Welcome Center.



SRBC Sporting Clay Shoot—Join us on Saturday, August 25th at 4:00 PM for the first annual “Sporting Clay Shoot”. This event is open to all men of SRBC ages 16 and above. Those 18 and younger must be accompanied by an adult and must have passed a hunter safety course. Darren Sellers will be setting up two throwers.  We will serve hamburgers and hotdogs afterwards.  We will meet at 4:00 PM, most likely at the Pine Lake Wildlife Club, but there is a possibility the location could change. We will keep you posted. Bring your own shotgun and ammo.  Clays will be provided. Cost is $10 to cover equipment, clays, and food. A sign-up sheet will be at the Welcome Center. 



Saturday Morning Breakfast—Starting in September, the men of SRBC will be invited to join us for breakfast from 7:45 AM until 9:00 AM on the second Saturday of each month. In addition to a hearty breakfast, you will have the opportunity to grow in your faith through a video series called “Men’s Breakfast DVD”. Hope you will join with other men for food and fellowship and an opportunity to grow in your faith.


“Encouraging Everyone to Follow Jesus Further…”—Don Lauchner has recently accepted the position of leading the Men’s Ministry at SRBC.  He is working hard to help the men of SRBC to “Follow Jesus Further”.  Personally, I was really encouraged when I read his story about what took place at the Eldora Training School earlier this summer.  Please take time to read Don’s story, “Eldora Training School Boot Camp”. It is my hope that you too will not only be  encouraged but also that God will instill in you a desire to be part of the story in these young men's lives. 


Jim Kramer - Community Life Pastor


Eldora Training School Boot Camp!


I recently took part in a Wild at Heart Boot Camp at the Eldora Training School. This event had taken several months of planning and meetings to bring to fruition. This event came about through somewhat of a journey for me personally which was the catalyst that prompted the exploration and then to the event June 15th-17th. 

If you have ever read John Eldredge’s book, Wild at Heart the Boot Camp is based on the book’s teachings but with the event leaders telling much of their personal stories and showing some movie clips to illustrate the critical themes of the event which is as the book says, “discovering the secret of a man’s soul”. Discovering your soul or rediscovering is a difficult thing to do in this world. The Bible is very explicit about how Godly men should conduct themselves and about what God’s design is for His creation. The world has distorted this image that we bear and the Wild at Heart book does much to point us back to the true nature of how God created man in His image and what that should mean to us as we walk through this life. 

I started doing Bible studies several months after my wife and I moved to Eldora in 2015 and as I became more comfortable in the Training School setting I was prompted by the Holy Spirit that at some point I was going to introduce the Wild at Heart book to one of the students. I don’t remember exactly when the thought came to me but I am pretty sure it was sometime in 2016. It was many months later that I actually decided, or more accurately was moved to bring the book to the Bible study I was leading. As it turned out, the night I brought the book only one student showed up for Bible study, his name is Zach. I handed him the book and told him to just read the first couple of pages and to tell me what he thought…. I watched him as his eyes lit up. I was actually kind of surprised. Zach just looked up at me and said, I love this, at which point I asked him if he would like to go through the book with me and without hesitation he said yes!  I had no preconceived plan or idea how I was going to introduce the book, but I am fully convinced that God had orchestrated the whole introduction.

This was a huge step of faith for me to begin this walk into the book with a young man, much less someone who had been at odds with the law and who knows what else Zach had been dealing with. God kept reassuring me that he was going to be with me/us every step of the way.

I went through the book with Zach, it took 12 weeks, and then went thru the book with two other boys after that. At the same time all of that was taking place I was telling Chaplin Chad Fincham about what I was doing. During one of those discussions with Chad I mentioned that I would love to be able to have a boot camp at the training school. I told Chad that there was a Wild at Heart chapter here in Iowa, but that I didn’t know anyone associated with it and had no contact with anyone in it. Somehow Chad managed to contact the leaders of the group and had initiated the idea of having an event at the Training School. He said they were open to the idea. We had a couple of pre-engagement meetings to talk about whether it was even a good idea to try something like a boot camp at the school, but everyone including myself felt that God was telling us we needed to do this.

Several months went by with Chad and Chris working out the times and scheduling along with discussions about the appropriateness of some of the material. But it was decided that the boot camp was going to be pretty much as they had done in the past even though most of the boot camps are normally attended by men who are older than the boys at the training school. The themes of the book and therefore the boot camp themes are universal to men no matter the age just as the Bible itself is. 

I personally had reservations about whether the Boot Camp was going to be successful but, God reminded me time and time again that it is not and was not up to me to ensure success. Whenever I started having doubts or fears I would immediately give them over to God. There were many people, prayer warriors who were praying daily prior to the event. 

When the event was finally announced there were over 50 boys who signed up to attend, this was a big surprise to all of us, we never expected to have that kind of response. Chad and Chris needed to pare the group down to 25 students so they had Ron Gruber interview all 53 boys and then had to prayerfully choose the 25 boys who were going to attend.

The Boot Camp started on Friday evening, as the boys filed into the Chapel they were handed their training materials with a handshake and personally thanked for choosing to attend. After introductions and an overview we dove right in to sessions one and two which were about heart and “The Larger Story”. The Event that night ended the evening with steak and baked potatoes for dinner. I think most of the boys were thrilled as they rarely if ever get to have meals like this.

All of our meals were prepared by volunteers, all of them cooked on site and served by volunteers. We could never thank them enough for spending an entire weekend with all the preparations. Thanks to all of the men and women who really gave so much of their time and the love they showed to these boys. 

Saturday, day two started with an amazing breakfast. We dove into sessions three and four which were about “The Poser” and “The Wound”. I know that this message hit home to a lot of the boys. As we were breaking for our “Time with God”, I saw one of the boys was just sitting in his chair… he looked kind of dazed and was just quietly saying. “I need prayer, I just need prayer”. I walked over, just to be sure I heard what he was saying I asked him, do you need someone to pray with you?  And he just looked up and nodded yes.  I was pretty much in tears at that point because I was moved by his cry for prayer, the moment the Holy Spirit had presented to me and the amazing way that God can move even the hardest of hearts.

That was my high point honestly, not that the rest of the Camp was anything but amazing. To see boys respond, and to ask for prayer and to hear the questions they ask. All I can say is… God showed up.

After it was over, I asked Dave the leader to please come back. I am so grateful for men who give of their time, their financial resources, their energy and all the prayer and caring that they so lovingly pour out to young men who have probably never heard any message like the way Jesus was presented and to have people surround them with Christ-like love and attention.

I hope to do this again someday… soon!!  I love to watch Jesus do what He loves to do!!  

But right now it’s time for follow-up. Now that these boys have been introduced to Jesus in a new way there needs to be mentoring and discipleship. There are just not enough men who are willing to help at this point. I can do what I can and I will be obedient to God’s calling but, as the saying goes.. The harvest is great but the workers are few. Lots of seeds were planted that weekend.



Blessings - Don Lauchner


Connecting on Purpose

Students from our youth ministry just wrapped up a 2-day event called The Gathering Lite. This was an offshoot of our much larger NAB Youth Gathering held every three years called The Gathering in Southern California. This is our second time holding an event like this where we partnered with another NAB church from Burlington. 

In total, 35 students and leaders set out on Monday to bless individuals and the towns of Eldora and Steamboat Rock as a whole with service projects. Crews of 4-6 students and leaders did tasks such as painting, weeding, landscaping, park clean up at 14 different locations! One team even painted the entire, newly installed little league diamond fence in Eldora. Overall, the students served hard and joyfully throughout the day. 

Service Project Day.jpg

But serving wasn’t the only purpose of The Gathering Lite. There is also tremendous value in holding an event like this for our students (and leaders) to connect with one another. This meant connecting with friends of their own as well as M.S. & H.S. students from the Burlington church. Great connections were also made by our adult volunteers and students. Connecting happened during their service hours as well as at the Barn Party that we held at the Berghuis’ Ranch after a tiring day of serving. In my opinion as a Youth Pastor, there are not many better sounds than the laughter of friends and new friends over a game or conversation. Connecting on purpose is important because it’s the way God wired us, and He desires each of us as believers to connect with others.

Gethering Lite.jpg

I recently talked to a pastor from another church in Iowa. He said a major part of their discipleship process (becoming more like Jesus) is making sure people are connected- connected to others in the body of believers and connected to serving. He will sometimes meet with people who gradually fade away from church for a month or more and he asks them if everything is okay. A normal response he receives is, “I don’t feel connected anymore.” He is somewhat blunt with them and asks if they as believers are making intentional efforts to connect with others or ministries. He will encourage them to plug back into ministry and much to their surprise, they get connected with others again. Connecting with others isn’t always easy, but it is vital to our spiritual health and to the discipleship process. 

Teens today may get a bad rap for being on their phones too often but when they sneak away from their technology, they are great models of connection. If you’re feeling lonely or distant from church, today is a great day to choose to get connected on purpose.   

Hebrews 10:23-25

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.


Walk Through the Bible’s Old Testament Live!

Sunday, August 19th from 1:00-3:30 PM (lunch following 2nd service @ noon)

How would you like to try to put together a puzzle without being able to see the whole picture? That would be terrible and very frustrating! If you’ve ever been confused as to how the Old Testament fits together into a big picture, we have the perfect event for you. 3rd graders through adults will appreciate this worldwide seminar that has transformed thousands of people’s understanding of the Old Testament. You can get your tickets at the Welcome Center or talk to Bryce during the week. Thanks to Pastor Harrison’s sabbatical grant, tickets are only $5 per person, which includes a great lunch! The price of the tickets is only good for the first 100 so be sure to get yours soon.  

Crystal will have events lined up for 4-year old’s through 2nd graders during the seminar as well as nursery for 3 and under. Are you getting the picture? We have the family covered on this one, so be sure to sign up now, you won’t regret it.




Blessings - Pastor Bryce



Show Them Jesus

As the Summer draws to a close, we will be starting back with some amazing programs for our kids at SRBC. 

Ministries like our Awana program, Sunday School and we will be launching our Children’s Church this September!


The number of children vary with each program, but our congregation serves between 70-130 children at any given children’s program. If you consider that a large percentage are children not from our own church (or any church), it really is quite amazing! So many hands orchestrate so many things in our children’s ministries. We have faithful Sunday school teachers who prepare and teach a lesson each week, bus drivers who provide a way for kids to come to our programs, and group leaders who help Awana kids to navigate through their handbooks to name a few. 

We are seeking through prayer how we will fill both leadership and supporting roles in our programs this year. Positions such as Commander, Sunday School Teacher, Assistants for Children’s Church or Nursery, or even a Listener at Awana to name a few. 

My hope with this article is that I can encourage and challenge those who are considering serving in our ministry, but maybe aren’t sure you’re a right fit. We hope you are excited to come on over and join our team! We have snacks…. 

Have you ever been asked to help and the “sell” is “Anybody can do it?!”

I’ve been guilty of saying it. “Hey Jim, can you help us? It’s so easy, it’s all lined up right here for you, anyone could do it.” Sometimes we communicate we just need a body in the room. 

But this plea to someone is disagreeable. Simply put, children’s ministry is challenging sometimes. We have to navigate temperaments, curriculum, large numbers and sometimes a general disinterest from our children. If we agree to serve because we were told of its “ease”, we quickly will want to remove ourselves from ministry. 

What we should share more is the reward. We are given the fantastic gift of partnering with families and shepherding children towards a relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus takes our talents and gifts and uses them for that goal and purpose. It is a challenge, but it’s one worth taking. 

This isn’t a job “anyone” could do. This is a job Jesus will do. Our job is to facilitate those meetings with Jesus. To prepare an atmosphere for grace to win and the Gospel to take root and bloom. What a privilege! That Jesus calls on us (the church) to share and point our life with Christ as light for them to discover Him on their own. 

Sometimes we don’t commit, because we have experienced “missing the mark”.  Perhaps we feel unequipped. There’s an article by Jeff White that responds to that worry well: 

“The Ball Flies Where You Throw It”

As a child, I tried out for pitcher on my Little League team. I had 10 throws, but every throw sent the ball somewhere other than the catcher’s mitt. The ball may not have gone where I wanted it to go, but it went exactly where I threw it. 

Children’s ministry is a bit more complex than baseball. But the same principle applies, whether you’re creating a Bible experience, testing a craft, or trying to keep all your kids engaged before pickup. 

The difference in children’s ministry is that we want the ball to end up in unexpected places, where the most memorable moments come from. If you want to blaze a new trail in engaging kids with Jesus, creativity is a must. So let go of your formula; you can trust God’s Spirit to take kids where He intends for them to go. 

In our ministry, we are looking for people who believe and have the qualification simply to show a child Jesus. Yes, we provide the tools and the setting, and that part is “easy” for you, but we are searching for leaders and volunteers who have received the grace and love of Jesus and are willing to incorporate that and share it to our children. If you have those simple qualifications, we have and can find a place for you. 

With so many children and as we make room for more as our church grows, we could use your help to partner with us and lighten/share the load for our existing children’s ministry team. 



If you’re ready to “Show them Jesus” here’s how you can help:



  • New to Awana? Want to explore how you can help our Awana Program on Wednesday evenings? If you’ve never served in our program before, please fill out this form HERE


  • Existing Awana Volunteers. Let us know if you plan on serving with us again this year by submitting this form HERE


  • We are looking for some Awana leadership roles that may even include the Commander! If you feel led to fill a role, contact me at: Crystal@steamboatbaptist.org 


  • Nursery is a growing and crucial part of our church! It serves as such a blessing and resource for our guests, volunteers and church members. If you’re interested in serving, let us know by submitting this form HERE.

In Christ — Crystal Carroll

Children's Ministry Coordinator