Friday, July 19, 2013

Repost of an Article from SBC Today

What the Average Baptist Pastor Does and Does Not Need to Hear from the SBC
By Jared Moore
Posted: 17 Jul 2013 01:48 PM PDT
Dear Friends:
I picked up this article on SBC Today.  It comes from Jared Moore, a pastor from Houstonville, KY.  The links below will take you tdirectly to his website and other social media pages.  The article hit a real note with me and was so true I felt as though I should share it with my readers.  Thank you, Brother Moore, for stating so well, what I know many of us feel as Baptist Pastors!  Here it is:

This article was originally posted at my site. Only some of my articles are posted on SBC Voices. If you would like access to all of my articles, you can follow my feed here. You can also connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
As an average Southern Baptist Pastor (maybe an overstatement) of a small Southern Baptist congregation in a small community in Lincoln County, KY, here is a list of things I do and do not need to hear from the SBC:
I do need to hear:
1. Preach the gospel even to the ends of the Earth (Matt 28:18-20).
2. Look for more opportunities to share the gospel (Paul’s example; Paul planned to share the gospel, and when his plans were interrupted, he shared the gospel where he was at; i.e. Galatia).
3. Be more faithful to Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
4. Teach your church all that Christ has commanded (Matt. 28:20).
5. Anything else that is clearly commanded in Scripture.
I do not need to hear:
1. Baptize more people.
2. Grow your church.
3. Save more people.
4. Anything else that is not commanded in Scripture.
Are we really to believe that Southern Baptist pastors do not want to reach their communities with the gospel? Maybe those pastors exist in the SBC, but I haven’t met them. I can tell you that the pastors in the Lincoln County Baptist Association want to reach their communities with the gospel. We need encouragement from the SBC, not discouragement.
We need to hear, “Keep on keeping on,” not, “Most SBC churches are either plateaued or declining” as if we can simply “flip a switch” and reverse the trend. If we could do something to change the declining trend beyond sharing the gospel, we would. The point is that our mouths must be open even when our communities’ ears are closed. Don’t put more of a burden on pastors than the Scriptures do. We must share the gospel and equip the saints for the work of the ministry, but God alone gives the increase (1 Cor. 3:6-7). I’ll rejoice with you over your harvest; rejoice with those who are planting and watering as well.
I need to hear, “Do what you can do; don’t give up,” instead of hearing, “Do what only God can do.” If you tell pastors to do things that only God can do, then you either discourage them or you encourage them to boast in their “God-like ability.” If pastors can save people, then no one who hears them share the gospel should reject it. Instead of telling pastors to do what only God can do, tell us to do what Scripture tells us to do.
Furthermore, I say to the average Baptist pastor, “Please don’t give up!” Seek to be more faithful to Scripture. If someone tells you to baptize more people, ignore them. Instead, trust Jesus to save sinners as you seek to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that Christ has commanded (Matt. 28:18-20).
No one baptized enough people last year. As long as there are lost people on Earth, we have work to do. Keep on keeping on… when sinners repent and when they don’t. Moreover, if you have seen a great harvest, then continue examining your ministry, seeing where you can be more faithful to Scripture. We must have a healthy dissatisfaction with our faithfulness while having a healthy satisfaction with God’s faithfulness in building His church (Matt. 16:18). God is faithful and will grow His church, but we have a responsibility to take the gospel to the ends of the Earth. God uses planting and watering to build His church, but He alone gives the increase (1 Cor. 3:5-10). Trust Him and His willingness to save as you share the gospel (2 Pet. 3:8-10). Be encouraged friends.