“You’re a prophet. You’re a project manager. You’re a janitor. You’re a counselor. You walk through tragedy with people. You lead deacons meetings and elders meetings and volunteer meetings. … You do all these things.” Jay Watson, lead pastor of Life Community Church in Nolensville, Tennessee, on the role of a pastor. Don’t forget the “why,” Watson urged.
With the use of the medical truck we [served] over 200 patients who received professional eye care exams and free glasses. Most … heard the good news and over 30 made a public declaration of their faith in Jesus Christ for the very first time. It is not enough simply to meet their physical need.
Ridgecrest Baptist Church
“What you are doing in your [ministry] work in the churches in your association is deadly serious,” said Chuck Kelley, president emeritus of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. “We are not talking about greatness … We’re talking about survival and getting our churches back in gear.”
“Pastors are the heartbeat of this convention … they matter,” said Blake Kersey, pastor of First Baptist Church Decatur, Alabama.
One of the things I love about praying with other believers is … listening to them. It encourages my soul, my spirit. … It gives me strength to keep praying, … and it also teaches me.
New executive director
Baptist World Alliance Women
“We had some high [attendance] days and some really low days…Even with smaller numbers, it seemed like God was doing more stuff in our lives when we got together, even though the numbers were varying back and forth. Then sometime after July 4, it started this climb and it hasn’t stopped yet,” said Andy Hepburn, pastor of Hayneville (Ala.) Baptist Church, on the impact of COVID-19.
“If you lose your family, you do lose,” said Kevin Ezell, president of the North American Mission Board, during the Alabama Baptist Pastors Conference. “… Protecting your family is serving your church.”
“I’m alive. Praise God.” Randy Adams, Northwest Baptist Convention executive director-treasurer, after recovering from a surgery to remove a serious blood clot.
I dedicate my mornings to [spending time with God] … That’s really important to me, whether we’re at home or on the road.
Braves Radio host
“Overall, everything that I’ve gone through, I can say I’m thankful for because it let me know that after all of this, there’s a better way in life … only God can change you when you really want that change.” Chris Pernell, who served time in the Clay County Jail in West Point, Mississippi, where he now leads worship.
I also want people to see there is nobody who is out of God’s reach. Jesus came to heal those who are broken — that’s us — and there is nothing God cannot do with a heart that is willing to give everything to Him.
Oxford campus pastor
Pinelake Church in Mississippi
She just crawled into the pigpen and got down on her knees and said, ‘God, if You’re real, then show these people that You’re real.’ And while she was praying, the dead pig stood up.
IMB missionary, Southeast Asia
I’m looking to write a song that connects in people’s hearts. And if it does well on radio [then] that’s because it’s connected that way.
Christian music artist
Many churches do not seize the opportunity to minister to college students. One of the deepest emotional needs of students is the need to feel that someone cares about them. Loneliness is one of the deepest emotional problems on college campuses.
Author Gary Chapman
“Life Lessons and Love Languages”
Letters to the editor
Your article “Gift from God” in the Nov. 11 issue of The Baptist Paper about grandparenting special needs children is so urgently needed, so poignantly presented with superlative practical aids throughout and suggested resources as well, that I could not avoid sending you words of appreciation. It is a goldmine, to say the least. May your ministry continue to be filled with opportunities and avenues which provide healing touches to the various strands of brokenness and challenges in this world.
Morris Murray Jr., Ph.D.
Health care management
I have subscribed and find each issue full of information. It is especially good to read the Woman’s Missionary Union news.
Everyone experiences failure
Most pastors fight an uphill battle against misconceptions. One is the thought that those who are called are different from all other believers. Not so. A call from God does not cancel human failure. The called, whether for salvation or Kingdom service, know life is filled with slippery slopes.
In Genesis 16–17, we see how God forgives a repentant child and uses him to populate the kingdom of God on earth.
Falling and failing are life experiences for the saved and the lost. The saved, however, find God will restore them to a life of service.
The lesson of Abram is a word picture of how God forgives and restores to service those who submit to Him daily. This is the challenge for us.
God gave Abraham an eternal mandate which exists with our calling to serve Jesus Christ. … Also, the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ has become the basis of a new covenant of Kingdom membership with the promise of eternal life.
Believers cannot overemphasize this covenant with promise. The promise of God was extremely lavish in any age.
Abraham had but one requirement; faith in God. He was not worthy of the gifts of God, but neither are we. There is no begging by Abraham, only a total surrender to the God of Israel. It has not changed. When there is genuine repentance and absolute trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, the gifts of God are unlimited.
When we get convinced in our spirit of all God will give our children, friends and acquaintances, we will share Christ. Nothing in Abraham’s gifts exceeds our gift of life in Christ here and eternally.
Retired pastor, missionary
Center Point, Alabama
“The scripture is pretty clear … we’re all supposed to be discipling somebody.”
Pastor Jim Sallee, Riverside Chapel Baptist Church, West Point, Miss.
I learned the pastorate is the people business and life is about relationships.
GuideStone Financial Resources
We focus on what he can do — not what he is unable to do. This baby is a gift from God and is wonderfully made.
Emily, retired grandmother of grandchild with Down syndrome
While I appreciate their appreciation, what I really wanted to say was, “Don’t thank me. Don’t buy me lunch. Don’t applaud me. Just live a life worthy of living so my service and the sacrifices I made for you were not in vain.”
Retired military service man
Every church’s path has been different during the pandemic, and each stage of resuming specific aspects of ministry is significant.
So wear His name, bear His name and share His name, because there’s no other name like His. His name is Emmanuel.
Pastor Tony Evans
Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship
I remember God very clearly saying, “So, now you’re the one providing for everybody? Isn’t that My job?”
Christian music artist
From the Twitterverse
Crisis reveals character. —Oswald Chambers
In the face of weariness and doubt, know that:
God loves you
God has not forgotten you
God is still in control
God still has a purpose for your life. Stay the course, friends. Don’t quit.
When someone admits wrong, that is a win over the battle against pride. Don’t hold it over his/her head. Receive it, forgive, move on!
Aren’t you glad that in Christ God doesn’t hold your wrongs over your head?
Let’s go and do likewise.
Do not have your concert first and tune your instruments afterward. Begin the day with God. —Hudson Taylor
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
When prayer feels like a chore, why not start here? Our Father does not condemn our tedious prayers but receives them and answers them better than they deserve. Amazing grace.
Every [preacher’s kid] grows up with weight of knowing their sins or failures could be the bullet that loads the gun aimed at their father.
Be as urgent about God’s mission as God is. As Jude taught: “have mercy on those who waver” and “save others by snatching them out of the fire” (Jude 22 & 23). Let’s continue to align our lives with God’s will and ways to see our neighbors saved by Christ.
“Two conflicting forces cannot exist in one human heart. Where doubt reigns, faith cannot abide. Where hatred rules, love is crowded out. Where selfishness rules, there love cannot dwell.”
It’s from today’s Bible reading, but Proverbs 3:5–6 were probably the first verses I ever memorized. I still quote it every day. Sometimes I fall asleep or wake up writing it again on my heart. I pray it for my wife, kids, and myself so often it’s now an old familiar friend.
Those people across the years who have influenced me have been characterized by three important traits … each of them knew WHERE they were going — WHO they were — and WHY they are here. They have Vision … Integrity … Purpose. True VIPs’ Very Influential People
“We believe the first part of this passage — while forgetting/ignoring the rest. … We’ve become professionals at pointing out flaws in others — & we are still absolute rookies at loving one another.” —@EdwardUpton from Col. 3
Love this guy. He lives what he preached @SWBTS chapel.
You can disagree with someone without: losing your mind, sanity, temper, religion, appropriate language, good witness, testimony, and reputation as being spiritually mature.