By David L. Chancey
McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville, Georgia
Sometimes I’m asked why I write. I was always stronger in language arts than math and science. I never could understand algebra. Geometry was worse. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t get it. Writing came easier.
Then, while in seminary, I received a challenge. I attended chapel one day to hear Dr. Russell Dilday, our seminary president, preach. In his remarks he exhorted us to expand our ministry beyond the pulpit and into a ministry of writing devotionals, newspaper columns and books. He planted a seed that stuck with me.
First newspaper column
Early in my first pastorate, I wrote a Christmas column for our local paper, and the editor printed it. That opened the door for a regular column in the Carmel News-Tribune.
When we moved to north Georgia, I attempted to get my foot in the door in my new location, but that editor wasn’t interested. However, I began writing for denominational magazines and saw numerous articles published. I later learned about writing conferences that helped strengthen skills and provided networking opportunities.
Then came the move to Fayetteville, Georgia, and my current pastorate more than 22 years ago.
The Citizen was still in print and used local columnists. I reached out to church page editor Judy Kilgore about getting into the rotation and she invited me to submit a column. That began my relationship with The Citizen. I’ve been writing the column for well over 20 years and recently expanded into other papers.
I also write to promote our church family and raise our visibility. When I invite people to worship with us at McDonough Road Baptist Church, they often ask, “Now where in McDonough is your church?” Ugh!
I respond, “We’re not in McDonough, we’re in Fayetteville on the road to McDonough.” Then, I walk them through where we are located on the east side.
“From the Fayetteville square, go east on Highway 54 until you reach McDonough Road at McCurry Park. You know where the soccer fields and softball fields are? Then turn right onto McDonough Road and go about 1.1 miles. Cross over County Line Road, pass the new fire station and you’ll see us on the left. If you get to the river, you’ve gone too far.”
In addition, I enjoy the creative process. Being a journalism major, writing is in my DNA. The Carmel editor told me one time, “The printer’s ink must flow.” I receive great satisfaction from finishing a piece and seeing it in print or posted online. Viewing one’s byline never gets old.
Overall, writing is a great outlet. Some people enjoy woodworking, others use golf as their leisure activity, while some people sew. Other people fish and hunt. I enjoy writing. Writing uses brain power but in a different way.
I also write to encourage and inspire people. People need a lift and sometimes a laugh to make their day.
Recently I wrote a piece about dealing with disappointment in a world that’s unfair. Apparently, that column scratched an itch.
One reader wrote, “This week’s column appeared on my screen. Oh how badly He knew I needed this. Some things happening in my life had me (down) and then losing Freddie Freeman was another blow! Your column was what I needed. I feel so much better!”
Another reader posted, “I needed this. Thanks!”
Added another, “Very encouraging to read this morning!”
Still another, “Thanks for the encouragement!”
The greatest reason I write is because I’m called to point people to Jesus and impact as many lives as possible to the glory of God through the ministry of writing. I’m thankful for editors (like Jennifer Davis Rash) who run these columns and readers who follow them.
Give it a try — you might be surprised how God uses your writings.
Editor’s Note — David L. Chancey is pastor of McDonough Road Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Georgia.
Southern Christian Writers Conference set for June 3–4
The 2022 Southern Christian Writers Conference is set for June 3–4 at Valley View Baptist Church in Leeds, Alabama (a few miles east of Birmingham).
The conference, produced in partnership with TAB Media Group, offers both on-site and virtual options. It is designed to help both aspiring and successful writers learn more about the writing and publishing process. Nationally recognized experts — writers, novelists, editors, podcasters and agents — speak at the conference each year.
To learn more or to register, visit tbponline.org/scwc-22.
Notes from Mississippi
The Mississippi Baptist Convention Board is working with Useful Group to update our branding and website presence. At this point in the process, we’re focused on understanding as clearly as possible the thoughts of the 500,000+ Mississippi Baptists who are part of our churches, and we need your help.
Our goal is to assist churches in making disciples, and we want to do this to the best of our ability.
So, I want to ask you to help with this effort by completing the survey found at thebaptistrecord.org/help-shape-mbcb-branding-website-through-online-survey.
I know your time is valuable. I’ll really be thankful for your help. I deeply appreciate your service to the Lord and am praying for you to keep up the good work.
Executive director, MBCB
The 2022 State Speaker’s Tournament was held April 2 at Parkway Church in Clinton. The tournament offers scholarships in an Open Division with money available to any college or university. The Baptist College Division provides scholarships to Blue Mountain College, William Carey University or Mississippi College.
1st Place: Lottie Ann Stokes, Lighthouse Mission, Greenville
2nd Place: Braden Smith, Northcrest Church, Meridian
3rd Place: Casey Upton, Parkway Church, Clinton
Baptist College Division
1st Place: Colton Crowe, Broadmoor Church, Madison
2nd Place: Elizabeth Simon, FBC Oxford
3rd Place: McKenzie Sullivan, Faith Church, Meridian
4th Place: Elijah McIntyre, Bayou View Church, Gulfport
(The Baptist Record)
Celebrating 134 years of National Woman’s Missionary Union. WMU was officially organized in May 1888.
“The people are ready to be saved and ready to be discipled, but no one is pursuing them,” said Troy Richards, pastor of First Baptist Church Jackson, Missouri. “When we invite, they come, and when they come, they think it’s great.”
“The church has a unique opportunity to hit a reset button, becoming healthier than it’s ever been,” said Ken Braddy, Lifeway’s director of Sunday School and network partnerships. “It’s a golden age for group ministry because if there’s one truth we all realized over the past two years, it’s that we need each other. God created us with a need for relationships, and the church’s small groups are the places where people can experience biblical, age-appropriate studies while building deeper relationships with their fellow group members.”
“Call me simple-minded or idealistic, but on my best days I think we can come together and handle our business in such a way that honors our Lord and advances the Kingdom,” said Rick Lance, executive director of the Alabama State Board of Missions, on the upcoming SBC Annual Meeting.
“Thousands of students have served throughout the years, and many people across the globe have heard the name of Jesus and turned to Him for salvation as a result of these student missionaries taking a step of obedience and giving a summer to serve,” said Chris Mills, Alabama SBOM student missions mobilizer.
Brandon Heath, Christian singer and songwriter, said he realized God “is love above all things. Sometimes love looks like consequences. Love doesn’t always look like romance and soft, fluffy bunnies. Sometimes love is really hard.”
“Everybody has something to offer” through podcasting, noted Andy Frazier, co-host of “Church Leadership Podcast” and pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Sumiton, Alabama. “If you find your niche,” a podcast may be worth the effort.
Jeff Copeland, who leads Kingdom Bridges, an international ministry providing crisis support and relief in Jesus’ name, said when he was young he “felt God call me into the ministry to serve as a pastor. Just like that first call, I now feel God calling me to be a bridge — to connect churches in America with those around the world.”
“Bible Drill is a way for children to navigate God’s word and use it to guide their lives,” explained Belinda Stroud, Alabama SBOM children’s specialist whose responsibility is Bible Drill, adding it also “can help children have boldness when sharing God’s word.”
From the Twitterverse
The pressure is off for all of us to make a name for ourselves. Jesus has made a name for us already.
Tone is exactly what divides humility and being a jerk.
You can say true things and they will convict or encourage if you say them with wisdom. You can also say true things and they will cut and injure if you say them without grace.
Easier said than done but pride is often the biggest hurdle.
The Christ IN you is always stronger than the circumstances AROUND you.
“The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” Proverbs 18:21
As Christians, we don’t run on mere optimism, but on the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. As we walk this journey of life, we can rest assured that He walks right alongside us.
The Constitution is not a genie that grants wishes, and the Supreme Court is not there to defer to what any majority demands.
The God who used words to speak the world into creation is the same God who uses words to speak into re-creation of the heart.
God’s word does not return void. Be faithful to proclaim it, even when you do not see its tangible results.
Do not presume to do the work of God from any foundation other than an ongoing relationship with Him. How can we possibly think we will have wisdom, untiring love and strength to persevere unless we sit daily at the feet of the Savior?
If we’re going to fulfill our God-given purpose, we must be people that live on purpose and live on mission. @whosyour1_