by Randy Shepherd, Spring Lake Baptist Church
Clif Johnson, BMAA President: We often find difficulty in making the rubber meet the road when it comes to fleshing out the theme of the national meeting. This series of articles is meant to be helpful to you in thinking of ways to make the theme of “Preaching the Word” come alive in your ministry. May the Lord richly bless you as you give His Word its rightful place.
Executive Editor’s Note: See the first two articles in this series in the May 4 and May 11 issues.
I have attended our national meeting for the 49 years that I have been pastoring, and it is my opinion that the meeting we just had is the best I have attended. A sweet spirit of fellowship and cooperation was clear in the proceedings.
Driving home from the meeting, I recalled that the last meeting I left feeling spiritually refreshed was in 2004. Comparing the two meetings, I quickly realized why they had affected me the same — it was the preaching of the Word!
I am thankful to Dr. Clif Johnson for setting the theme this year as “Preach the Word.” His preaching of II Tim. 4:1-5 presented to the BMA where our focus needs to remain as we strive to fulfill our mission statement. This emphasis was backed up so well by the continued preaching of the Word. Richard Smith, Jason Goodwin and Johnmichael Poulin added fire to my flame, challenging me to remain faithful to my calling to preach the Word.
Jesus, freshly risen from the tomb, emphasized the Scriptures concerning Himself to His followers (Luke 24). Should we be doing anything less today? The infallible Word of God must continue to be the only authority by which the BMA continues to evangelize and disciple all nations.
With those thoughts in mind, may I encourage all of us toward these three goals for the remainder of the year:
• Practice what you preach. If we say that the Bible is sufficient for us, and is our highest authority, then let us make it a habit of asking the question “What does the Bible say about this” in every area of our lives.
• Pray for the pastors and churches around you. If we want to strengthen our fellowship within the BMA and expand our reach as the BMA into all the world, then praying for one another must be a priority. We are not in competition with one another, we are to be complementing one another. When we read of another church gaining members, we should go to the Lord in thanksgiving. When we hear of a church struggling or suffering sorrow, we should intercede for them. Our external missions and ministry efforts may only be as effective as our internal prayer meetings.
• Meet with the pastors around you. One of the most encouraging exercises a pastor can experience is the fellowship of other soldiers who are fighting the same type of fight. Encourage one another to stick to the text when preaching! Bounce thoughts off one another as to the meaning and application of the text, and build one another up to preach the Word!