Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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A Blissfully Ignorant Pespective

         Executive Editor’s Note: This is the first article for a new column that will seek to encourage engagement with all pastors but is written from the perspective of a young pastor who is in the trenches doing ministry. Derrick is the pastor of Denver Street Baptist Church in Greenwood, and he would love to hear from you about what he writes. As you will notice in the articles, he is even offering you an incentive to start engaging with him.

      Way back in April 2023, I wrote an article for a special four-page insert in the Baptist Trumpet that would run during our association’s annual meeting. That article was received unbelievably well, which brings us to this point. I have been encouraged to consider writing on regular basis. I remain hesitant to approach this because, quite frankly, I do not know what I could possibly have to offer. Then again, I had the same dithering attitude when asked to write originally. The question is, what is this regular column going to be about?

      I would love to dive into the things I’m learning in my personal studies. I would be delighted to piece together our Baptist history — the legacy of our kindred and churches in the kingdom of God. There’s nothing else I find more fascinating. That isn’t who I naturally am, though. I’m a young pastor. I’m a young Christian. I wasn’t raised in a spiritual home. I was discipled intentionally in the early years of adulthood after I was married. My perspective isn’t one of experience or heritage. I simply offer a blissfully ignorant perspective on Christian living, the church, our association and world events.

      What’s worse — ignorance or apathy? While I’m tempted to respond to the question with, “I don’t know, and I don’t care,” I have some strong opinions on the subject. Consider the seven letters to the churches of Asia (recorded in Revelation 2-3). The church in Smyrna certainly had a degree of ignorance as Jesus refuted their earthly perspective (2:9). However, they are among the few churches given no word of condemnation in the series. They were ignorant and exemplify the only church I want to emulate! The remaining churches — Ephesus, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis and Laodicea — were apathetic. They offer a warning to every church that allows itself to become complacent.

      When I was even younger than I am now, I heard the adage, “ignorance is bliss.” At the time, I had no idea what the saying meant. Those were the happiest days of my life. With a dash of experience, our eyes are opened to the importance of striving earnestly to glorify God with everything we do in our lives. From my vantage point, I can see things that concern me, things that discourage me, things that frighten me. And yet — I’m here.

      There is a difference between thinking critically and thinking to be critical. A critical spirit is simply antithetical to living as God wants us to live. We are instead instructed “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance…” (I Pet. 2:14 ESV). My desire for experience working for God’s glory alone among you, my brothers and sisters in the Lord, is that we would not be conformed to our prior ignorance but instead would resemble “obedient children.” While it is easy to be critical, the articles in this column are intended to build up instead of tear down.

      I welcome your feedback as we begin this new journey. Use the contact information included in the header to contact me — derrick@dsmbc.org, P.O. Box 1669, Greenwood, Ark. 72936 or send text to (479) 544-7153. In fact, to encourage you to be a part of the conversation I want to start here, I’ll offer you a reward for contacting me. If you have an idea for a topic you would like discussed from a blissfully ignorant perspective and will take the time to send it to me and I use it, I’ll send you a Sonic gift card so you can have a treat on me.

      I am committed to building up the kingdom of God. While I offer only five years of experience in ministry and a corrupting background working in corporate America before that, my greatest weakness is indeed my strength. In the past couple of years, I’ve experienced unbelievable discouragement while serving in ministry. I’ve been hurt by people I have only ever been committed to love. Prior to such experiences, I was aware of some of my deficiencies. However, such awareness only seemed to increase as I responded poorly by becoming embittered, isolated and frustrated.

      As I consider the audience of this article, I am overwhelmed with thankfulness that I am the first of those interested in the BMA to ever have experienced such disappointment with themselves. Without those experiences, if asked to write a column a few years ago, I probably would have written on “What Grinds My Gears.” There are many in the world today who are professional complainers. It seems grumbling is the foremost armature hobby these days. I’m going to let those people keep doing what they do best and patiently endure them. I’m going to pray that God will equip me with such patience while He also works to edify them. As for me, I will not be a professional grumbler.

      What I discovered when faced with bitterness, isolation, frustration and disappointment is that I didn’t need someone affirming everything I was already thinking in my corner. I needed someone to remind me why I was in that disappointing situation to begin with; why I ever stood behind the pulpit or prepared a Bible study. I needed to be reminded why my gears ever spun at all — and help me to get them spinning again.

Derrick Bremer
Derrick Bremerhttp://www.dsmbc.org/derrick_bremer
Derrick A. Bremer grew up in Northwest Arkansas where he met his wife, Michelle, in their 9th grade English class. Derrick surrendered to the gospel ministry in 2018 at Temple Baptist Church of Rogers, Arkansas under the leadership of pastor Wade Allen. Derrick was ordained in 2020 when he was called to serve as the pastor of Denver Street Baptist Church in Greenwood, AR.