"All for JESUS"
I have been pastor at First Baptist now for about 5+ months...and I have a confession to make...
Do I have your attention? I know the thought of getting some dirt on the pastor is always intriguing! My confession is when I came to Elloree I don't believe I had the correct mindset. You see I never considered myself a missionary but yet that is exactly what I am. I am a missionary to Elloree, Cameron, Santee etc. I am to be on mission for Jesus. I am not to hide behind the title "Pastor" or even "Dr." when I get my final approval on my dissertation (which hopefully will be pretty soon by the way). But instead I am to be making a difference in this community and doing all I can for Jesus!
But you know what? I am not the only missionary? Every Christian who occupies space at the First Baptist Church is also a missionary to Elloree, Cameron, Santee etc. We are all missionaries and if First Baptist is going to make an impact in our community we better get on mission!
I am going to lay out a 3-fold focus for our church which you will see being implemented in the coming weeks, months even years (if the church doesn't run me off before then) that will prayerfully under God's leadership and the influence of the Holy Spirit dramatically impact our communities for Christ!!!!
Focus Area # 1: Evangelism: Somewhere along the line Christians, Baptists in particular have gotten really lazy in fulfilling the command of Christ to go and make disciples. Have you ever heard "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing"? That is so true!!!!! The primary objective of the church is to reach out to others in the love of Christ and see people come to know Christ as their Savior. We must penetrate the darkness with the Light of Jesus Christ! This will involve a dramatic emphasis on evangelism, a campaign entitled "2 doors in 1 day" where serious Christians will be asked to committ to knocking on 2 doors in 1 day just to ask someone to come to church with them or ask if they can pray for them somehow! The results are not up to us but the effort is!! Looking out to the cotton fields I am reminded that Jesus said "the fields are white unto harvest, but the laborers are few". Let us be about the work of evangelism!
Focus Area # 2: Discipleship: It is not enough to see people come to a profession of faith in their lives it cannot stop there! The journey is just beggining for them and Christians need to be willing to step up and step out and help their new brothers and sisters in their faith or the they will float away from the church and often leave their faith behind them never to pursue that abundant relationship with Christ. This church will institute "Life Coaches" for a 6 month period of time for all new converts. Any one who makes a profession of faith will have the opportunity to be coached by a seasoned Christian in the ways of life. Along with that is the determination that we will actively teach the principles of God's Word to new believers and seasoned believers. Small groups is such a criticial part of discipleship and must be stressed heavily! If we don't do something differently we will just be lumped into the statistics of people who claim Christ, get baptized, join the church never to be seen again. We have to reverse those trends!
Focus Area # 3: Revitilazation: This involves a corporate decision that we will not sit idly by. We will not be content with the status quo. We will not be satisfied with just doing church Sunday after Sunday instead we will start planning for future growth. We will make plans to revitalize our current facilities and even make future plans for expansion in order to minister, serve, and impact our communities. of course this will take funds and will involve a capital campaign but I'm not worried because "My Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills" (Psalm 50:10) and He will provide for our needs!
In the coming weeks and months keep your hearts, eyes and ears open as we strive to impact our community ALL FOR JESUS and get on board or should I say mission?!!