Wednesday, June 20, 2018

June 20, 2018...From the Shepherd's Heart

Why would a pastor spend a valuable Wednesday night to share with his church the happenings of the Southern Baptist Convention meeting last week in Dallas?

Why should a church member show up to hear their Pastor share about the happenings of the Southern Baptist Convention meeting last week in Dallas?

Good questions.  But that is exactly what I plan on doing tonight at 6:10 with our Rainsville First Family.

Our meeting won't change anything that happened and your life will not be richer (or poorer, I hope) for attending and hearing.  Our report will not result in us voting on anything...so why?

We are a Southern Baptist church and that way we do business could mean that the local church doesn't need to bother itself or even care about what happens on the national level.  But I disagree.  I believe you need to be informed where the Convention is and what is going on. 

So, I look forward tonight to giving a report and then answering any questions you might have.

Here are some links if you would like to know more:

The vote on dismissing the Southwestern Baptist Seminary's Trustees.

Vice-President Mike Pence speaking at the Convention. 

Collection of all the Baptist Press articles about the Convention

The actual "minutes" of the entire two days. 

The entire report of the Interim President of Southwestern Seminary. 

All the messages from the Pastor's Conference. 

Discover more about our new President J.D. Greear.  and The Summit Church where he is the pastor.

The Convention meeting is coming to Birmingham next year June 11-12.  If you are interested in attending, mark it on your calendar.  The meetings are always on a Tuesday and Wednesday with the Pastor's Conference on Sunday night and Monday.  Greg Laurie is also coming to Birmingham for special rallies June 6-8.



Friday, June 15, 2018

Friday, June 15, 2018....From the Shepherd's Heart

I love preaching verse-by-verse because I deal with issues and see truths that I believe I would miss otherwise.  This is true as we open The Gospel of Luke 12 beginning this Sunday.

This section of Scripture deals with the fear of God and I've seen how Jesus talks about it in a way that is amazing.  That's why I call it "The Mystery of The Fear of God."  There are some "eye-opening" words here and we will look at this issue over the next three Sundays.  Can't wait...

There is no Sunday night service this Sunday due to Father's Day.  Enjoy the extended time with your family and friends. 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

"You and Your Church" by James Emery White


Vol. 14, No. 48

You and Your Church

The church is the hope of the world. According to Jesus, who said He came to establish the church, it was intended to be something so filled with energy that not even hell itself could withstand its onslaught. 
The idea is that we are the light of the world, and as that light is brought together through the church it gains intensity the way focused light becomes a laser beam.
So what’s wrong?
Most churches are anything but energy-filled. Hell seems to not only be standing its ground, but gaining territory.
Let’s bracket off all the things churches are doing wrong today. 
Let’s put aside the scandals, the splits and the outdated strategies.
Let’s not worry for a moment about any disappointments you may have with leadership.
Let’s talk instead about what any individual person, in any particular church, can do to help their church reach its full redemptive potential. In other words, let’s go after the lowest-hanging, solution-oriented fruit. 
Isn’t that what all of us will answer for at the end of our lives anyway? Not what others did, but what we did?
Here’s a baker’s dozen:
  1. Embody the idea that it’s not about you, but about the person who isn’t even there yet. And be a willing participant in whatever it might take to reach them, even if it means you are inconvenienced.
  2. Be generous with your financial resources. How much ministry can you do for $1? $1 worth. Help your church do all that it can by giving all that you can.
  3. Invite your unchurched friends. Really, it’s the only way your church can grow through the unchurched.
  4. Step up and serve. Don’t wait to be asked; just volunteer. If it looks like everything is covered, trust me, it’s not.
  5. Leaders and teachers are desperately needed. Please let your church know if this is a gift in your mix and that you, as a more mature follower of Christ, are willing to serve in these pivotal roles.
  6. Give your pastor an umbrella of grace for all that they aren’t, and pray for them on a regular basis. They can’t walk on water, but they can drown. Be one of their “floaties.”
  7. Realize that those on your church’s staff do not get a thousand emails a day giving them encouragement. Most of the people who bother to email do so to critique. Send them a word to feast on to keep them going. They are human and get as discouraged as anyone. 
  8. As a volunteer, or simply as an attender, show up and be on time. Repeat: Show up and be on time. You have no idea how much this matters.   
  9. Talk about your church like gossip over the backyard fence, but in a good way. Like a great movie you saw, or a good restaurant. Unleash positive public relations in your neighborhood and community. 
  10. Work hard on having a positive attitude of a cup half-full instead of a cup half-empty. You’ll be surprised how contagious it is.
  11. Handle friction and disagreement in a way that honors God, which means handle it biblically (Matthew 18:15). In general, just practice the habit of “agreeing to disagree agreeably.” And remember Augustine’s rejoinder: “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, charity.” And much more falls into the “non-essential” camp than we often admit.
  12. Welcome those who come into your church with messed-up lives, screwed-up marriages, piercings, tattoos, addictions, divorce, homosexual orientation, children out of wedlock, roommates who aren’t their spouse… in other words, welcome everyone’s differences and scandals with the greater scandal of grace. Not affirmation, necessarily, but always acceptance so that they can experience that grace for themselves. It’s the Jesus way. 
  13. Pray, pray, pray. In 14th century England there were holy women who placed themselves in little rooms at the base of churches and gave themselves to prayer. They prayed for the church and its members and the extension of the kingdom of God. These women were called by the quaint but telling name of “anchoress,” for they were spiritual anchors that held the church amid the storms of that century. Be that anchor. 
All to say, if each of us are called to be the light of the world, and that light is meant to be brought together in and through the church, then perhaps we need to bring an old song back into circulation:
“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.”
James Emery White

Editor’s Note
This blog was originally published in 2012. The Church & Culture Team thought you might enjoy reading it again.

About the Author
James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and the ranked adjunctive professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president. His latest book, Meet Generation Z: Understanding and Reaching the New Post-Christian World, is available on Amazon. To enjoy a free subscription to the Church & Culture blog, visit ChurchAndCulture.org, where you can view past blogs in our archive and read the latest church and culture news from around the world. Follow Dr. White on Twitter and Instagram @JamesEmeryWhite.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Wednesday, June 13, 2018....From the Shepherd's Heart

Greetings from Dallas and the 2018 Southern Baptist Convention meeting here.  The Convention ends today.  I will give the church a full report next Wednesday night, plus sharing an opportunity for questions.

However, tonight, Don Meyer will be leading the church in Bible study at 6:10.  We appreciate Don and Grace Meyer and are grateful God led them to our Rainsville First.  You will enjoy his leading through the Word of God.


Sunday, June 10, 2018

Watch the Southern Baptist Pastor's Conference from Dallas

The Southern Baptist Pastor's Conference is always one of the highlights of the annual meeting.

The conference begins tonight in Dallas and then three sessions tomorrow.  All of the events are available to watch online free.

You can watch it here.

Men like Tony Evans, James Merritt, Robert Smith and J.D. Grear will be preaching.

Here is the schedule of preachers.

The starting times for each session:

Tonight, 6:00
Monday, 9:00, 1:30 and 6:00.