Ministerial Meanderings

God centered theology in a man centered world.

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Location: Springfield, Missouri, United States

I was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Laurel, Maryland. I served in the United States Air Force for 20 years then retired. Then God led me to become a pastor. I was converted to Christ in the summer of 1966. I enjoy the company of my wife, children and grandchildren. I live with my three cats Hobbs, Taz, and Chloe.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A New Challenge

Well, it is official. I have been called to be the senior pastor of an Independent Baptist church in Springfield, Missouri called Victory Baptist Church. It is a small church and my ministry there will be bivocational. That means I will be the full time church pastor AND have a full time job outside of the church to support myself and my family. Even though the church is small there is a lot of enthusiasm that God is about to do something new and wonderful there. The core group of the church is very dedicated to the work.

My wife and I will be making the move to Springfield in the last week of August. We are waiting to finish procuring a house to move into. After that, we are on our way.

We were able to preach there at the church on the Person of God and the message was very well received. The church members are teachable and I have been given a blank check, so to speak, to teach as the Lord leads. There is a great deal of work to be done here but I have the help of an associate who will help with the workload while we are bivocational, and a core group who are willing to step in and do what needs to be done.

The Task

As I was praying about this move I was reflecting on the task of being a pastor. The word pastor comes from the Greek word "poimen" and means "shepherd." The role of the shepherd is twofold. First, he is to lead the flock to good grazing. In church work, that means that he sees that the members are fed a good diet of biblical food ... milk for the baby Christians and strong meat for the mature. That means a steady diet of Bible, Bible, and more Bible. As a pastor, my concern is that I pass onto my members the old faith. Every study, every book, every sermon is to help me assure my members that I am not offering them anything new, but can connect them to what is old ... the faith of the apostles, the church fathers, the martyrs, and those who have gone before. When I quote other preachers, it is not to introduce some new innovation but to connect my teaching with the Christians who have preceded me in the faith. I want my members to know the Christ of Paul and Peter and John, and of Augustine, Calvin, Luther, Knox, Spurgeon, Edwards, Carey, Taylor, and others. We want the historic faith, not the modern fad. My task as pastor is to lead my people to discover that faith for themselves. To experience it, know it, and live it.

The shepherd has to lead his flock to it. But even that has two parts to it. They are orthodoxy and orthopraxis. Right belief and right living. When the congregation sees Christ taught and Christ lived, it is a powerful combination.

Secondly, the shepherd protects the sheep from the wolves and other predators that come to feed on the flock. Sometimes that can be done through sound teaching. There is nothing like handling the real thing to give people the ability to identify the counterfeits. But sometimes the pastor has to go head to head with the false teachers and take on false ideas and unsound doctrines as they appear in the church.

The pastor has to be both irenic and polemic. These are a few of the thoughts that I have been reflecting on as I have thought about taking the pulpit of this small church that is looking to me for leadership.

Pray for me. This is a big jump and I am hoping this will be the last move. However, if the folks at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, England call me and ask me to come and pastor there, I would have to give them serious consideration. The Tabernacle was founded and pastored by Charles Spurgeon, one of my heroes and mentors in the faith. But Springfield is a good city and I think I could enjoy living there. Victory is a good church and I think we will all do OK for each other there. Keep us all in your prayers.

1 Comments:

Blogger Paul W. Foltz DD said...

I'LL BE PRAYING FOR YOU AS YOU MAKE THIS MOVE. SPRINGFIELD IS AN INTERESTING CITY. BEWARE OF THE BIBLE BAPTIST FELLOWSHIP THERE, THEY STRONGLY OPPOSE THE DOCTRINES OF GRACE. I KNOW I GREW UP IN A BBF CHURCH.

MY BLOGS ARE FREE GRACE PREACHER AND DOCTRINE OF REGENERATION ON WWW.blogger.com

7:46 AM  

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