Had a crazy, busy, long but ministry effective week last week & weekend. Here’s how it went down:
Sunday – Had a sweet couple join our church on Sunday. They had lived in New Mexico previously and moved to Maryland. Been visiting for several weeks and decided to become members. They were already Christians so no need to fill up the baptismal pool. I can’t wait to do that at SPBC!
Monday – Watched in wonder the sonogram for my third child. Found out we’re having a girl. I am so outnumbered, 4:1. Was also able to talk with a dear lady in our church who lost her husband over the weekend. We prayed and hopefully I encouraged her.
Tuesday – Normal day. Met with our deacons and prayed for many if not most of our church members. Also met with prospective deacons. Conversations that resulted from this meeting were that our church needs to learn how to be more vulnerable with each other so that a deeper community can be cultivated and in turn can facilitate spiritual growth and outreach to a lost world. Very encouraged by this discussion.
Wednesday – Met with our Youth Director. She has lots of plans and pours a lot into our teens. It is different to be on the other side of a staff talk from the YM – Pastor perspective. However, this is why I am a pastor – to help facilitate a church environment that cares and reaches out to the next generation. In the evening I had dinner with a couple in our church who the man was about to have some minor surgery. They are a great couple who loves to serve without fanfare or recognition. May their tribe increase at SPBC. Then at church we had a different sort of prayer service as we prayerwalked our church building, praying for various ministries throughout our campus. Very cool. Following the service I met with a family who inquired about membership with our church.
Thursday – Another normal day. In the evening met with some of our ministry teams. There was initial tension going into the meeting but by the end it was removed and I sensed a renewed sense of purpose and focus in these ministries and our church. Was thankful for the power of prayer and cooperative spirit among our members.
Friday – Attended a funeral. Death is a reality we all face but so is the resurrection. We (I) must increase urgency in sharing the gospel with others. I pray this often for myself and our church.
Saturday – Had an realty open house. We spent probably 6 hours cleaning and prepping the house between Fri/Sat. No leads on any buyers. Spent some time with the family, Alethia got a haircut! Then in the evening attended a coffee house at a friend’s church. The guest speaker was Daniel Akin. Here is what I learned in talking with Akin:
– Daniel Akin is an ordinary person even though he has a prominent role in God’s kingdom (or at least SBC life). He was approachable. He asked about my family and my ministry. We conversed about life and ministry for several minutes without him looking to move on to someone or something more important. I appreciated this not just as a graduate of SEBTS but as an individual and young pastor.
– Akin loves Jesus. He spoke how Jesus changed and made a difference in his life and his family’s lives. He clearly explained the gospel and why it’s important to get it right, apart from religion. Even more, during his time to speak he wasn’t trying to sell anyone on attending his school but communicate the greatest news in history – that of the gospel.
– Akin loves the Bible. His Bible was highlighted, written in and well worn. When he spoke he often quoted and read from it.
– Akin loves his family. He frequently spoke about his wife and sons. You can tell that he views his greatest legacy not as a seminary president or figure in SBC but as a husband and father.
– Akin has a heart for young people. He probably speaks to consistently large crowds but he spoke with as much passion, care and thought to ~40 young adults as he does to those large gatherings.
– Akin bleeds evangelism. He encouraged me with the words of Jesus to reach MD people with the gospel bc the gospel speaks to all people, whether they are hurting or living the wealthy American dream.
Sunday – Had another great day of worship. Sung about God’s power to save, preached about purity and how the gospel is needed to help us become the sanctified people God wants us to become. The family I visited on Wednesday joined our church. Amen! The baptismal pool is still bone dry though.