Clarke County Baptist Association
|Posted on 28 November, 2017 at 0:45||comments (35392)|
It is the end of the year and the celebration of the first advent of our Lord Jesus Christ is upon us. What is on my mind is gratitude for all that God has given us. So great a Salvation, provision and promises to live by, a community of faith that surrounds and supports me, a family that nurtures me and a loving wife that sustains me are an incredible gift from God. I am a rich man and am grateful!
I have had the privilege of working alongside of some great men of God. One of whom is Thomas Anderson the pastor of Bethel Baptist in Coffeeville, Alabama. He has given me permission to share an inspirational thought he posted today.
“In my tool bag, there is my favorite socket wrench.
I’ve used it to fix many things. It often gets pretty dirty. It takes on stress when I twist it in dark crevices of my truck engine. It loosens nuts and bolts that are hard to reach. Sometimes it gets put back in the box, sometimes it gets laid to the side. Sometimes I don’t clean it off immediately.
But man, I love that socket wrench. It is more valuable to me than many other things.
I want to be that socket wrench for Jesus.
A useful tool for Him.
It is my prayer that you may walk closely our Lord Jesus and know His presence in your life and become that tool that is used for His Glory and your Joy will be filled up to the full!
It is Christmas! Maranatha!
|Posted on 11 July, 2017 at 0:05||comments (55606)|
We have an opportunity as the Clarke County Baptist Association to take Disaster Relief to the next level in our county. There was a great response from the churches and members of our association last year to the flooding in Louisiana. In May we held a Cleanup and Recovery and Chainsaw Training and Certification at Pineview Baptist Church. From the growing interest and participation I believe that we are ready to give organization to our efforts. The first step we need to take is to organize our Disaster Relief Team for the Association. The second step is to purchase and put together a Chainsaw/Cleanup and Recovery Trailer.
On July 25th, 2017 at 6pm at the Associational Office we will hold an organizational meeting of our Disaster Relief Team for Clarke County Baptist Association. Please notify your church members and encourage those who are interested to attend. We are looking for individuals who are able and interested in leading out and getting trained in the administrative area for Disaster Relief this fall.
The Alabama Disaster Relief office has a nearly new 14’ trailer that they need to sell. It has only been on the road 4 times in 3 years and kept in a garage. They would put the graphics on it and provide us with 1 new Husqevarna saw, some chaps, gloves, and head/ear coverings for $3,000.
This is a vital time for Clarke County Baptist Association, your participation will open many doors for ministry and witness not only in our county but throughout the United States. Please make note of the date and invite someone to attend with you. I am looking forward to ministering with you.
Contending as ONE for the faith of the Gospel!
|Posted on 29 June, 2017 at 13:05||comments (1086)|
No doubt that we love our Lord Jesus. And I don’t believe that any of us are ashamed of Him. But crossing that boundary to sharing Jesus with others seems to evade most of us. Knowing Jesus, and walking with Jesus are one thing but then sharing Jesus is quite another. Though for some it may come naturally but for many it seems a more difficult. So I want to challenge you all in an exercise that one pastor in California did with his congregation.
The challenge is simple: Say the name "Jesus" in normal conversations with people outside of our church. You could say, "Jesus helped me....," "Jesus is good," or even "Jesus bless you" when someone sneezed. Write your story in an email and send it to me at [email protected] I want to encourage you to talk about Jesus with your F.R.A.N.Cs (Friends, Relatives, Acquaintances, Neighbors, Coworkers and Classmates). You might even just simply ask, “Has anyone told you today that Jesus Loves You?”
God wants to change our DNA as His Children to be a people not afraid to talk about Jesus!
|Posted on 20 February, 2017 at 11:30||comments (25352)|
“People act the way they act because they are where they are in relation to God.” I have heard this quote by my dad, Darrell Robinson, my whole life. This quote has given me a frame of reference especially in reaching out to lost people. You can’t expect people who do not know Jesus to act like good Christian folks. Lost people are going to be rough around the edges or have totally different agendas at best. As we embark on this emphasis to reach every lost person by the year 2020 let’s be honest with ourselves. The people that we are most uncomfortable reaching out to- the down-and-out, uneducated, crass, isolated, mean spirited, gruff, very different from us, are many times the ones with whom the Holy Spirit is sending us to share Jesus. Continue in prayer that God will prepare your heart as well as preparing the hearts of those with whom He will make a Divine Appointment for you to share Jesus. Individually, be on the lookout for Divine Appointments. As a leader, influence your church to develop a strategy to involve every person in sharing Jesus Christ with the lost. Before we see the harvest of souls for the Savior we must prepare the field.
Operation Prepare Your Field is our associational evangelism campaign that will lead us to fulfill Vision 2020. The objectives of the campaign are as follows: Operation: Prepare your Field
1. Locate Every Home and take a New Testament to every home in your church field. Ask them to respond to a religious opinion survey.
2. Identify every lost or unchurched person and share the Gospel with him or her.
3. Invite the lost person to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and receive Him as Savior and Lord.
4. Invite to attend church with you. If a new believer, invite them to make a public profession of faith in Christ at church.
5. Lead the new believer to be baptized and follow Jesus as a disciple.
6. Train the new disciple to go out & share their faith through their testimony. Lead to participate in each of these steps.
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost." Luke 19:10 And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19
|Posted on 3 January, 2017 at 17:00||comments (1208)|
Vision 2020 and Prayer Preparation
But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:36-38
We have a great challenge before us in the Vision 2020! Four years until the end of the year 2020. In this Vision we as the Southern Baptist Convention and as the Clarke County Baptist Association have committed to share the Gospel with every lost person by the end of the year 2020. This may seem to be a daunting task for some, but I believe that we can accomplish that here in Clarke County just by taking each step one at a time.
The first step is to initiate this vision with prayer. Begin praying for laborers for the harvest (Matt. 9:35-38). Then we need to pray for opportunities to share the Gospel. We should also pray for boldness to speak clearly about Jesus. And finally pray that a climate for evangelism will saturate our county.
There are four Concerts of Prayer planned in January that will launch us into fulfilling this Vision 2020.
Coffeeville area: January 8th at 4:00 p.m. at the old high school.
Jackson area: January 15th at 4:00 p.m. in the FBC Jackson Chapel.
Thomasville area: January 22 at 3:00 p.m. at Midway Baptist Church.
Grove Hill: January 29th at 4:00 p.m. at Grove Hill Baptist Church.
Please plan to participate in the prayer preparation for the implementation of proclaiming the Gospel and sharing Christ with every lost person in Clarke County.
May the beginning of this new year launch you into a closer walk with Jesus.
|Posted on 28 November, 2016 at 13:10||comments (760)|
The Lord is Come!
That phrase in the majestic hymn we sing every Christmas is so rich with truth. Some wince at the seeming incorrect grammatical composition of this phrase. But I want you to be encouraged that it is correct. It is the use of the unaccusative intransitive verb form of to be. To put it simply it means not only the Lord has come, He is here! It is a statement that not only he has come but he is present. It also implies that He is here and that He has been sent here. We know that our Lord Jesus is sent by the Father.
Though we sing this at Christmas, ‘Joy to the World’ is actually a hymn written to proclaim His second coming. What a proclamation of His coming to be with us physically forever. We know that Jesus is present with us in the Spirit. But one day He is coming to be ever present with us. He will establish His reign on the earth and we will rule with Him in His Kingdom. When we sing ‘Joy to the World’, we celebrate Jesus coming to bring us Salvation, but also know we are singing of the Joy we will have when Jesus comes to be ever present with us. It is a song of hope for redemption of the World! Take time to spread the Joy of Jesus this Christmas. I pray that you will be filled with Joy during this Christmas celebration. Know that you are loved and valued greatly!
|Posted on 25 October, 2016 at 15:05||comments (1126)|
Gratitude can change your life.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; Philippians 4:6
“Your attitude is the aroma of your heart” Coach Grant Taylor from the movie Facing the Giants spoke to the Eagles football team in regards to their defeated attitude. Negativity and complaining come from an ungrateful attitude. When we focus on our bad circumstances it results in griping and complaining. We have all found ourselves there. It is a constant battle for our minds. Like Peter stepping out on the Sea of Galilee to walk on the water toward Jesus. As long as he kept his eyes on Jesus, he had firm footing. But when he took his eyes off Jesus and looked at the storm, Peter sank. Giving thanks puts our eyes on the Lord. Gratitude opens our hearts and lives to receive from God an overcoming attitude. Gratefulness can transform our circumstances from problems to possibilities. Transformation begins with renewing our minds in the Word of God (Romans 12:1-2) and choosing to give thanks to God in the midst of our circumstances. What is your problem? Give thanks to God for He promises to be with you in it. We can complain about many things in life but that takes us down a destructive path. But when we give thanks, life flows into us and through us. Choose an attitude transformation, give thanks.
|Posted on 25 October, 2016 at 14:45||comments (20941)|
20/20 Vision "Becoming a Proclaiming people"
We will be a Baptist Association of churches that equips and inspires one another so that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is proclaimed by every member of every church at every opportunity.
We are at an exciting time for our Association. God is providing for us collectively a vision of where He is leading us for the future. The source of this vision is what the Lord has said to the Leadership Team through you, the churches of the CCBA. As Director of Missions, I am honored to be the spokesperson for this vision.
While this vision is new for us today, it is really a return to our own heritage. I have read as many of the founding documents of the CCBA as I could find and there were two recurring themes. The first was the need to be born again and the second was that a born again experience should result in a transformed life. Our founders started with a clear proclamation of the gospel. That is the heritage to which we are returning. It is not that we have ever abandoned the proclamation of the Gospel, rather we are at a time when we need to refocus our efforts on this great commission.
The problems that we are facing as an Association are not unique to the CCBA. It is a systemic problem in the evangelical church across North America. There is very little conversion growth. In an article by Dr. James Eckman, he stated that only seven North American church denominations or fellowships experienced any net growth over the past decade. The growth rate of established churches over the past decade is zero percent. Half of North American churches did not record a single conversion last year. Seventy-two churches close each week in North America; 48 new ones are planted. North America is the only continent in the world where Christianity is not growing. (“Issues in Perspective” by Dr. James P. Eckman, Omaha, May 8-9).
Is this just a product of the times in which we live? Is the tide against us so that we cannot overcome? I have seen many believers who have surrendered to this error. ‘We live in a time where people are so given over to materialism, and they are so prosperous, that they think they do not need God. In our postmodern world, there is very little interest in objective truth. With the rise of relativism and tolerance people have disdain for the claims of exclusivity which Jesus makes. Our communities are shrinking and there are fewer people from which to build a church.’ These are all common excuses, that lead to the conclusion that the tide is against us. Some have started measuring success by just continuing to exist. I have been there myself.
The Power of the Gospel
In all of this, something is missing. It is something that all of us have experienced. It is something that all of us know. However, it is something of which we can somehow completely lose sight. It is the power of the Gospel. In Romans 1:16, Paul says:
Rom. 1:16 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes."
The gospel is everything about Jesus with His atoning death and resurrection being the central facts of the Gospel. The gospel is the power of God to save sinners. There is no one for whom the gospel is not sufficient to save them and transform their lives. Every time that we tell someone about Jesus, about His death and resurrection, there is sufficient power in that Gospel presentation to change their lives forever. If we have the blessing of seeing someone respond to the gospel, somehow we are surprised. Yet, the Gospel is the power of God.
The Great Commission
How does God intend to disseminate this Gospel? He has chosen us to proclaim the Gospel throughout the world. This is the Great Commission that God has given to all of us.
Mark 16:15 "… Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature."
Historically, the CCBA has a wonderful track record of taking the Gospel to the far corners of the world through missions. We've also have planted churches outside of our County. However, in this generation, we are lacking in taking the gospel to our neighbors. All the world includes our families, our coworkers, our communities, and our neighbors. God has commanded that His Gospel is proclaimed by every member of every church.
The Gospel Onslaught
In hearing this, how quickly we can slide back into the mode of excuses. How quickly we can forget the power of the gospel. Jesus told us how powerful the Gospel really is:
Matthew 16:18 "… on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it."
I believe that the rock Jesus was referencing was Peter's confession of faith. He stated that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus was the anointed of God. He was the one chosen by God to do the work of salvation for us. That is the proclamation of the Gospel. Jesus is saying that as the Gospel message goes out, even the very gates of hell itself shall not stand. Why would we ever be intimidated to share our faith with anyone? Satanic forces and strongholds cannot stand against the power of the Gospel.
Now some may object, ‘I know that the gospel is powerful, I am just so inadequate. I don't know what to say. I can't explain things very well. I feel afraid.’
Faith in God, not in ourselves The key to success in proclaiming the Gospel is not in our abilities. It is the power of God. Paul made this very point to the Corinthian church:
1 Corinthians 2:4-5 "… my preaching … [was] not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God." By strategically planning we can locate every home, identify every lost person, initiate a witnessing conversation, and ask people to Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Just because someone walked the isle or got baptized does not mean that they know Jesus personally or have eternal life. God’s Word has established that it is our responsibility to confront every individual in our church field with the gospel so they have an opportunity to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
There is no legitimate excuse to fail to proclaim the Gospel. We know that Jesus died to pay for our sins. We know that God resurrected Him from the dead. We know enough to proclaim the Gospel. Our skills to explain are not sufficient to bring anyone to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. That requires a miracle. No amount of human skill can accomplish that. However, God is the God of miracles. It is not the one who proclaims is powerful. The Gospel proclaimed is powerful.
*note* Adapted from the Fellowship of Evangelical Bible Churches Vision Statement.
By the grace of God, let us not be satisfied with anything short of the body of Christ in our churches proclaiming Jesus at every opportunity. Getting around to it is the difficulty that I challenge the churches of Clarke County Baptist Association determine to overcome.