|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Be smart, be strategic”
Our Bible verse for today: “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Knocked down maybe, but not knocked out”
Two weeks ago, I was among a small group of pastors who spent two hours with Dr. Randy Davis. Randy is the Executive Director of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, and the leader of Southern Baptists in the State of Tennessee. In that capacity he has many roles, but the role that is nearest and dearest to his heart is that of being a pastor to pastors. After having been a pastor himself for over thirty-seven years, he now considers it his job to look out for and to take care of the Southern Baptist pastors in the State of Tennessee.
And right now, he’s concerned. Pastors and churches are struggling. Randy told us that more pastors are leaving the ministry right now than ever before, and fewer are entering the ministry than ever before. As a result, more churches are without pastors, and it’s taking them longer to find a new one. Also, for many reasons, many churches are still struggling to gain their footing after the pandemic. Some have closed. Others still may close. These last couple of years have been tough on pastors and on churches.
So, Randy is traveling all over Tennessee, to all forty-nine Southern Baptist Associations, and visiting with as many Southern Baptist pastors as he can. His mission is first just to minister to and encourage the pastors to hang in there. But second, to remind us that there is hope and things are getting better. Amidst the declines and difficulties, there are many positive things happening in SBC churches across the state. Attendance is slowly moving back towards pre-pandemic levels; people are being won to faith in Christ; new ministry and outreach efforts are being started; new churches are being planted; and much more. The Church is coming back. His word to us was, “We may have been knocked down, but we were not knocked out.”
Now is not the time for pastors or for churches to be discouraged. There’s too much at stake to give in or to give up. Instead, it’s time to get up, step up, and get busy. Our nation needs strong and active churches. As the English statesman Edmund Burke once observed, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” So, let’s not do nothing. Let’s do something.
At Oak Hill Baptist Church this is our week for Vacation Bible School. It’s a superhero theme – “Bible Man”. Bible Man is an animated superhero leading a team of superheros to confront evil with Biblical truth. The VBS is for children and teens of all ages. It runs from 5:30 – 8:00, Monday-Friday, with a free supper being served from 5:00-5:30. If you’re in Cumberland County, TN please come and join us!
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