November 5, 2002
SPRINGFIELD — Kenny Qualls, newly elected president of the Missouri Baptist Convention, says Missouri pastors need to "renew their passion for God."
Speaking at the 2002 session of the MBC Pastor’s Conference, Qualls told more than 500 pastors who gathered at the University Plaza Convention Center here that preachers are often looking for some new formula and "miss the simplest things."
Using John 12 as the basis for his message, Qualls developed the theme of Mary displaying her passion for Christ by pouring the perfume over his head. This display of passion, Qualls said, represented a place of passion. He asked pastors if they had "been at the feet of Jesus lately?"
He said there was a price Mary paid for the passion. The perfume, he said, could have represented her life savings. This tells us, Qualls said, that we owe God everything – our money, time and talents.
The pastor of Springhill Baptist, Springfield, told the pastors that the perfume Mary poured on Christ pleased Him and the aroma also blessed others. He said renewing their passion for God would bless their homes, their churches and the entire state of Missouri.
Bob Caldwell, a member of Qualls’ church, said they would have to renew their passion for people if they were to serve God for a lifetime. He reminded pastors that they needed to see every person they met as an eternal being.
Jay Scribner, pastor of First Baptist, Branson, got the audience’s attention when he announced that he wanted to talk to them about their "buts."
Preaching from Acts 12, Scribner said it was "but prayer" that got Peter out of prison and added that the same thing will move pastors and churches into a dimension that "goes beyond our own limitations." Scribner suggested that pastors who were facing problems in their churches, marriages, families or financial matters should consider confronting the problem with "but prayer."
David Tolliver preached about having a passion for preaching.
"The most important thing you do, of all the myriad of things you have to do, is preach the Gospel," said Tolliver, pastor of Pisgah Baptist Church in Excelsior Springs.
He told the pastors that they owed it to God and His people to be prepared each Sunday when they stand in the pulpit. Tolliver also urged them to remember the excitement they felt about preaching when they first entered the ministry.
"There is power in the gospel message and power in the preaching of the gospel," he said.
Evangelism was the topic of the message presented by Monte Shinkle, pastor of Concord Baptist Church in Jefferson City.
"Why do we need to renew our passion for evangelism?" Shinkle asked. "Because every day is not going to be a growing kind of day."
Too often, pastors become busy and neglect the Great Commission, he said. Shinkle, preaching from 2 Timothy 1:6, reminded them to stir up the gift of God which is in them.
"I am thankful to God for young preachers," he said, "because a young preacher that’s worth his salt will make people mad."
There is a generation gap of passion for evangelism, Shinkle said, noting that theological disagreements have sapped many Missouri ministers of their excitement for reaching the lost.
"This controversy is hard on the heart," he acknowledged. "I am praying that the door to some kind of reconciliation could open just a crack. Good days are ahead and I believe that with all my heart."
Tony Preston, director of doctoral studies at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, said pastors should look to Elijah as an example for renewing their passion for leadership. Preston recounted the passage from 1 Kings 17-19 how Elijah hid in fear of his life, but then God provided for Elijah.
"Once we have stopped, we will be able to hear from God and enter a season of communion once we avail ourselves to His provision, but not until we stop," Preston said.