Clippard urges attendees to wake up, put on Christ
By Allen Palmeri
November 1, 2005
SPRINGFIELD– Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) Executive Director David Clippard urged Missouri Southern Baptists to wake up, suit up in the armor of light and put on the Lord Jesus Christ Oct. 24 in his Monday night address to messengers attending the 171st annual meeting of the state convention.
Putting off the deeds of darkness is an essential element of the text, Romans 13:11-14, which God laid on Clippard’s heart for four days before he delivered his message.
“We need to have a life of holiness and purity,” he said.
He spoke of churches in the MBC that are in grave trouble because of sexual immorality.
“It just breaks my heart so desperately every time that I hear of another one,” he said.
Waking up from inactivity, slumber and thoughtlessness can lead to triumphant events like the closing of the Springfield Healthcare Center.
“What a great victory Springfield has celebrated this week with the only abortion clinic closing in this city,” Clippard said. “That greatly encourages me.”
More evidence of Missouri waking up is the fact that a lot of Missouri Baptist churches have signed up for the Southern Baptist Acts 1:8 Challenge. Even so, there is certainly an opportunity for more Missouri Baptists to wake up, the executive director said.
“Wake up,” he said. “Our salvation is nearer today than ever, and our Savior is coming.”
His second point out of the text was “suit up,” which simply means to do something.
“Serve in a nursery,” Clippard said. “Serve in the youth department. Roll up your sleeves. Go on a mission trip.”
Some people get upset over things like the color of the carpet in the church or strangers taking their pew. Rise above that, Clippard said.
“It is a day, folks, when we need to get serious about the major things and not major on the minors,” he said.
The MBC staff is suited up for the purpose of helping Missouri Baptist churches succeed in applying Acts 1:8, he said.
“How can we do that?” Clippard said. “What can we do to help you?”
Living a life of purity fell under the heading of “clean up” in Clippard’s outline. If there is sin in the camp, God will put us on the shelf and choose not to use us in ministry. We must be holy vessels, he said.
“Put off the flesh and put on Christ,” he said.
With 130,000 Missouri Baptists in Sunday School in a state with a population of 5.5 million, there is plenty of room for improvement, Clippard said.
“Let’s take Missouri for Jesus,” he said. “God bless you, Missouri Baptists.”