By Susan Mires
RAYTOWN – Micah Fries challenged Missouri Baptists to live out the humble mission of Christ in every aspect of their lives.
Fries, pastor, Frederick Boulevard Baptist Church, St. Joseph, delivered the convention message during the Oct. 27 morning session of the 175th annual meeting of the Missouri Baptist Convention held at First Baptist Church, Raytown.
Preaching one day before his 31st birthday and two days after being elected treasurer of the Missouri Baptist Pastors’ Conference, Fries urged Missouri Southern Baptists to fulfill the Great Commission, adding that failing to do so would render such meetings meaningless.
“We’ll get fired up, go home and do the very same thing we’ve been doing with no burning passion that people would know and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” he said, preaching from Philippians 2.
His father is a church planter and he admitted to enjoying Baptist meetings. But, he said, believers need to become more comfortable with diversity as they unite to reach the world.
“This is our rallying cry, what we rally around,” Fries said as he lifted up his Bible. “As long as we remain dogmatic about issues Scripture is not dogmatic about, we will be spiritually impotent.”
Baptists should be unified on the inerrancy of Scripture, but allow diversity in methodology and secondary doctrinal issues, he said, noting the denomination should not support church autonomy on one hand, then tear down churches which practice autonomy on the other.
“When we are done disagreeing, we should link arms and advance the Gospel together. If we don’t do so, we fail God and the Cross and we have failed in our primary obligation as followers of Jesus Christ,” he said, drawing applause from the crowd.
Fries spoke about incarnational missions, being Christ in the world. He noted that Jesus left the comfort of heaven to save humanity.
“It concerns me that many of us would be quick to offer ourselves outside of church, but then we refuse any efforts to sacrifice our comforts in our churches,” he said.
He also urged pastors to preach a Gospel of transformation because the pews are filled with people who live moral lives, but have never been changed by the Gospel.
“Sometimes we stand out because we’re strange, not because we’re holy,” he said.
The ultimate goal, Fries said, is to lift high the name of Jesus.
“We need to be committed to the propagation of the Gospel. We need to be careful with God’s Word in front us, not to get distracted by things that eternally don’t matter and be radically committed so the Gospel goes out, so people will believe, so Kansas City, Missouri, America and the world will voluntarily submit to King Jesus,” he said.