By Allen Palmeri
BRANSON—Kerry Skinner, senior associate pastor of Cottage Hill Baptist Church, Mobile, Ala., and co-founder of the Biblical Counseling Institute, continued his emphasis on repentance April 19-20 at the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) Preaching Workshop at Skyline Baptist Church.
Skinner, who is co-author of many books with Henry Blackaby and Henry Brandt, reminded the attendees that the first word of the Gospel is repent. He said Cottage Hill practices that by having trained laity take it into the community.
“If sin is a person’s problem, there is no human remedy,” Skinner said. “They cannot get rid of that sin by taking a pill. They can’t get rid of that sin by seeing a counselor like me. Only Jesus can save people from their sins. That’s the expressed purpose of why He came.
“If sin is the problem and Jesus is the cure, I want to hear that news over and over and over again. The reason people are being set free, being saved, baptized, and discipled in our church is not so much what the senior pastor and myself are preaching. It’s because during the week we have equipped the saints to do the work of the ministry, to share the message of repentance with hurting people and then bringing them with them on Sunday.”
MBC Executive Director David Tolliver said Skinner, who has spoken quite frequently in Missouri since 2007, is still on target.
“His message is a message of Lordship salvation, and I just love the recurring theme in everything he does,” Tolliver said. “If sin is the problem, there is no human cure.”
Bob Loggins, MBC prayer and spiritual awakening specialist, was the host. He made available to attendees his new book, Preaching for Spiritual Awakening. The book’s ideas blended well with the workshop’s theme, “Sowing Down the Gospel of Peace.”
After the first day’s program was completed, Loggins helped lead a special time of prayer for brokenness, repentance, and cleansing that stretched past midnight at Savannah House, the host hotel. He also led prayer first thing in the morning of April 20 at Skyline.
Preaching Workshop personalities included: Charles Roesel, pastor emeritus and director of the ministry training center for First Baptist Church, Leesburg, Fla.; Neil Franks, pastor, First Baptist Church, Branson; Skinner; Leroy Fountain, urban church planting consultant with the North American Mission Board (NAMB); Norm Howell, host pastor; Mark Donnell, MBC Sunday School specialist; and John Francis, MBC worship specialist. Charlie Burnett, pastor, Harmony Heights Baptist Church, sang “Beulah Land” April 19.
There were also several directors of missions on the program. They included: Jim Albers, Ozark Prairie Baptist Association; E.J. Barnes, North Grand River Baptist Association; Clyde Elder, St. Joseph Baptist Association; Mike Haynes, Greene County Baptist Association; Terry Lamberth, Clay-Platte Baptist Association; Steve Patterson, Spring River Baptist Association; Gordon Rhodes, interim, Meramec Baptist Association; Curtis Townley, Osage River Baptist Association; and Jim Wells, Tri-County Baptist Association.
Tolliver explained the mission statement of the MBC on the morning of April 20. He also talked about the six-year evolution of the Preaching Workshop.
“It’s moving in a direction of spiritual awakening,” Tolliver said. “It’s one of the more practical conferences we have all year long.
“There’s technique during those conference sessions, but there’s also a spiritual emphasis where the leaders of our Missouri Baptist churches have an opportunity to experience awakening in their own selves.”
Loggins made it a point to pass out several gifts to various attendees in the gathering of 95 people.