SPRINGFIELD – Two of the biggest names in Southern Baptist life in recent years headlined the 2010 Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) Pastors’ Conference Oct. 25 here. Ed Stetzer and Danny Akin didn’t drop any new bombshells, instead offering tried and true insight into the life and ministry of Missouri’s pastors.
Stetzer has planted, revitalized, and pastored churches and currently serves as president of LifeWay Research and LifeWay’s missiologist in-residence. Stetzer used 2 Corinthians 5:11-22 as a launching point, urging pastors in the “ministry of reconciliation.”
“Too many people in our churches think that what the unchurched need is to ‘go to church to be better people,’ he said. “But anyone who teaches that is teaching a false gospel. The unchurched don’t need to turn over a new leaf, they need reconciliation to Jesus. We are the messengers of that message of reconciliation. God uses us Christians and the Church to proclaim the Gospel. You must be that agent of reconciliation.”
Danny Akin, a key figure in the Great Commission Resurgence movement over the past year, is the president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. He challenged pastors to transform the Church’s reputation in the world to that of Jesus based on Acts 2:14-47.
“When people think about us, they shouldn’t think about what we’re against or a thousand other things,” he said, “but they should be saying ‘There goes the Jesus People.’” What they say about us out in the world may not always be true, but it’s still what they think. I have a prayer for Southern Baptists I pray every day: ‘God, by Your grace and for Your glory, make Southern Baptists the Jesus People.’”
Matt Marrs, pastor of Northland Baptist, Kansas City, is president of the Pastors’ Conference for the coming year, and Micah Fries, pastor of Frederick Boulevard, St. Joseph is president-elect. Phil Bray, pastor of First Baptist, Puxico, was elected treasurer. The 2011 conference will be Oct. 31 at Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach.
BRIAN KOONCE/staff writer