SPRINGFIELD – Eight speakers challenged and encouraged attendees of the Missouri Baptist Pastors’ Conference, Oct. 26.
Jeremy Roberts, The Church in the Highlands in Chattanooga TN pastor, admonished ministers not to compare themselves with others.
“Stop feeling inferiority or superiority to others, but stand in the sufficiency of God,” Roberts said. He said the solution is to honor, magnify and glorify God, and be thankful. “(This) stops the focus on ourselves. It is a blessing to have our churches. We don’t deserve them.”
Chris Williams, pastor at Fellowship of Greenwood Campus, asked, “What does it mean to be part of the answer to Jesus’ prayer of ‘thy kingdom come’?” He read the account in Luke 10 of Christ sending out the disciples.
Williams said that churches “may not be spiritually ready to receive God’s Spirit. Could we be hindering the very prayers we pray? Churches may be too comfortable for God to move. Refocus and remember the mission to win souls, grow them, and send them out to do the same thing.”
Preaching from Galatians 6:1-10, Steve Dighton pastor emeritus at Lenexa Baptist Church, said that churches must be spirit-driven.
“Christianity is not Judaism plus Jesus,” Dighton said. “Those driven by the spirit must have a compassionate heart with restoration. There is labor in restoration. It also takes responsibility of bearing another’s burdens. If you don’t plant seeds, you won’t harvest anything.”
Byron Paulus, President of Life Action Ministries, said, “when you want to see what God will do, step in a circle and ask God to move in the circle.”
Paulus said Hosea 10:12 shows four reasons God “hasn’t opened the windows of Heaven. We don’t sow in righteousness. We don’t reap in mercy, in unfailing love. We have an unrepentant heart.”
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Professor Alvin Reid asked people to recall the first time and the most recent time they saw God move.
“I saw, at age 11, hippie freaks become Jesus freaks,” he said, adding that Baptist churches saw 400,000 annual baptisms from 1971-1975.
“A Jesus movement is a Holy Spirit movement,” Reid said. “Don’t build your theology from experience but from the Word of God. … A Jesus movement is about Jesus, not the movement.”
Michael Catt, pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga., also testified to the movement of God.
“I see God bringing the streams together for what I pray will be the Mississippi River of revival to move ships stuck in the mud,” Catt said.
Catt shared about the Holy Spirit’s work in teens through the new movie, “Woodlawn,” in which Christianity conquers racial tensions. In Albany, a week before Catt spoke in Missouri, 243 teens came to Christ when churches rented theaters to show Woodlawn.
“God will take the movement and bypass your church if you don’t want to be part of it,” Catt said. “When will we get on our knees and pray, ‘Pass me not, O gentle savior’?”