LEWISTOWN – For the fifth straight year, First Baptist, Lewistown hosted a conference for area pastors.
“I put it in my schedule to go to conferences. We started these conferences for those who can’t make it to the bigger conferences, especially the bi-vocational pastors,” said Lewistown Pastor Ted Middleton.
“I want to bring excellent speakers, especially to the bi-vocational pastors. I’ve been bi-vocational much of my ministry.”
Speakers this year were Rev. Jeff Anderson, senior pastor of Calvary, in Hannibal; Doug Munton, senior pastor, FBC O’Fallon, Illinois and first vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention; and Eric Turner, Assistant Professor of New Testament and Greek at Hannibal-LaGrange University.
Scott Douglas, pastor of Impact church plant in Festus also spoke about their work.
Munton spoke from 2 Chronicles 17:1-10 about Jehoshaphat following the Lord, when other kings of Judah didn’t.
Munton said three keys to Jehoshaphat’s spiritual power were obedience to God, a love for God, and service to God, by sending people to teach God’s word.
“A pastor’s ministry (to a church) is not enough. God is calling an army of spectators. What if everyone gave, served like you?” Munton said.
The church provided gift books for the pastors and a lunch.
“In the past the church and other donors paid for the items. This year the church paid for everything. They’ve caught the vision,” Middleton said.
Anderson, using 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 as a text, told the pastors it’s not just enough to have the call, preach the inspired word, have the right education and the proper preparation.
“The missing link is to have the power of God (on you) in the pulpit.” Anderson said. “If the Holy Spirit is not on the pastor, he’s preaching dead works. In so many churches the pastor is different outside of the pulpit than he is in the pulpit.”
But Anderson said the congregation bears much responsibility to make sure the pastor is covered in prayer to give him the permission to be in the pulpit and prayer-walks the sanctuary.
He gave 15 Bible examples of times “The spirit of the Lord was upon…” and it was followed with a proclamation of the Word of God.
Turner, using Ephesians 6:10-20, noted many pastors are “beaten down,” but need to be “battle ready.” Turner said wearing the armor of God to fight spiritual battles is rarely a one-on-one effort, but said the fighting should be as a team.
“The clasped hands in prayer are the start of the uprising against the evil in the world,” he said.
Douglas was promoting partner missions for Impact church to help reach the “80 percent of the people who live within three miles of the church who don’t know the Lord.”
A small-group prayer breakout session was also included in the conference.