BRANSON – Missouri Baptists were encouraged to share the gospel, show compassion, and convey Jesus in a biblical manner during the Missouri Baptist Pastors’ Conference here, Oct. 28.
Guest preachers at the conference included Johnny Hunt, senior vice president of evangelism and leadership at the North American Mission Board; Jimmy Scroggins, lead pastor of Family Church in West Palm Beach, Fla.; and Jason Allen, president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Cedric Dale Hoard also presented truth from God’s Word through spoken word poetry.
The 2019 Pastors’ Conference president was Chris Williams, pastor of Fellowship Greenwood.
Hunt: ‘Who’s your one?’
Southern Baptists are promoting ‘Whose Your one?’ to encourage personal evangelism. Hunt tied the SBC theme to Christ’s calling of His twelve disciples.
“When Philip got saved, he invited Nathanael,” Hunt told Missouri Baptists. He added, “Andrew is mentioned three times in the gospels and in each he is bringing someone to Christ – his brother, Simon Peter, the boy with the bread-and-fish lunch, and the Greeks.”
Hunt urged Missouri Baptists to evangelize. “You don’t have to know more. You have to share what you know. I’d rather share what I know and leave it to God than have it on my record I didn’t go and share.”
He also told them not to give up on the lost, but rather to pray for them. He told of one man to whom he regularly witnessed for over 28 years, before the man got saved.
“Who have you given up on? Talk to God about them before you talk to them about God,” Hunt said.
Scroggins: ‘Prioritize compassion’
Compassion is the starting place in serving people, Scroggins told Missouri Baptists. This was the gist of his message, based on Mark 6.
“When you look at people in your town, you ought to have a little more compassion in your gut,” he said, speaking especially to ministers at the conference. “If you do not have compassion, why do you do what you do?”
According to Scroggins, Missouri Baptists shouldn’t limit their service by their resources, since Jesus provides all they need for ministry.
“You have tons more resources in your church than the Apostle Paul had in his entire lifetime,” Scroggins said.
“We’re swimming in an ocean of lost people,” he added. “The power of the gospel really saves.”
Allen: ‘Portray the true Jesus’
Christians – especially ministers – should convey the biblically accurate Jesus, Allen told Missouri Baptists.
“What type of savior,” he asked, “are we preaching and presenting to our churches and communities? Some types of savior resemble a Santa Claus, giving gifts to those who are good. Some present the savior as a fireman with eternal fire insurance. Some present a savior who is a therapist to meet every emotional need. Others are promoting a savior who is a life coach – ‘If you do this, life will be okay.’”
“Jesus delights in saving the deepest, darkest sinner,” Allen said. This true Savior calls sinners to repentance, graciously offers them forgiveness and transforms their lives.
“Why don’t people gladly receive Jesus as often as we would like? It’s because of the type of Jesus we preach,” Allen said. “Repentance is the door that leads to the Kingdom. It is a good word. If we aren’t preaching repentance, we are not helping the community, we are harming them.
“Is the savior you are preaching worth preaching? This Savior Jesus is worth preaching.”