SBC of Virginia Young Pastors Summit

Adam Blosser and I were able to attend the Young Pastors Summit today at the SBC of Virginia office near Richmond, Virginia. I’ve attended this meeting every year since 2014.

The fellowship and networking is always refreshing. SBC of Virginia leadership does a good job of a putting together a quality program too. I know we had Tom Elliff a few years ago. Kevin Ezell joined us by video conference one year. This year Clyde Meador of the IMB was with us and Thom Rainer spoke by video conference as well.

The Young Pastors Summit is a helpful event that affords pastors the opportunity to gain wisdom and network with seasoned practitioners who desire to invest in the next generation of healthy pastors. There are few environments that presents a similar opportunity of invaluable leadership development.

– K.J. Washington, Church Planting Apprentice, Village Church at Chester, Chester, VA

Pastors Doug Echols (Bethel Baptist), Alan McFarland (Calvary Evangelical Baptist), and Matt Wilmington (Thomas Road Baptist) featured on panel discussion during lunch

It’s great to get to hear from and interact with guys who serve in different contexts or various size churches but who are thinking through some of the same issues or dealing with similar struggles in ministry.

–Ryan Brice, Lead Pastor, Nansemond River Baptist, Suffolk, VA

I love participating in these kinds of events and love hearing about them happening in other states and contexts. I know I’ve heard about, for example, that a young pastors network in North Carolina and I know examples could be multiplied (feel free to do so in the comments).

Let me encourage you to find opportunities like these for fellowship and encouragement, personal and spiritual growth. Seek them out and participate. For me it’s a two hour drive from Virginia Beach to Richmond so it takes me blocking out basically the whole day on the calendar, but it’s worth the time and God can really use the mutual encouragement that takes place at events like this.

Power of God – Resource for Sanctity of Human Life Sunday (1/20/19)

As we prepare for Sanctity of Human Life Sunday coming up in just a few weeks, I encourage you to make sure you’re incorporating that emphasis in your church’s worship service.

Here’s one resource I wanted to make you aware of. It’s a spoken word piece by a good friend, Nigel “Legin” Anderson. Legin is a Gospel rapper and record producer here in the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area. This spoken word, called “Power of God,” mentions various aspects of life’s brokenness and a specifically strong stance on abortion, and then heavily highlights the hope of the gospel to make all things whole.

Legin has offered the video for churches to show on January 20 for Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. Enjoy the video and consider if your church would benefit from seeing it in a few weeks.

You can find more of Legin’s music, podcasts, and ministry at rmmusic.tv/legin and linktr.ee/legintv. If you’d like to use Power of God for Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, you can download the file here (1080p, 1.09GB).

 

Related:
For Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, our ERLC has downloadable bulletin inserts available in addition to the Evangelicals for Life conference from January 16-18.

NAAF President Dr. Marshal L. Ausberry, Sr. Responds to SBTS Report on Slavery & Racism

As President of the National African American Fellowship of the Southern Baptist Convention, I commend Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Mohler’s commissioning the study and releasing the internal report on the history of slavery and racism at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is clear leadership akin to the men of Issachar. (1 Chronicles 12:32 (ESV) 32 Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do…) Dr. Mohler clearly understands the times and knows what to do!

I am sure that Dr. Mohler understands that he will face backlash in some corners. A leader does not stick his finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing to make a decision. Instead, a true leader makes a decision knowing the right thing to do and does it!

The reporting of the study should not surprise anyone! The history is the history! The Mother seminary of the SBC marches in lockstep with the SBC. The history shows that the Seminary as an institution reflected the political and social culture of its time. It is perplexing how otherwise godly men could miss the mark so badly. But, when culture and politics have such an unmerited influence, the reaping is the result of what has been sewn. Southern Seminary is not by herself, many institutions of that era were swimming in the same river of prejudice, racism, and elitism cloaked in the sheets of the idea of manifest destiny.

My hope is that the release of the report will not cause dissension or divisiveness. I hope that the report will facilitate healing and a sober recognition of how far we have come as a people. While we still have ways to go, we truly have come a mighty long way! We needed this history to be documented, as stinging and troubling as it is, because as someone has said, “If we do not know our history, we are apt to repeat it!”

For Southern Baptists, we embrace the message of reconciliation. When we are wrong we don’t hide it, we admit it, and move not to repeat the past, but to make a better future! We must learn from the past. As brothers and sisters of every hue, we can be reconciled to one another because of Jesus Christ!

Jesus Christ is our great reconciler. We reconcile to each other because that is the picture of Christ reconciling a sinful world to Himself. Southern Baptists have a golden opportunity to show the world how we can make peace with our past, and truly love one another, because the love of Jesus Christ binds us together. The history of the Seminary is like an antibiotic and a vaccine. As an antibiotic it kills the lingering infection of racism and as a vaccine kills a recurrence of the disease!

We have the advantage of history because we can look back and wonder, “How did those otherwise godly men miss the mark so badly?” When we allow the culture and politics to become idols, we always miss the true interpretation of the Word of God!

Again, I commend Dr. Mohler for commissioning and releasing the report on the history of slavery and racism at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I pray that it will be used for the betterment of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Dr. Marshal L. Asbury, Sr.
President, National African American Fellowship, SBC
December 15, 2018

James MacDonald Withdraws from 2019 SBC Pastors’ Conference

SBC Pastors’ Conference President Danny Wood released a statement today announcing that James MacDonald will not be speaking at #SBCPC19. MacDonald had been named as one of the speakers back in October. Recently a World Magazine article about MacDonald and Harvest renewed some earlier concerns and brought new information to light that reflected poorly on MacDonald. There were growing questions and discussion about MacDonald’s participation in #SBCPC19. Wood announced the following via the Pastors’ Conference twitter account:

Statement from Dr. Danny Wood, president of #SBCPC19:

James MacDonald contacted me personally to say he is stepping away from all outside speaking engagements for a season (including Pastors Conference 2019). Thankful for this brother, and he has my prayers as he focuses upon his own local church ministry.