I had the wonderful privilege of speaking at the celebration in honor of Pastor Mike Walker’s 30 years as pastor of The Bayou Church, a neighboring church, here in Lafayette. This is my home church—the church where I was baptized, discipled, and called to preach. Mike became my pastor and East Bayou’s pastor, as the church was called until more recently, when I was 14 years old. It was a true honor to share a few words in celebration of my pastor, friend, spiritual father, mentor, and now colleague. As I shared that evening, my life is different because Mike Walker was my pastor.
Here is what I shared. It’s a great lesson to all who strive to lead.
- Leaders lead. This ought to be obvious, but not all leaders lead. Leaders ask you to do what you think you cannot do and what you sometimes don’t want to do.
- Leaders love. I can’t think of anyone who loves in a bigger way than Mike. I strive to love as he loves.
- Leaders keep learning.
- Leaders let others learn to lead. Bro. Mike gave me my first chance to preach on a Wednesday night when I was 15 years old. It was a mess. Armed with 11 pages of notes, I gave it all I had—only to learn afterwards that it lasted 9 minutes. Not a day goes by that I am not profoundly thankful for that first opportunity to preach.
- Leaders leave a legacy.
Psalm 78:72 says, “He shepherded them with a pure heart and guided them with his skillful hands.”
Thank you, Padre! Now keep leading!
Sunday, we will continue our study of the Minor Prophets. Sunday, we will dig into Nahum. I encourage you to read this little short book before you come. Nahum’s message is not easy. In fact one commentator said of this book, “We often wish Nahum were not in the canon, and the book has been almost totally ignored in the modern church.” However, we believe that all Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for our instruction. Be praying with me that, once again, God will use His Holy Word to speak to all of us in a very personal way.
Sunday afternoon is also our First Look Seminar. If you are interested in being a member of First Baptist Church, I strongly urge you to come to the First Look seminar. This will be the last seminar of this kind for 2014. In this 2 hour seminar, we consider the history and beliefs of Baptists and consider what it means to be a member of First Baptist Church. We will meet from 5:30 until 7:30. Please meet near the Coffee Shop for the beginning of the seminar.
Finally, let me encourage you to be thinking about our Fall Festival on Wednesday, October 29. You can help us get the word out. We have flyers and yard signs. Be sure to pick some up Sunday and then use them to invite your friends and neighbors.
For those of you reading my blog for the first time or first time in a while I should start out by saying “Do Something” is the name of the challenge to our church to commit to do something for God that we have never attempted. We have an individual challenge that each person should be praying for God’s direction. We also have a church challenge that we are in the process of discovering what God would have us to do next in the life of our church.
After turning in over 350 ideas, we next met in four focus group discussions. At the close of these discussions, I asked participants to write down their top 3 choices of the ideas. I wanted to gauge if there was any way to show us that God was building in us something of consensus. I reported those findings Sunday night during our Evening Service.
For the benefit of those who were not able to be with us Sunday, here are the Top 6 items.
- Adopt UL in a greater way than present
- Expand First Baptist Christian School to a High School
- Hold a Traditional Revival Service
- Take Leadership in Hosting an Area-wide Crusade
- Establish a staff position dedicated to Organizing Benevolence or Compassion Ministries
- Establish a Satellite Campus or Second Location of First Baptist Church
As reported on Sunday evening, I have appointed 6 of our staff members to head up Task Forces on each of the 6 ministry initiatives. They will report back to the church on November 2 in our evening worship. Please be in prayer for these teams.