A few of us were talking this week about what was going on this week at FBC. We agreed that nothing out of our normal schedule was happening this week, but that this was probably the last week of 2014 that we would be able to say that. We have some really busy weeks for the rest of the year.
I do want to say that we are continuing this Sunday with our series on the Minor Prophets. If you are reading the book before you come (which I hope you are), read Zephaniah this week. We are skipping Habakkuk for the time being, but will come back to that book on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
Fall Fest is Wednesday, October 29th! Let me encourage all of our families with children to join us for our Children’s Ministry Fall Fest & Trunk or Treat. Sunday School classes and other groups within our church are gearing up to have games and car trunks filled with candy ready to be given to the boys and girls. We will also have some of the area’s Food Trucks on hand for purchase of food items. The fun happens this coming Wednesday, October 29, between 5-7 p.m.
Did you know that we are hosting the Louisiana Baptist Convention on November 10-11? Every year churches of the Louisiana Baptist Convention meet for several days. Convention business is conducted, but there are lots of other times of worship and inspiration. Please pray for me as I give leadership to this meeting as the LBC president. On Sunday evening, November 9, and Monday, November 10, from 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. the Pastor’s Conference precedes the main convention meeting. Don’t let this title mislead you. Everyone is welcome! This will be our evening worship on November 9. I am counting on you to come. Our choir is singing, and I will be preaching along with Dr. Chuck Kelley, President of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and Fred Lowery, recently retired pastor of FBC, Bossier City. Several have indicated their desire to see our church host a revival. This meeting is a good gauge to see whether we would support with our attendance an extended revival meeting. If you can make it during the day on Monday, November 10, you will be able to hear our current Southern Baptist Convention president, Dr. Ronnie Floyd. Dr. Floyd is scheduled to speak at 10:30 on Monday morning.
As First Baptist Church, Lafayette, church members know, I have challenged our church to do something for God in 2015 that we have never done before now. I realize the risk in this challenge. Some will protest that this could lead to spiritual pride or an unhealthy sense of spiritual growth. I disagree, and would ask you to listen to the sermons of late summer in which I dealt with these matters in the series “Be.” Indeed being comes before doing.
I just believe that we will all grow spiritually as we make a specific commitment to the Lord. What will your commitment be? I hope you are already praying to seek God’s leadership in the matter. I have been hesitant to recommend ideas, because I want your commitment to come from God. However, if you are struggling to find your place of commitment, I do want to offer suggestions.
Let me start with the suggestion of starting where you are. This is different for all of us. For example, if you have never read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, that could be your commitment. If you are not in a Sunday School class, that could be your commitment. If you have never learned to share your faith, you could become part of our FAITH classes. Some of you need to go on a mission trip. Some of you could volunteer at one of the local benevolence ministries. I actually think the list of opportunities is endless.
On Sunday morning, December, 7, you will have the opportunity to make your commitment as an offering to the Lord in a special time of commitment.
If you are not a member of First Baptist Church, we would be honored for you to join us in this endeavor to “Do Something.”
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!