The 2017 Fall Meeting was held at Harvest Baptist Church in Savannah, MO, with Pastor Greg McCurley hosting.
First service (Monday evening)
Speaker: Pastor Bill Marshall (Bible Baptist Temple, St. Joseph, MO)
Title: “Suffering: Is There a Purpose for It?”
Text: Romans 8:15-29
Summary: Christianity is not a fun thing. Though salvation is the greatest gift we can experience, it is not meant to immediately rid us of all of our problems. One of God’s purposes in salvation is to conform us to the image of His Son, and that conforming is often an uncomfortable process. The goal of it all is Christlikeness: and that goal involves suffering.
The suffering of God’s people is a biblical reality. Egypt, exile, and Acts are reminders of this. Even Paul’s situation writing this letter is a testimony to the fact that God’s people will experience suffering in this life. So, we are to expect suffering.
And when we suffer there is something we can know. Though there are many things Christians don’t know, the purpose for suffering ought not to be one of those things. We know that all things (suffering) work together for good (the goal of Christlikeness). If we know this, why do we fight so hard against God’s conforming process?
How do you see your suffering? Do you attribute it to bad luck, or random chance? Just because we don’t know or can’t see why God allows something specifically, does not mean we should stop trusting him. Job never knew the reasons behind his suffering, but he found God in the midst of it. Suffering it inevitable, but misery is optional.
The goal of the Christian life is Christlikeness, but the process that gets us to that goal involves suffering. Be committed to God’s process. The afflictions are temporary, but the rewards are eternal.
Second Service (Tuesday morning)
Speaker: Pastor Jim Mackey (Bible Baptist Church, Cameron, MO)
Title: “Bringing People to Church”
Text: Luke 14:15-24
Summary: The text reminds us that God wants people to come to Him. He is interested in saving sinners. If this is God’s desire, then God’s people should realize that God expects them to bring people to church. The place where they will hear how to come to God is the place where the gospel is preached. If God is interested in people, we should be as well.
Some are concerned that if we make a big deal about bringing people in, we will look obsessed with numbers. But is it wrong to care about numbers? Numbers represent souls. God loves souls. Jesus was sent to die on the cross for souls. If you care about souls, you will care about how many souls you and your church are reaching.
God wants His house to be filled. We should attempt to do that with whatever is necessary. One of the ways to bring people to church that has been neglected as of late is through the bus ministry. Why has this been looked down on? Sometimes in ministry, we get busy doing so many different things, that we forget about the most important things. One of those important things is seeking the salvation of children.
Mark 10:13 reminds us that Jesus was concerned (and is concerned) about children. Jesus was upset because people were trying to keep children away from him. In what must have been shocking to them, Jesus declared that they could not even understand the kingdom of God unless they came to him as children. Children are not just welcome in God’s house, their simple faith in the gospel helps everyone else to see the kingdom of God. How can you understand the kingdom of God if you do not seek to bring children to church?
Most people that are lost will not necessarily come to us. We need to go to them. The field doesn’t come to the laboureres: the laborers must enter the field. If you don’t enter the field, you will never bring in a harvest.
Third Service (Tuesday morning)
Speaker: Pastor Ben Moore (Valley Avenue Baptist Church, Falls City, Nebraska)
Title: “Dealing with Stress”
Text: 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Summary: Ministry brings difficulties. When difficulties are mishandled, they bring stress. Stress is a dangerous thing in our world. Chronic stress is common, and is connected to heart disease, cancer, and suicide. More than 75% of all physician visits are stress-related.
As pastors, why do we get stressed? Stress comes when we take problems into our own hands.
To counter, stress, we must firmly rely on God’s power in our ministry.