On September 7, 2003, Boone’s Creek Baptist Church called a 31-year-old young man who had yet to graduate with his MDiv to be their pastor. That young man was me. Now, on the threshold of my 36th birthday, as well as the beginning of my fifth year of ministry at Boone’s Creek, I would like to share with you what I see as some of the good points as well as my shortcomings:
- Centrality of the Word of God: I preach expositionally through the Scriptures. Thus far, we have covered the books of Mark (two years), Acts (1 year), Psalms (every one of the them! — took three years), Nehemiah (eight weeks), Ephesians (19 weeks), 1 & 2 Peter, Jude, Romans 8 (seven-week sermon series); Great Commission (four sermons), 2 Corinthians 4 and 5 (2 sermons).
- Missions work: we have made three missions trips to Trinidad, one trip to New Orleans, plus various missions work in our area. Plus, we are about to have our second missions conference this month.
- Strengthened online ministry: with our updated website, the posting of sermons as well as our podcasts, we are attracting a number of visitors to our church. Those who are looking for a church do their homework now. They want to know about the beliefs and activities of the church — that way, when they come to visit they just want to see if the love of Christ is evident.
- Influx of college students: through our website ministry, some hungry college students who desired to hear expository preaching and to find a church that did love them in Christ. Soon, 30+ college students began attending our church. We had prayed for a college ministry — and God just provided some of the most spiritually mature students anyone could imagine. I’m thankful for Doug and Mindy Yates for coordinating the activities of the ministry as well as Ron and Darlene Thomas for their Sunday School leadership in this area.
- Visitation Ministry: This area has been quite spotty for me. We would start, then it would lag. Then we’d start up again, then would lag. The big reason for this is my neglect in delegating others to help me in this area. We are having a Contact and Connect Kickoff on Monday, October 1st and will continue with some evangelistic and discipleship training with the terrific resource Two Ways to Live.
- Encouraging Inactive Members to Attend: Repeatedly, I tell my people that the biggest surprise I had as a young pastor was encouraging those who were members of our church to actually attend our services. Some just got out of the habit, but they know they need to come — the majority of inactive members just won’t. We will have to address the nature of church membership in the very near future. In the meantime, we shall pray that they will begin to see the responsibility and privilege that comes with connecting with a local church.
- Encouraging Faithful Members and Attendees to Find Their Spiritual Gift So They May Exercise It in Service to the Lord. ‘Nuff said.
- Equipping the Saints to Do the Work of the Ministry. It is my responsibility to train the deacons, Sunday School teachers, my staff, children’s workers and other leaders in the church to do what they have been called to do. I used to assume that they just knew what to do. I found out that many are just doing what they seen others do and others simply just try to get by. As a result, burnout occurs. Pray for me that I do better in this area.
There are other challenges, for sure. If you are a pastor, share with our readership some of our high points and challenges you have as pastors. That way, we can come alongside you and pray for you.
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