November 2016 Mind of the Missionary

In a few days we get to cast votes for public officials. As I see it my most significant vote will be for Superintendent of Education. Developing a strong vocational education program will benefit our children, our communities and our churches.

The presidential debates have been of interest to me as a theologian. The candidates have focused on accusing the other on breaking one, or more, of the Ten Commandments – six, seven, nine, and ten. Missing is attention to the teaching that the life that pleases God begins with adhering to the first four – those about honoring and serving God. Apparently. It is unlikely that a person will do well at keeping the Commandments concerning interpersonal relationships, if he/she does not keep the first four. Certainly, keeping the first four is not very popular, or well supported, in our culture. While one hears calls for God to bless our nation, few appear to be concerned about knowing and doing His will. God’s blessings are conditional.

Later in November we will celebrate Thanksgiving. Our nation needs to ask itself to whom are we giving thanks – Washington, ourselves, fate, or the God of history. Thanks for what, to whom are questions we must ask. And then there is Christmas and its core meaning.

I have begun the process of interviewing the pastor and leaders of each of our churches concerning their vision for their church and how the association can help facilitate it going forward. This will inform the re-structuring of the association. Will keep you posted.

Thanks to Flatwoods and Mineral Springs for hosting our associational annual meeting earlier this month. They both did very well. The offering for the Children’s Home was $521. The offering for ALCAP was $384. Jordan Lollar did a great job with the introduction sermon. And so did N.C. with the mission sermon.

Thanks to our volunteers who manned the bouncers at the Face in the Window celebration. One of only two free things at the event. Scores of children had a great time. And thanks to the ladies who sold gift items to raise funds to support our ministry in the prison.

Some of you will get to read this on the final day of our Pickens Gospel Celebration. Pray. Attend. Bring the lost.

We will be working to re-activate our Bible classes here at the associational office in January. The first class will be on pastoring a bivocational church. We need 10 students to offer the class.

During the annual meeting I spoke on the history of 200 years of the Gospel Light being in Pickens County – its planting, the establishment of churches, adjustments to changes in the economy, transportation, communication, worship styles and where people dwelt. We also dealt with the association being mostly an annual event to being a 365 day organization led by an associational missionary. We celebrated the fact that 26 persons from our association have served Southern Baptists as international missionaries. And we launched a process of considering how best we can continue the work going forward.


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