Five and a half years ago I preached my first sermon as the pastor of Mount Vernon Baptist Church. The minister of music stopped me before the service with a question. He wanted to know how I’d be making the altar call.
I had been a pastor for just a few months when a faithful church member sought me out to discuss the use of media in the services. He had led previous pastors to incorporate video and sound clips, and he wanted to be of help to me. He started off with a question kind of like this:
“So, what do you think about movie clips in the services?”
Choosing songs to sing in corporate worship is tricky business. Everyone in the church seems to have an opinion. How then should a pastor or team of elders select music that glorifies God and serves the body?
What makes for a good elders retreat? The elders at the church I serve just had our first retreat, and it was pretty simple. We spent Monday and Tuesday in town but not at the church. On Monday we met from 9 through 4:30. Tuesday we met from 9 through dinner that evening. We would have liked to go away overnight, and probably will sometime, but we couldn't get that worked out, and it was better to meet sooner than wait until we could get away overnight.
I first read Knowing God in 1994. It was a real eye-opener. It was the first book on theology that I had been introduced to, but it was written with the expectation that if I truly grasped it, my love and passion for God would increase. God used this book to increase my hunger for the Bible. I was reminded of this experience when I gathered this morning with a small group and we began working through it.
I like the seven hopes of the pastors. At MVBC we also have a four-week class for people interested in membership. Much like you set the stage with those seven hopes, we begin with a couple principles that are biblical and essential for church life.
When many people answer that question they point to the fact that the Bible makes sense to them. It makes sense of the life they live and of the lives they see others live. We live in a world full of wickedness. That is clear. The Bible has an explanation for that. We also live in a world full of beauty. The Bible has an explanation for this, too.
I'm in Wake Forest, NC at the annual 9 Marks conference at Southeastern Seminary. This is the second year so the topic is mark #2, Biblical Theology. The first talk was an overview of the entire Bible delivered by Mark Dever. Thabiti Anyabwile was up next and he expounded Romans 9. Finally, David Platt spoke from Isaiah 6 and 53. Saturday we will hear from Danny Akin and Matt Chandler.