Is our feeling about the word “Baptist” a reality? Is it true that most unchurched people out there have negative feelings toward the word “Baptist”? Has it really become dirty word? I don’t want there to be any obstacles to our ability to proclaim the gospel. But I also don’t want to make a change based on untrue perceptions, insecure feelings, or fear.
Our culture at large gives renown and praise to celebrities for who they are, what they have accomplished, and the things they have produced. We taught that if you want your life to matter, you have to have people pay attention.
In our culture, we call a group of people who care for one-another a community. Broken families, codependent relationships, and an epidemic of loneliness have created a ravenous hunger for community in this generation. This is what we long for in and outside of the church. Community has become something we consume to meet our needs, not an act of loving others.
Even though the life of a pastor is hectic, it’s likely that educating leaders in your church to use the Bible well is high on your priority list. However, with a busy schedule and a focus on developing elders, pastors sometimes overlook the training of women. Or perhaps they want to train them, but they’re not sure how. Either way, women likely fill more than half of the seats in your church and want to handle the Word of God correctly, so their training is essential.
What would you say to a budding missionary candidate? I have a close friend who is a veteran pastor, missionary, and now a member care director in the city in which I serve. He says there has been a surge of young adults in recent years who have landed on the field, enthusiastic to redeem the city and bring justice to the oppressed. But they do not stay longer than two years due to exhaustion, dejection, and even loss of faith.