Easter Gratitude

 

Easter weekend at Olive was a God-honoring time of worship. People were saved, baptized, added to the church family and encouraged. We simply could not have pulled it off without the scores of people who did their job.

Thank you, deacons, for putting together a fabulous Lord’s Supper service on Friday night.
Thank you, preschool staff and volunteers, for caring for hundreds of children.
Thank you, music ministry, for soul stirring worship.
Thank you, greeters and ushers, for moving the people to their places for worship.
Thank you, parking lot volunteers, for getting us on and off the campus.
Thank you, housekeeping staff, for taking care of the physical plant.
Thank you, baptismal team, for assisting the people making this step of faith.

Thank you, LORD JESUS, for resurrection!

Exciting Days Ahead at Olive!

Yesterday was a historic day in the life of Olive. At 4pm, we signed the merger agreement with Warrington Baptist Church. In weeks to come we will replant a Gospel work in the facilities of WBC.

Many weeks ago, I entered into a dialogue with members at Warrington. This was at their request. We talked about various avenues for their future. We made the choice to merger, with the result that WBC corporation would dissolve and all members and physical assets of the ministry would become a part of Olive. In turn, OBC assumes liability and responsibility for the ministry going forward.

Now what?

I feel a lot like I did before my first sermon. Never have done this before. However, Olive now has a staff member who has navigated these waters with success and growth. God sent Shaun Pillay to us right on time. But he has never done this in the South, but he is ready to embrace these challenges. His expertise is vital as we move forward in this endeavor.

Bottom line: God has opened a door for a rebirth of a ministry opportunity in a strategic location. This was a part of our Vision25 dream.

Here are some next steps:

1. Pray
2. Walk and drive in Warrington and pray
3. Some Olive members will go to OBC West in Warrington as core group members
4. Mark May 28 on your calendar, as we will have our evening service at Warrington.
5. Summer will bring many ministry opportunities.

What part will God have you do?

Together we can!

Engaging the Next Generation Leaders

I remember being in a hotel room at the Southern Baptist Convention with several bigtime leaders. Here were the men of the conservative resurgence talking and praying about the coming decisions. I was just a kid. Not a word came from my mouth as I watched, listened and learned.

Why was I there? My friend Dr. Morris Chapman invited me. He was my field supervisor on my doctoral work. He was discipling me on SBC matters. In one-on-one conversations, we talked about church stuff. And that included the work of the denomination.

There is always a need for this kind of mentoring in the church. Older leaders teaching younger leaders is vital. I am glad to see the North American Mission Board and the Executive Committee taking action in this realm. They are calling it the Young Leaders Initiative. Dr. Jonathan Akin has been hired to help lead the way.

The goals are two fold for the initiative.

1. Provide a sense of brotherhood for young leaders involved in the SBC.
2. Find ways to engage the disconnected and minimally involved.

This sounds like a wonderful idea to me. A large number of baby boomer pastors will retire in the next 10-15 years. Young leaders need to be invited to the dialogue.

Denominational programs can be extremely helpful. However, the best way for this to happen is organically. People like Morris Chapman needed to talk to people like me. Morris is retired now, so it is my turn.

What is it I need to do?
• Encourage Jonathan Akin
• Spend time with younger pastors
• Talk openly about the denomination with young leaders
• Support the Cooperative Program and sell its benefits
• Pray with young leaders in my geographic region
• Go to an associational event from time to time
• Find out where the young leaders gather and be a part
• Encourage a young leader to visit a retired pastor

Be assured Dr. Akin is on my prayer list as he moves forward with this exciting, vital mission.