SBC Pastors Conference challenges participants to taste glory of Godcomment (0)
June 19, 2014
Twenty-five attributes of God — that is what Alabama pastor David Platt shared with those attending the 2014 Southern Baptist Pastors Conference. Platt said the goal of the sermon, drawn from Psalm 68, was to help pastors “get a glimpse of God’s glory.”
Platt, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham, shared the awe-invoking character and activity of God as he closed out the Sunday evening session in Baltimore, Md., on June 8.
Pastors, churches and the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) must catch a glimpse of God’s glory to fuel their mission, speakers said during the June 8–9 annual conference that precedes the SBC annual meeting. This year’s theme was “Show Us Your Glory,” pulling from Moses’ prayer in Exodus 33.
Platt noted that God is active, cares for the weak, holds sovereignty over nature and nations, carries burdens, saves His people and deserves praise throughout the earth.
Beholding the glory of God, Platt said, should drive Christians to stand in awe of Him and to give their lives to His mission.
“May it be said of you and me, of the churches we lead, and this convention that we ... were men and women who loved the glory of God more than we loved our own lives,” he said.
Ronnie Floyd, pastor of the five-campus Cross Church in Northwest Arkansas, shared from Exodus 33 during the Pastors Conference.
Floyd used Moses’ frequent communication with God on Mount Sinai “as a man talks to his friend” to show how pastors must seek the glory of God in their lives.
Exodus, with its record of Moses’ interactions with God, could rightly be viewed as a chronicle of Moses’ prayer life, Floyd noted.
Moses regularly practiced going up to talk with God; he demonstrated extraordinary prayer; only then could Moses lead forward.
“There is no extraordinary move of God that ever occurs that is not first preceded by the extraordinary prayer of God’s people,” Floyd said.
Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, Calif., spoke Monday evening about suffering. His message came a little more than a year after his son, Matthew, committed suicide.
Warren kept his remarks brief, saying that, though he had prepared a full message on suffering, a whisper from the Holy Spirit guided him in another direction during his flight to Baltimore.
“The Holy Spirit whispered to me, ‘The people and the pastors need your prayers more than they need your sermon,’” Warren said.
After speaking for about 15 minutes about suffering, Warren called for those who were in the midst of suffering to walk to the front, where he knelt and prayed for them. Warren asked the Lord to use the suffering in their lives to make them more like Christ and to better enable them to minister and witness.
Before the prayer, Warren told the participants that suffering, though entwined with sorrow and grief, can be and is used by God to accomplish His purposes.
Going up the mountaintop
In an emotional conclusion to the Pastors Conference, Francis Chan, author, speaker and former pastor of Cornerstone Community Church, Simi Valley, Calif., passionately called participants to “not be content to hear Moses” instead of going up the mountaintop themselves.
“Movements start when founders really know God, but movements die when the followers only know the founder,” Chan said.
Participants elected the following officers to lead the 2015 Pastors Conference in Columbus, Ohio: Willie Rice, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, Clearwater, Fla., president; Jeremy Westbrook, pastor of Living Hope Church, Marysville, Ohio, vice president; and Drew Landry, pastor of Spotswood Baptist Church, Fredericksburg, Va., treasurer.