Meador points Baptist leaders to focus on ‘the fields’comment (0)
June 19, 2014
It begins with a man, and pastors must be that man who will “get in the field” and evangelize by example among hurting people who need the gospel, Texas pastor John Meador urged in the convention sermon during the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting.
Noting the poverty of pastors he met in 2013 in India who were being faithful amid persecution, Meador pleaded with pastors not to squander their usefulness in God’s kingdom amid a culture where Christian influence has waned with a lack of gospel proclamation.
Meador, pastor of First Baptist Church, Euless, Texas, spoke to messengers June 11 citing the 1 Chronicles 11:11–14 account of David’s three mighty men who were peerless in their courage against the Philistines. Meador said their faithfulness came in a “small, obscure field.”
“The field was of little value materially. This was more a matter of principle for these men, because this was God’s field and the enemy was encroaching upon it. ... To abandon this field was to abandon more than a field; it was to abandon a nation and a kingdom.”
The Old Testament battlefields parallel the New Testament fields of harvest that inspired the apostles to “turn the world upside down,” Meador said, noting “there is a high-stakes battle” for souls.
The men recognized three things: their responsibility, the encroachment of evil by the Philistines and that God was on their side, Meador pointed out.
“It’s not unlike the storyline that we read all the way through the Bible. This is the story of Abraham, Moses and Joshua. It’s the story of Gideon and Joseph and Daniel, David as he faced Goliath. ... In Hebrews 11 it is those few who have recognized their responsibility.”
The three men knew that if they left, the battle was lost, Meador said. “The application for the present day is going to be about the gospel, because that’s the war we’re in, that’s the battle we face.”
Meador recounted how his dad got him a job working on a peanut farm in Oklahoma as a teenager. Looking over the long rows of overturned dirt and a pile of hoes on his first day, Meador asked the foreman what he should do.
“‘Grab a hoe. Pick a row. It’s that simple,’” the foreman told him. “It’s about the fields,” Meador said.
He emphasized that his sermon was not primarily about a convention of 45,000 churches or an organization but about pastoral leadership.
“It’s about the man. And not just any man but the specific man God has called to be a strong soldier.”
Meador closed by calling pastors to “die on that hill now, get in that field now,” and in calling people to the platform in prayer seeking a movement of God.
“Give us the revival that obedience brings,” Meador prayed.