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Three Reasons Why You Need the Summit

Summit 2017 at FBC Hendersonville, Nov. 12-15.

I loved family reunions when I was growing up. Those reunions always landed on or near my Grandpa Davis’ birthday. My Grandpa Davis was my hero. He and Granny Davis were faithful saints and I loved them dearly. Granny Davis was the greatest prayer warrior I’ve ever known, and Grandpa Davis served as treasurer at Little Escambia (Ala.) Baptist Church for over 40 years.

I remember that nearly 100 kinfolks would show up and pack out the church. Afterwards, we’d head to Granny’s and Grandpa’s small house for dinner-on-the-grounds. It was always a blast seeing cousins, aunts and uncles I only got to see once a year. Continue reading “Three Reasons Why You Need the Summit”

It’s Time for Tennessee to Beat ‘Bama

It’s time.

I’m ready for Tennessee to beat ’Bama.

Wow. I can practically hear a resounding, “AMEN!” from across the state. And I hate to say it, but it’s been a while since the Vols beat the Tide and that’s a streak I know Vol fans would love to see come to an end. Continue reading “It’s Time for Tennessee to Beat ‘Bama”

Any Way You Slice It

Any way you slice it, it was a record-setting year for the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions.

The first record broken came in June when the generous giving of Tennessee Baptists blew past the previous all-time high given to GOTM, which had been more than $1.7 million dollars.

The second record broken was a final 2016-2017 total of nearly $1.85 million, moving the bar to an all-time high for missions giving in our state.  Continue reading “Any Way You Slice It”

Church, Fall and Evangelism

Fall is upon us. The smell in the air and the cool breeze mark a new season for us all. What a great time to make the most important thing … the most important thing.  How do we sew into the fabric of our ministry/church the earnest desire to be more evangelistic?  Here are a few opportunities:

1. Football is in the air.  Nothing excites a community like their local football team. Did you know that the football team is often operated with less funds and assistance that they actually need? Here is how you can help ... (a) pray for the coaches and players (b) call the coaching staff to see if your church can cook for the team or at least the coaching staff (c) create a “fan item” (with church info) to be handed out at the game. Continue reading “Church, Fall and Evangelism”

Leadership Lessons Learned from Backpacking

Lessons can be learned from many of life’s endeavors, but I’ve found backpacking seems to offer more than its fair share of learning opportunities. Who knows, maybe the mind is distracted by productive thinking while trying to avoid questioning one’s own sanity in lugging a 40-pound pack around the woods.

Recently, my teenaged daughter and I shuffled off to the boonies. This was her first backcountry backpacking experience so she was on a steep learning curve. Somewhere along the journey I realized there are numerous leadership lessons that can be drawn from our experience. Here are 10 takeaways for leaders that certainly relate to guiding others and leading organizations. Continue reading “Leadership Lessons Learned from Backpacking”

Is Ministry Your Mushroom?

A strange phenomenon happened in the Pacific Northwest. Large patches of trees were dying in an Oregon forest. Scientists determined the problem was a single breed of mushroom that covered 2,384 acres, about the size of 1,600 soccer fields.

Apparently the white tentacles of the mushroom wrapped around root systems and tree trunks and robbed the trees of nutrients, carbohydrates, and water. In other words, the mushrooms choked the trees to death. 

Is ministry your mushroom? I talk to ministers every week who relate to the trees. While everything looks okay on the surface, hidden stressors suck the life out of them. Left unchecked, the consequences are disastrous. For instance, according to multiple surveys … Continue reading “Is Ministry Your Mushroom?”

The Evangelistic Metric and Measurement Assessment Scale

How to Measure an Evangelistic Disciple-Making Program/Process

When considering an evangelism method, a measuring tool will add objectivity.  Whether you are considering a new or repeated method, a measuring tool is necessary.  The Evangelistic Metric and Measurement Assessment Scale (EMMA) Scale is a value rubric for prediscipleship programs. The rubric measures the value of considered evangelistic programs and processes.  The purpose of the measuring value is to assess if the necessary evangelistic elements are present in the program. The rubric consists of two processes: (1) a pre-program measurement, (2) and a post-program measurement. Continue reading “The Evangelistic Metric and Measurement Assessment Scale”

Barely Making It, but Finishing Well

It wasn’t too long ago that the idea of hockey catching on in the South was laughable. Well, nobody is laughing now. The hysteria surrounding the Nashville Predators has boiled beyond Middle Tennessee and it’s been interesting to hear comments and see Facebook posts from around the state supporting the Preds. No question about it; Nashville is definitely a hockey town.

There wasn’t an abundance of hockey to watch growing up on the Alabama Gulf Coast so needless to say; hockey really wasn’t on my radar until a few years ago when Jeanne and I were given tickets to attend a Predators game. We knew zilch, nada, nothing about the game, but we had a blast. The energy, excitement and the quickness were amazing. And the way those guys cross checked each other; I cringed with every hit. I was a little concerned by how much my sweet, godly wife loved hockey! Needless to say, we’ve been Preds fans ever since.  Continue reading “Barely Making It, but Finishing Well”

Pausing for Poignant Moments

There are moments in life that are so obviously important that they need not scream to be recognized. The magnitude of their presence halts the daily hustle and quietly demands that we notice, and reflect, and determine that the nostalgic moment becomes a prelude to something greater.

I believe God has granted to Tennessee Baptists such a poignant moment and we must pause to understand its significance to our past, but more importantly, to our future.

Last Monday (May 22) the staff of your Tennessee Baptist Mission Board walked into the new Church Support Center, marking the end of what amounted to a 10-year pilgrimage. Relocation was an arduous process, but one in which God graciously led us to build a beautiful building in a strategic location in Franklin, repeating the grace we believe He extended to our Tennessee Baptist predecessors when He led them to building in Brentwood in the 1960s. The 45-year increase in the value of that property provided the possibility of Monday’s moment. Continue reading “Pausing for Poignant Moments”

The Impact of an Orphan

Wilkerson V. Jones would’ve turned 100 this coming July 4th. He was well known all over Mobile, Ala. It seemed as if he knew everybody and everybody knew him.

He is a member of the Mobile Sports Hall of Fame, was active in his church, and was tall, handsome and distinguished. A southern gentleman in every way, married to the same woman for well over half a century, and together with Ms. Juanita, they raised nine children.

I had few personal encouragers like Mr. Jones. It seemed as if no one was more interested in the church I was pastoring in Tennessee than this man in Alabama. He read everything I wrote and provided feedback, whether I asked for it or not. He examined every word of the church newsletter and even called me one day and asked what “bulk rate” meant. Continue reading “The Impact of an Orphan”