Keys to Worship Renewal – Pt. 1: What Is Worship? And How Is It Renewed?

One of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board’s five core objectives is to see at least 500 churches revitalized by the year 2024. Because I believe renewed worship fuels revitalized churches, my passion is to help the local church deepen its understanding and practice of worship. With this goal in mind, I’d like to share a brief series of articles I’ve entitled “Keys to Worship Renewal.” I pray these articles serve as a springboard to healthy worship discussions and encourage worship renewal across Tennessee.


We Baptists love to talk about worship. And, if we’re honest, our conversations usually focus on stylistic issues — especially musical style.

Traditional or contemporary? Choir or worship team? Pipe organ or electric guitar? Sometimes we even use these discussions to cast blame on musical style for plateaued, declining, or dying churches.

If we begin our worship chats on the topic of style, however, we are starting in the wrong place. Continue reading “Keys to Worship Renewal – Pt. 1: What Is Worship? And How Is It Renewed?”

Showing the Way to Finishing Well

Don Cobb

One of the mixed blessings of being a pastor is presiding or participating in funerals, especially those of Christian friends. On the one hand there is sadness for the loss of family members and friends; on the other there is the celebration knowing those individuals “see in full” as the Apostle Paul writes. They have arrived safely into the arms of Jesus. They’re home.

Doug Sager

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the joy and high honor of participating in the funerals of two gentlemen leaders and choice servants of God — pastors Don Cobb and Doug Sager. Both these men exemplified what it means to love God and love people. They set the bar high for pastoral ministry while demonstrating the highest level of humility. Both had a passion to see people come to saving faith in Jesus. Both demonstrated what we can be when we walk with God and submit to His leadership every day, every week, every month, every year, year-after-year until Jesus calls us home. Both men left legacies whose ripple effects will reap a Kingdom harvest for years to come. They’ve shown us how to finish well. Continue reading “Showing the Way to Finishing Well”

The Value of Learning Communities in Church Revitalization

Too often in the church revitalization process, church leaders attempt what I call the “Lone Ranger” approach. They attempt to lead their church through a difficult process, one that they probably have never been through before, without the benefit of a group of peers. This is where Learning Communities can be helpful.

A Learning Community is a group of people who share common goals and who meet regularly to collaborate and learn from one another. As we introduced Learning Communities among church leaders who were involved in the Church Revitalization Process, it was important to make some clarifications and distinctions: Continue reading “The Value of Learning Communities in Church Revitalization”

In Pursuit of the Perfect Pastor

Let me go ahead and say it: Pastors aren’t perfect.

Surely that isn’t new information for anyone, but I can almost hear you saying, “Well thanks for that news flash Captain Obvious.” But let me ask, if we already know that why do we expect different from our pastors?

Ironically, I’m not just talking to the dear brothers and sisters who gather each week in our pews. I’m also talking to the men who stand in the pulpit in front of those pews. Both groups know the truth yet too often live in the world of unmet expectations rather than reality.

I’ve obviously been a member of both the pew and pulpit groups and I know any pastor worth his salt has a high expectation of himself. He wants to serve the Lord and the Lord’s people well. He feels the responsibility of being God’s shepherd. Every pastor wants his church to thrive, grow, love the spiritually lost, and love each other. He wants to lead an evangelistic and financially generous church. Every pastor wants to succeed; no pastor plans to fail. Continue reading “In Pursuit of the Perfect Pastor”

Does Prayer Still Change Things?

By Randy C. Davis
TBMB President & Executive Director

“… That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words” (Colossians 2:2-4).

London was overrun with orphaned children in the 1830s. Children lived on the streets and those that found shelter often found themselves in squalid conditions subject to harsh treatment by adults who viewed the children as slave labor. It was an abusive, graceless, and dangerous environment. Continue reading “Does Prayer Still Change Things?”

Christmas and God’s Faithfulness

Aren’t you glad it is Christmas? You can settle into your favorite chair by the fire, watch the twinkling lights on the tree, and sip hot chocolate from your favorite Christmas mug. Finally, you can breathe, just breathe, as you enjoy a quiet reflective moment in the stillness of your own home.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure you just chuckled when you read that and grunted, “Sure must be nice.” To be honest, that’s not really the way it is around my house either. For most of us, it seems life’s accelerator gets stuck to the floor the week of Thanksgiving and stays wide open until we coast into the first week of the new year, running on the fumes of exhaustion. It takes a couple weeks of January just to recover from the holidays! Continue reading “Christmas and God’s Faithfulness”

This Could Be Our Finest Hour

On Feb. 18, 1952, the S.S. Pendleton was caught in a brutal winter storm generating 60-foot waves that slammed into the 500-foot tanker. The seas became so intense that it split the ship in two. The captain and six others were in the forward part of the ship; the other 32 in the aft as the two sections began drifting apart.

When the distress call came into the Coast Guard station, the station’s commander turned to a 24-year-old Bernie Webber and told him to take a boat out and attempt a rescue. Webber asked for volunteers who would go. Three other men, all younger than Webber, quickly stepped forward. Continue reading “This Could Be Our Finest Hour”

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”