Caring for the Lord’s Shepherds

An effective shepherd loves, leads and cares for the flock that God entrusted to him.

But who cares for the shepherd?

I love and appreciate pastors and have a genuine concern for their care. My deep appreciation for pastors is birthed out of three-and-a-half decades of walking in their shoes. I’ve been there, done that and was blessed with a lot more than a t-shirt. Continue reading “Caring for the Lord’s Shepherds”

How Much More Can You Stand?

One of the greatest and constant needs of the church since its birth at Pentecost is God-called, Spirit-filled, well-equipped leaders. Are you like me, some days just wondering: How much more can we stand?

Some days it seems our entire culture is wondering the same. How much more can we collectively stand?

Even a half-hearted glance at the news is overwhelming. Culture wars and racial conflict like we’ve not seen in 50 years; political upheaval; riots, lawlessness and constant protests paralyzing many of our nation’s cities; and a lack of social decorum and mutual respect in society but especially within our government. Continue reading “How Much More Can You Stand?”

We Did It Together! Now Let’s Aim Even Higher

Posterity will probably remember 2020 as the “Year of COVID-19.” The negative global impact of the coronavirus pandemic has certainly left its mark on Tennessee, the United States and the rest of the world.

However, I will remember 2020 as the year Tennessee Baptists set a record for generously giving through the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions. We broke the previous giving record last week, and as of this writing, total giving for this year was $1,922,235 with five days remaining in the GOTM year (Sept.-Aug). Everything added to the total in these last few days only extends that historical threshold. Continue reading “We Did It Together! Now Let’s Aim Even Higher”

A Look Back With Gratitude

Ten years.

That’s how long it’s been since Jeanne and I left a beloved pastorate to follow the clear call of God to serve our Tennessee Baptist Convention network of churches. That decision came only after an intense season of prayerfully seeking the Lord’s direction. It was an agonizing time discovering, as best we could, His direction. I had asked the Lord for two things: A clear call and a compelling reason. He provided both.

The call itself was miraculous in its clarity and affirmed through unanimous support from the TBMB Board of Directors, my family, our church and our praying friends. Continue reading “A Look Back With Gratitude”

I Stand for Life, Now More Than Ever

Tennessee state representatives took an important step toward protecting life last week when pro-life legislation passed in both the House and the Senate. The legislative approval makes a way for the bill to move on to Governor Bill Lee, who will probably sign it into law since it closely resembles the pro-life legislation he outlined in January of this year.

The bill includes a “laddered” approach, meaning it offers abortion restrictions from most restrictive to less restrictive. The intent is that if the courts strike down the most restrictive it will then hopefully allow the next tier. The restrictions are defined by the number of weeks into a pregnancy the fetus is. Continue reading “I Stand for Life, Now More Than Ever”

Having an Answer for the ‘Why’ Question

Children have a way of getting to the heart of the matter, don’t they? Their questions come at you unfiltered and often at the most unexpected times. That’s the way my daughters were and that is the way my grandchildren are. Their forthright insight can often catch adults unprepared. Continue reading “Having an Answer for the ‘Why’ Question”

More Change — but the Mission Remains

There are two things about which we can be certain in these uncertain days: God is on His throne sovereignly ruling over the universe, and change seems to be a regular occurrence and comes quickly.

About a year ago I wrote about a change that few Southern Baptists would have ever anticipated. LifeWay Christian Resources sent ripples through denominational life when it announced the closing of its 170 LifeWay Christian Stores and shifting exclusively to online sales.  Continue reading “More Change — but the Mission Remains”

Pastoral Leadership in the COVID-19 Storm

I loved being a pastor. It was my joy and honor to spend 34 years as a pastor in a local church, so obviously I have a special place in my heart for the men who faithfully labor behind the pulpit serving God and His people.

I never saw myself in any other vocational capacity this side of heaven other than in a pastorate serving churches. God had other plans and serving churches has taken a different look. For almost 10 years, it’s been my privilege to lead the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board to serve the 3,200 churches that are part of the network of churches that comprise the Tennessee Baptist Convention. Continue reading “Pastoral Leadership in the COVID-19 Storm”

Worried? Keep Calm and Carry the Gospel

It was 1939. War gathered in the distance as German military might rumbled like a deadly thunderstorm rolling across the open plains. Brits looked toward the horizon and saw dread tumbling their direction. It was inevitable. It was widely accepted that German bombers would darken the sky and rain fury on England’s prominent cities once war began. Tension rose; fear increased. Doom was imminent.

It was then the British Ministry of Information produced posters of what has become one of the world’s most iconic slogans intended to strengthen morale in the face of impending danger.

“Keep Calm and Carry On.” Continue reading “Worried? Keep Calm and Carry the Gospel”

Where Are Recruits for World Conquest?

There is a growing reality that causes me great concern. I’m scanning the horizon looking for the billowing dust of reinforcements charging toward the spiritual battle, but all I see are wisps from the few. Where are the supply of recruits enlisted for world conquest?

Where are the pastors and ministers to shepherd Christ’s bride during these most desperate of days?

Where are the missionaries to carry the gospel to faraway lands?

Increasingly, too many of our pulpits stand vacant rather than filled by a God-called man filled with biblical authority proclaiming Jesus’ all-sufficient death, burial and resurrection on behalf of sinful humanity. Continue reading “Where Are Recruits for World Conquest?”