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Conference encourages church leaders with flocks
Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications
April 15, 2011
6 MIN READ TIME

Conference encourages church leaders with flocks

Conference encourages church leaders with flocks
Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications
April 15, 2011

Kevin Turner* is from southern Moldova

and speaks a dialect unique to only certain areas in Moldova

and a few other places in the world. When he became a Christian as an adult,

his heart became burdened to reach his people.

He learned from friends about a particular people group that

spoke his language, a group he had never heard of before, and he began praying

with his family for these people. For three years his family prayed for these

people they had never met.

After that time God led Kevin and his family to leave Moldova

and move to another country in order to minister among this group. Kevin serves

in an area of the country that he described as very plain; a place not

welcoming for tourists. But this is where God led him, and so this is where he

faithfully serves.

BSC photo

Sheep are one of the main livelihoods of some rural Moldovans. A team of North Carolina Baptists led pastors in a conference on taking care of their flocks. See photo gallery.

Kevin works in five communities where he passes out

Christian literature, organizes summer camps for youth, serves among the poor

and seeks to meet people and share with them the gospel.

Before Kevin and his family moved, God used Kevin to make a

difference in three Moldovan villages as a missionary/church planter.

Kevin is temporarily living in Moldova

while he awaits approval to go back to the country in which he is serving.

Kevin said he attended the pastor’s conference sponsored by the Baptist State

Convention (BSC) and the Baptist Union of

Moldova because “discipleship and evangelism are my main task.”

The two-day pastor’s conference was part of the launch of

the BSC’s Great Commission Partnership with Moldova.

The conference featured John Ewart, associate vice president of project

development and director of doctor of ministry studies at Southeastern

Baptist Theological Seminary, speaking on prayer; Allan Blume, pastor of Mount

Vernon Baptist Church

in Boone teaching on disciple-making; and Bobby Welch, strategist for Global

Evangelical Relations for the Southern Baptist Convention, teaching on

evangelism. Welch also preached during the two evangelistic rallies on the

evenings of the pastor’s conference.

“Truly, I received encouragement,” Kevin said. “You can’t

see this very often. It is very rare a conference like this happens.”

Adam Moore,* a 2009 graduate of the Bible

College in Chisinau, also came to

the conference. He said at the conference he was reminded that Jesus Christ is

the head of all things.

The teaching Moore

received at the conference encouraged him to pray and ask God to “change my

heart and vision so that I may have more of your heart and vision.”

Moore is serving

now in a village church in Moldova

that went through a difficult period prior to his coming. Moore

is helping the church as they try to recover, and doing what he went to the Bible

College to do: give His life to God

and serve Him.

Moore received

Jesus Christ as His personal Lord and Savior in 1999 at age 14. He had been

sick with a heart condition (a condition he still struggles with sometimes but

cannot do anything about because he cannot financially afford it) and did not

know what to do. “One day I just said, ‘God, help me,’” Moore said.

One of the hardest aspects of ministry for Moore is dealing

with loneliness. “This conference was the answer for me,” he said, as the

conference provided opportunity for encouragement and fellowship. Moore learned

much from Welch’s teaching on evangelism. Welch encouraged those in attendance

to be motivated to share their faith with others, and to see evangelism as

closely tied with discipleship. “A person can’t claim to be discipling if he

isn’t doing evangelism,” Welch said.

Welch reminded pastors that God’s love compels Christians to

share their faith with others. “It is important for us to be looking for the

lost. You must have a heart for it,” he said.

“If you’re going to motivate others, your own heart has to

be revealed. Let’s face the truth: the reason most of us pastors don’t talk about

our experience in reaching lost people or attempting to reach lost people is

because we don’t have a story to tell.”

Pastors cannot expect to have a story to tell if they are

not praying about that story. In Ewart’s teaching on prayer, he challenged pastors

to pray evangelistically. “If we would pray this way, we would see the world in

a different way,” he said. In other words, Christians would see nonbelievers as

God sees them; as lost and helpless and without a shepherd.

“If you want God to reach Moldova,

then the people of God in Moldova

must be on their face before God,” Ewart said.

Prayer and evangelism are both aspects of discipleship.

As Blume taught on this topic, he reminded pastors that

discipleship really begins with a recognition of God’s grace. “Grace and truth

— those two words separate the Christian religion from all other religions of

the world. Grace is the key to all the Christian disciplines,” Blume said.

As Christians remember that God has freely poured out His

grace on their lives, they will have no other response than to extend grace to

others.

Blume also talked about various models for making disciples.

For example, the Bible calls believers to have the discipline of an athlete as

they prepare for the task of disciple-making. Believers are to have the

dedication of a farmer, working hard but trusting God with results.

Believers are also to have the endurance of a soldier. “The

soldier keeps focus on his responsibility and doesn’t get entangled with other

affairs of this life,” Blume said. “A soldier must be committed to the

long-term. We must endure.”

For partnership information contact Michael Sowers at

[email protected] or call (800) 395-5102, ext. 5654.

*Names changed.

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