Micah Fries serves as senior pastor of Brainerd Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tenn., and is a frequent church and conference speaker.
Fries will be speaking at the 2017 N.C. Baptist Disciple-Making Conference on Feb. 27 at Center Grove Baptist Church in Clemmons. He will also be participating in a disciple-making panel discussion at the event.
Fries recently took time to answer some questions that provide a preview of what he’ll be sharing at the conference.
Q: As a pastor, how do you balance the demands of ministry while maintaining a commitment to personal disciple-making?_ÑŒ
A: I assume that personal disciple-making is part of the demands of ministry. I think Ephesians 4 outlines for pastors an expectation that they be personally invested in developing others. I consider myself to be failing if I’m not personally helping to disciple others.
Q: What role do relationships and community play in the disciple-making process?_ÑŒ
A: I think relationships and community are the primary ways we are discipled. I think a western culture/mindset is the only place where we might assume that discipleship can happen outside of community. I think the church, in particular, is both the explicit and implicit model for making disciples across the New Testament.
We sometimes hear people say things like, “I love Jesus, just not the church.” Or, “I can worship God on my own.” How would you respond to such statements, and how do those types of sentiments hinder disciple-making?_ÑŒ
I would say that they are shaped more by western culture than they are by biblical Christianity. There is no concept in scripture of Christians who grow apart from the local church. It is completely outside the bounds of the biblical record.
Q: We’re excited to have you at this year’s Disciple-Making Conference. What do you hope attendees might take away from your presentation?_ÑŒ
A: More than anything, I want pastors and church leaders to rethink their understanding of personal disciple-making. I want them to understand that doing ministry is not our vocational responsibility but is instead our familial responsibility, and that developing others is our vocational responsibility.
About the conference
When: Feb. 27
Where: Center Grove Baptist Church in Clemmons
Cost: Free to attend, but registration is required
Lunch: $7 lunch option is available