Theme emphasizes discipleship
Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor
November 18, 2010

Theme emphasizes discipleship

Theme emphasizes discipleship
Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor
November 18, 2010

Building on the evangelism

emphasis of last year, this year’s e3.2 theme at the Baptist State Convention

(BSC) focuses on discipleship — encountering God, embracing Christ, expanding

the kingdom.

Four speakers shared about

the discipleship emphasis:

Bruce Frank, pastor of

Biltmore Baptist Church, Arden.

People want honest,

authentic encounters, Frank said. His move from a tropical climate to the

mountains around Asheville exposed him to new challenges.

While he admits he’d like to

stay some mornings in his toasty bed, “I get up ‘cause I’ve got kids that need

breakfast,” he said. “I get up because I have responsibilities.”

Too often pastors and even

lay people get comfortable.

“We’ve got to get out of

that warm spot,” he said. “God’s got great plans for you.”

People who are different are

not the enemy. “They are our mission field,” Frank said. “When I read my Bible

these are the people (Jesus) died for.”

Only the grace of God has

saved Frank from the same fate.

Bruce Martin, pastor of

Village Baptist Church, Fayetteville.

People being engulfed by

storm cried out to Jesus in the boat.

“The gates of hell are as

wide open as they’ve every been in history,” Martin said. “A torrent of filth

has been spewed. Evil has a freedom in America that it has never had before.”

What do we do?

Martin wondered if Jesus is

taking a nap “waiting for His people to cry out.”

Ryan Pack, pastor of First

Baptist Church, Hendersonville.

Seeing the banners

displaying the words of the BSC’s theme “should energize us.”

What would it mean for

people in the community to embrace Christ? “I get all excited,” Pack said.

But how is it going to

happen? Better programming? Better worship? Neither.

But Pack said to turn to

Eph. 3:20-21 and focus on who is able.

“We may not be able to pull

off certain things,” Pack said, “but we serve the One who is able.”

The phrase, “now to him who

is able,” comforts Pack.

“I am convicted by that

first phrase,” he said. “Friends so often we strut around like we are able. God

will not move until we turn our ability over to Him and off of our shoulders.”

Whatever the grandest scheme

you can concoct for ministry is “rubbish compared to what God wants to do.”

People should base “every

ounce of ministry on His ability.”

God’s power should be

flowing out of His people.

“It’s not about my ability

as a pastor to pull things off,” Pack said, “not because we’re trained enough

(or) good enough but because of God’s grace.”

Mike Cummings, director of

missions of Burnt Swamp Baptist Association.

Discipling believers is a challenging


“The concept has to be

bought into by the churches,” said Cummings, who pointed out that with more

than 16 million members, Southern Baptists don’t know where around 60 percent

of its members are on a given Sunday.

“It’s not an encouraging

picture at all when you look at our denomination,” Cummings said about the lack

of nourishment of a steady diet of God’s word and fellowship with believers.

A main problem is the

assumptions or presuppositions made about believers

Cummings fears that North

Carolina Baptists may “not have as regenerate church membership as we think we


Some leaders are discipling

people who don’t have a certainty about being saved.

Cummings said looking at

church roles “may be the best way to know who to win for the gospel.”

America has become too

accommodating, Cummings said, highlighting welcoming other religions.

Believers don’t stress that

Jesus provides the only way to heaven.

“Making disciples is a

challenge,” he said. “It’s a challenge to keep clarity.”

The undertaking is

tremendous but necessary.

Marcus Redding, pastor of

Hull’s Grove Baptist Church, Vale.

In Matthew when Jesus talks

about the original Great Commission, readers miss out on the part that says

“Jesus came and spake unto them,” Redding said.

But pastors too fail to read

all of the Great Commission.

“It’s King Jesus who has

commanded us to make disciples,” Redding said. “Pastor, who are you


Pointing to the Convention

leadership on the platform behind him, Redding pleaded with messengers not to

follow these men but to instead follow Christ.

“We’ve been given our

blueprints by our King,” said Redding, who said he learns lessons on a daily


He also pointed out that the

Convention has materials available to help churches with discipleship. It is

the 2011 focus of Find It Here.