Monday, November 10, 2008

First night of Georgia Baptist Convention

I'm in Jonesboro, attending the Georgia Baptist Convention with our associate pastor, DBG (Dr. Bill Gammon).
We saw two Effingham County pastors: Erik Palmberg from New Providence Baptist Church in Guyton and Bobby Braswell from Pineora Baptist Church. We also saw our ministry resource consultant, Ted Kandler, who is also a messenger from FBC Rincon at the convention.
This year we're meeting at First Baptist Church of Jonesboro. After declining attendance (from over 4,000 early in the decad, down to only 1,400 last year) they decided to stop meeting in convention centers and instead meet at large local churches. I'm glad. FBC Jonesboro looked very full tonight, but it was also more personal and intimate in a church than a convention center. It reminded me of the warm feel of the Mississippi Baptist Convention that I attended for years at FBC Jackson.
Bucky Kennedy really shucked the corn in his president's sermon on David and Goliath. Wow! He was all over the place. At one point, he went and played a sloppy version of "Chopsticks" on the piano to illustrate how poorly he played piano, then he had a real pianist come and play "Amazing Grace," and while she prayed he pointed out how God makes beautiful music with our lives when we place ourselves in His hands.
One of the comments from Bucky that I wrote down was his statement about how Christians are known too much for what we're against instead of what we're for. Then he said, "It's time to stop protesting before men and start praying before God."
Another good comment from Bucky: "I don't want them to like me, I want them to love Him."
We heard "This Hope," the incredible men's vocal group that did a concert a few years ago at our church. DBG was amazed at their vocals, and got excited about the fact that "This Hope" will be doing one of the concerts during "Marvelous Mondays in July" at our church in 2009.
The missionary sermon was brought by Steve Parr. Awesome message. He talked about "The Great Lost Cause" of evangelism from Luke 15:4 when the shepherd left his 99 sheep to go after the one that was lost. His point was that going after the lost should be our great cause. Steve showed a video of a grainery dropping grain from a conveyor belt and said that's how many people are going that rapidly into hell. He told a story of a woman who was upset that a 14-year-old girl wore short pants to church when the woman didn't even know the girl's name or whether the girl knew Jesus as Savior. Steve said that the girl didn't call him and ask what to wear, and he doesn't wear shorts to church himself, but instead of being upset that a 14-year-old girl wore short pants to church, she should be rejoicing that a 14-year-old girl wanted to come to church and hear about Jesus. Amen!
Tomorrow we will be at the convention all day. They're providing a free BBQ dinner to all messengers. Should be a fun day.

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