This week I am happy to be attending the Foundations Baptist Fellowship International Annual Fellowship at the First Baptist Church of Troy, MI, a northern suburb of Detroit. This is the first time I have attended a meeting in these circles, and I have been looking forward to it. On Monday, there was just one service with two messages.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by a large and beautiful facility. After registration and entering the auditorium, we found a heavy use of wood on the ceiling and at the front—it reminded to me of similar design in a church I went to for several years.
As the service started, we participated in mighty congregational singing. We were also blessed by a couple of songs sung by a large choir with orchestra. There was of course a short announcement period as well, as the host church pastor, Mike Harding, gave us an overall introduction.
After the initial singing, Dr. Bob Jones III, current chancellor of Bob Jones University, preached a message titled “Our Desperate Condition: The Spirit Needs for All Generations”. Dr. Bob was clear, and passionate, preaching Psalm 78:1-8 and the great need today in our efforts to reach the future generations. The primary issue, as identified by Dr. Bob, is that the fathers of the generation to come did not value God or the life of faith. He firmly expressed the point that the issue today with the current generation is that their fathers did not properly teach them. Truly, it was an encouraging message. Fathers must be training the children…It is a major reason for where we are today and we must work harder to invest in fathers so that they can invest properly in their children.
After a special music solo, Pastor Harding preached a message from Acts 20:17-38 titled “Our Daunting Challenge: The Next Generation of the King’s Mighty Men.” a title from the Old Testament life of King David and his mighty men. The message was overall a good exposition and challenge to pastors to serve faithfully. While I am not a pastor, the most important things I took away were the “predisposition of humility” and the “power of an earnest testimony.” Regarding humility, we must all study the Word for ourselves and reach our own conclusions, but the greatest humility should be had especially toward those who are our fathers. Regarding my testimony, I know my story is still being written—I have shared some of my own story on this blog and I want to share what the Lord is doing. As a small aside, he did have an anecdotal mention of a certain type of free grace teaching, and cast it in a very negative light. While hardly the point of his message, the whole discussion was enlightening to me by confirming some general impressions I’ve already had. I look forward to a later conference message that will be on the topic of the gospel to see what may or may not be said by the speaker.
Overall, it was a good evening, and I will continue to share some brief thoughts over the next day or two. The sessions will be posted online shortly after the meeting concludes.