Tuesday was the first full day of the FBFI meeting. I posted about the first evening here, and what follows is a summary of the day.
After a brief continental breakfast, there was an initial service with two sessions. The first session was from Pastor Mark Brock, a “younger-generation” pastor from California. His sermon was on Biblical Preaching in the Next Generation. This message, from 2 Cor. 4:1-6, was a challenge for sharing the truth without resorting to un-biblical methods that produce reactions from people that are not from the truth. A helpful application was on the need for those ministering to not shape a ministry so that everyone fits the minister’s comfort zone—the Biblical precepts should be primary. The second session was titled “A Biblical Understanding of Culture and How We Should Respond,” and given by Dr. Mark Snoeberger, a Detroit Seminary professor. He gave a helpful description of evangelicalism in four idea, traced evangelicalism’s changing views of the kingdom as pertaining to social action, and ultimately summarized Niebuhr’s Christ and Culture with its five models of relationship between culture. A fast and meaty sermon, he concluded by seeing the paradox model of Niebuhr as the one closest to the Biblical paradigm of “in the world but not of the world.”
After lunch, there was a single session from Dr. Dave Saxon, a professor at Maranatha where I am purusing an M.Div. He discussed 8 characteristics of millennials, and proceeded in general terms to give advice for millennials who may be entering the pastorate—with helpful suggestions for the “non-millennials.” I came away challenged, being of the millennial generation, to be careful to not be too “full of myself” in my own views.
The afternoon concluded with a breakout session. The one I attended was by Dr. Mark Ward on “The Legitimate Concerns of the Next Generation (An Objective Analysis).” In this presentation, he presented the concerns in four questions. While I didn’t agree entirely with some that Dr. Ward said, it was still helpful food for thought. Really, this conference has been beneficial in that way—it has just added more for me to think about in the on-going challenges we are facing inside the church and with reaching the lost.
After dinner, there were two evening sessions. Dr. Kevin Schaal, the president of this fellowship preached from Acts 2 on characteristics of a healthy church. There was good reminders in this message of how we must be engaging people in evangelism and then once saved, in discipleship through such things as teaching, grace giving, etc. He gave a helpful challenge for pastors who may be introverts to be out going. I need to attend to this. Before the last session, there was a presentation of an award to Dr. Bob Jones III for his life of service, an award that has been handed out to many but never to Dr. Bob Jones. To conclude the evening, Dr. Jim Tillotson, president of Faith Baptist Bible College, spoke on the Great Commission. His personal illustrations from a life of ministry in Canada were moving, and brought tears thinking of the dynamic evangelistic ministry he had there. This pales in comparison to the kind of churches I have spent most of my life in, churches where a lost person getting saved seems to be so much rarer. He carefully noted that we need to strive for effort to reach the lost, and if no one gets saved then we have done our job. The combined message from both messages them is that if we are faithfully evangelizing, we can and should expect the gospel to be powerful and to save people leading to the growth of the church.
We have one more day of the conference ahead of us today, so I have several more sessions today. The one session that attracted me to this conference is what Dr. Larry Oats of my school will be speaking on, namely the Southern Baptist Convention. I will report on today’s sessions later today or tomorrow!