How many times have pastors, missionaries and other Bible teachers and counselors reminded others that they are not alone. We know that the Lord told us He would never leave us nor forsake us. Thankfully, we are indwelled by the Holy Spirit. But those of us in the ministry sometimes need to be reminded that we are not alone in the ministries God to which we have been called. This fact might just be one of the reasons you weight the heaviest as you consider attending the Baptist Church Ministry Conference, October 2-4 in Canton, Ohio.
The Lord never intended for local church ministry to be done alone. Consider all the “one anothers” in Scripture. And not to tap into “Captain Obvious” too much, but there are three words we use regularly that make it plain those who serve local churches were never intended to be “Lone Rangers.”
First is “church.” We are called to serve the local church, the “assembly.” We cannot “do” church alone. We teach people that they need the encouragement, equipping and synergy that takes place when we serve the Lord together in the “assembly.” We teach them that if they do not need those things, they need to share them with others in the church.
The second word is “ministry,” which simply means “service.” The New Testament teaches us that when we serve others, we are serving him. There was a wonderful senior lady in our church who used to introduce me to others as her “minister.” She is the only one who has ever done that. But I liked it when she did.
The third word is “fellowship.” During the pandemic, people all over realized that live-streamed services are no replacement for the in-person experience. We were reminded how important it is for us to be together. Fellowship provides:
- Community – A sense of belonging, caring for one another, a connection we have because of our shared faith.
- Partnership – a partnership in the gospel, where we link arms together in ministry, service, giving, and advancing the Great Commission.
- Spiritual Encouragement – True fellowship goes beyond just social gatherings. It’s a spiritual depth of relationship that allows for transparency, sharing struggles/victories, and praying for one another that deepen Christian bonds.
- Shared beliefs and values – Our common faith is the basis for unity and fellowship among other Biblical, Balanced Baptists.
All three words – church, ministry, and fellowship – remind us that when it comes to local church ministry, we need one another. It follows then that those of us who serve local churches as pastors and ministry team members also need to be encouraged, equipped, and challenged. And we need fellowship.
So, Captain Obvious says to all of us who might be prone to be ministry “Lone Rangers,” go ahead and register here. (Register before September 23 to take part in the dinner on Monday evening.) Come for encouragement, come to be challenged, come for fellowship. We need each other. Be blessed and be a blessing!