- Phone: 250-828-8222
- Mailing Address: 454 Columbia Street, Kamloops, BC V2C 2T5
“And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4:29–31, ESV)
Dear First Baptist Church,
I’ve deeply enjoyed the honor and privilege this year of working alongside Christ and serving as one of your pastors with the other elders to bless our church. I’ve laughed at the funny moments, and I’ve cried at the sad times too. I’ve been challenged in ways this past year that sometimes hurt, and I’ve been rewarded in surprising ways that brought deep and lasting satisfaction. I’ve seen Christ’s hand at work around us, and I’ve enjoyed watching Him move among us. I’ve had fun, and I look forward to another year of an exciting adventure and joining you on the journey as we boldly carry the gospel to the ends of the earth.
Bold is a good word for us right now as we prepare for our Annual Great Commission Meeting and think about 2019 and the year that lies ahead. We have to be increasingly bold if we would serve and help save a lost generation that walks among us. It was the prayer of the Jerusalem Church in Acts 4 that God would make them bold in their witness despite the hostility and persecution of the surrounding city. Given all that we will face in 2019, we also should be seeking boldness from God in our witness and testimony.
Now, if I may make a bold statement to you, allow me to suggest that Bold is the opposite of most church “tradition”. Of course, you know what most traditions and customs are? They are often unexamined comfort zones. They are, “…the way we’ve always done things.” Please don’t misunderstand me. I have a fondness for the traditions that have been handed down to us by our forefathers, and it is always wise to consider carefully the customs and teachings that the gray-haired, honored, experienced and accomplished have passed along to us. We are fools to forget or ignore the past! But, by the same token, we can never accept tradition just because our fathers gave it to us. To do so is to engage in mental and spiritual numbness. Unexamined traditions, or “…doing things the way we’ve always done things,” are our dreaded enemy! Tradition can sometimes keep us from scrutinizing ourselves in humility before the Lord. Tradition can hold us back from learning how we have succeeded and how we have failed. Doing things the way we’ve always done them will keep us from focusing on fulfilling our King’s Great Commission. So let’s take a hard look at ourselves. Let’s evaluate our efforts in spreading the good news of Jesus Christ with a frank and honest review.
So I exhort you, let’s be… BOLD. Dream big. Think BOLD. Now, add God to the equation. Remember, God has charged YOU with the responsibility of sharing the gospel with everyone from Kamloops to Kandahar, from here to the ends of the earth. So dream again, but dream BIGGER. Think BOLDER! Dream God-sized miracles. This is the spiritual frame of mind that you should be in for the next four weeks as we anticipate our Annual Great Commission Meeting. I want you dreaming BIG and thinking BOLD! For example, if you devise a plan for missionary engagement in your neighborhood that is entirely feasible with your own individual resources and abilities, that doesn’t require dependent prayer and the help of other brothers and sisters in Christ… then you’re just not dreaming God-sized dreams. Your boldness is a little sad and not very bold at all.
As we approach our Annual Great Commission Meeting, we’re looking for feedback and discussion from a church body that has radical faith in an all-powerful God, and isn’t afraid to be really BOLD as they seek to carry the good news to the ends of the earth! It is easy at any given business meeting to tell the leadership of the church what they should do. But the real focus and question of any gathered meeting of the Lord’s people is this: what can we do together with the Lord guiding and helping us? As you prepare for our Annual Great Commission Meeting please evaluate our ministry here at First Baptist in a spirit of prayer, and think through the following seven items with a view of taking the Gospel all around the world:
No, I’m not talking about making worship into a rock concert. I’m hoping by now you know my heart on worship. When I ask how bold our worship gatherings can be, I’m thinking about an attitude and approach to worship that is spiritually powerful and bold. Consider the following reflective questions as you consider how “bold” our worship gatherings:
No, I’m not talking about a shock-jock approach to offending people with a “turn-or-burn” method of evangelism. The cross is offensive enough without our needing to make it any more so. Consider the following questions:
A true disciple is not someone who knows how to be a Christian. A true disciple is one who has reproduced himself into the life of another. A complete disciple is a disciple-maker. Consider the following:
We shouldn’t be ashamed to let our neighbors know that we belong to a particular tribe within the city. Our tribe is First Baptist, and our family can be found in each other. Rather then trying to excuse this new life with an “awe-shucks”, shrug-of-the-shoulders, we should be proud to refer to each other as brother and sister. Consider the following:
Please be in a state of prayer, and contemplation as we approach our Annual Great Commission Meeting. Take a look at the budget. Pray through it. Think through the above considerations. Ask God to speak to you about the direction of our church. Ask God to speak to you about the direction that you, individually, are taking to serve Him daily. Ask Him to lead all of our church members in unity to dream a big dream. Ask God to cast a BOLD vision before us for the next year. If necessary make a motion to address any issue that God lays on your heart at the upcoming AGCM. If God does lay something on your heart, speak to one of the pastors about it. Pray about it. Let us pray with you. We will help you to craft a motion or resolution to be offered at the AGCM for the church’s consideration if necessary. Remember, it takes all of us praying and working together in order to follow God’s call.
Above all else, think of how YOU will personally carry the gospel forth BOLDLY to the ends of the earth with our church family.