A statement I make often in our churches is “before there was Creation there was Community.” Our triune God existed before creation as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in perfect harmony and community with one another. Therefore, when we (created in God’s image) live in loving community, we reflect the very nature of God. There are 50+ Biblical references to “one another;” God biologically and spiritually wired us to relate to one another.
Relationship is the common denominator for all we do as churches: corporate worship, discipleship, fellowship, service, evangelism, missions—they all start with, revolve around, and culminate in relationships. Indeed, the greatest commandments given by Christ in Matt.22.37-40 are centered on our relationship to God and our fellow man.
Building and honoring relationships formed the common denominator for my last few days. (I’m often asked what my typical week is; here’s a recount of the last few days minus phone calls, letters, emails, and study time)
Fri. 13th—Jim Drake & I travel to Buckhannon to attend a fellow DOM’s funeral; en route I learn my youngest son’s father-in-law died suddenly of a heart attack; preach that night at Covenant’s Collision, a student worship service.
Sat. 14th—quickly arrange flight, car, & lodging for Jana in TX and take her to Roanoke airport Sun. 15th—attend Voice of Calvary & learn of the impending 1st ever baptism in the newly installed baptistery; meet a retired preacher and spontaneously be invited to a large family meal where I learn more about McDowell Cty. life in one evening than the past year.
Mon. 16th—prepare for the annual meeting
Tues. 17th—annual meeting at FBC Narrows (outstanding preaching, food, and fellowship)
Wed. 18th—meet with an A/V prof. from Bluefield College about an upcoming promotional video for our churches; attend Lilly Grove’s evangelism workshop
Th. 19th—teach Old Testament Pt. 1 to men transforming into a lively learning community
Fri. 20th—travel to the Greenbrier with Jim Dillingham for a dinner honoring those involved in Disaster Relief efforts for the 2016 WV floods. What a joy to learn of all the different groups involved and the deep and abiding love for one another engendered in the midst of the work. Sat. 21st—3 hr. Ordination Council for a Nehemiah BC young man entering the ministry; hearing my fellow pastors exam him was inspiring; the first comments by the NBC pastor were about the camaraderie and obvious love exhibited by our group toward each other. That same day I traveled to a golf course near Peterstown to eat with 50+ golfers and sponsors and give my thanks for the $3000+ raised for Disaster Relief (most were there because of their relationship to Freda and Dexter Dillon who organized the tournament).
Sun. 22nd—preached a strong message to Fellowship BC after being in their preaching rotation 1 yr; 3 hrs. eating/meeting with Henry Clary and wife Tasha; witnessed 1st ever baptism in the VOC sanctuary; VOC, Silver Sps., & Covel churches rejoiced with the candidates & each other.
It’s a privilege to participate in the ever widening covenant faith family known as Mountain State Baptist Association! (& we welcome Providence Bible Church to that MSBA family).