Special Report: Rod Henry’s Challenge to SDBs at Conference

Special Report: Rod Henry’s Challenge to SDBs at Conference

by: Executive Director, Rob Appel

 

       Colorado Springs, CO: Sabbath morning, August 3, 2013. Those attending General Conference were in for a treat! Pastors Rod Henry and Dusty Mackintosh started the sermon by portraying the Apostle Paul and his protégé, Timothy.

Dusty spoke to us from the perspective of Timothy on his own journey. He asked us to put ourselves in the footsteps of Timothy, who was tired and discouraged, and yet he was encouraged in Paul’s letter to, “Fight the good fight and finish the race!”

Then Pastor Rod stepped up and gave us the viewpoint of Paul—someone nearing the finish line in his personal race. Now, it didn’t seem fair to be tag-teamed by the dynamic duo, but there we were sitting captivated, and there was Rod doing what he’s comfortable with… preaching God’s Word!

Pastor Rod likened Paul and Timothy’s ministries to a boxing match, to someone in a race, and to a glass of wine. However, their point of view was so different! Paul had fought the good fight, ran the race and was close to the finish line. He had poured himself out in his ministry so his glass was nearly empty. Timothy was in the first round of his fight, had just started the race, and his glass was full!

 

Setting aside the comparisons between Paul and Timothy, Rod shared about the challenges he faced after arriving at the Denver SDB Church (now called the Next Step Christian Church). Rod spoke of the test that was ahead of him and repeated several times “Let there be no quit in me!” Then he asked us to say it, but only if we believed it and were serious! We said it aloud, “Let there be no quit in me.” Rod boisterously echoed, “Oh Boy! Oh Boy! You said it!”

Then he wanted us to say aloud, “Lord, let there be no quit in me.” We did. “Listen, if we don’t have any quit in us, it will be contagious!”

Rod then asked the pastors, the leaders, and the members to come down front, kneel, and pray. His challenge to Seventh Day Baptists from all over North America was to take this back to their church and continue to pray, “Lord, show us a more preferable future for our church and we will walk in it.”

I would encourage you to listen to the whole sermon because I can’t do it justice in writing. You can find it here: http://new.livestream.com/7thDayBaptists/events/2297389

 

     Let me piggyback on this sermon to talk about the responsibility of leaders in churches and ministries.

Two boys were each given a block of wood and a jackknife. Both boys whittled away on their block for an hour, until one boy held up in his hand a small wooden boat, while the other boy simply had a pile of wood shavings. Why the different outcomes? One boy had a plan—a vision for what he wanted to accomplish—and the other simply saw a block of wood.

And so it is with us and God! God knows the plan, the vision; and many of us just see a church building or finances. However, God has a preferable future for Seventh Day Baptist churches! I believe this!

God will provide us the plan, the goal, and the vision toward which all our present activity is directed. But we do have to stop and ask what His plan is. The plan and goal provide us direction.

Think of it in this way: In traveling, one could set out just driving along any highway, but another preferable way is to have a destination. And this destination will shape most every direction and decision we make along the way. That’s the more preferable future! It represents a destination that will allow us to reach back in our past, in order to provide current direction, and then a purpose towards the future.

And that’s the church leader’s job. Not to determine that future, not to demand a personal desired future, but rather to help the church community help determine its future together.

So shall we pray together, “Lord, let there be no quit in us as we seek Your more preferable future in our church!”

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