Dear fellow preacher,
Back in June of 1981, I entered full-time ministry as a 25 year-old Independent Baptist, and I struggled hard for the following 7 years to build a church for God. In January of 1988 we had just finished a couple days of special revival meetings, and I was sitting alone in my office. It was a Saturday and I felt strangely empty. Although our church had seen some growth, it really felt as though my whole church-ministry just wasn’t what I thought it should be.
I started wondering why it was that everything had to be “on my shoulders”.
Why was it that nothing seemed to happen in church unless I begged and pushed hard and worked my fingers to the bone? I can remember asking myself, “Where is the LORD God of Elijah?” This serious question led me to my knees, to the Bible, to weeping and to a 6-hour prayer meeting alone with God. After that, God began to answer my prayer, but it took time.
Well, it’s been over 30 years since I asked that penetrating question and, believe me, a lot has happened since. In some ways I wish I could go back to 1981 and start again, but that’s not God’s way. However, perhaps together we can offer some help to other preachers who may be in the struggle.
Personally, I’m always looking to learn and improve and grow as a preacher and as a leader, and I’m wondering if there are some other preachers who might feel the same way?
And so, I’d like to offer a feature-article in our twice-monthly ‘BCBC Emailer’ designed specifically for the sole benefit of strengthening preachers – something like ‘iron sharpening iron’ – and I’d like to invite any Independent Baptist preacher (pastor, missionary, evangelist, or retired) to offer helpful advice, experiences and thoughts that will encourage others in the ministry. I want others to hear what you have to say.
If this is of interest to you, please email me your thoughts or suggestions. None of us will get ‘paid’ for this, but all of us will get ‘blessed’.
Steven J. White
Pastor of Grace Baptist Church, Surrey, BC