Monthly Archives: August 2010

Neighbors to the Nations 2010: Interview with Jeremy Haskins

Jeremy Haskins On Sunday, September 12, our church will hold a Neighbors to the Nations Sunday 2010.  One of the speakers is Jeremy Haskins, Associate Pastor at Ashland Avenue Baptist Church, Lexington, Kentucky.  I shot him a few questions, and he very graciously (and promptly, I might add!) responded.  I know you’ll enjoy what God has given him to say—plus you’ll have a chance to get to know him better!

GBTG:  When did you come to know Christ?  When did you sense a calling into His ministry?

Jeremy:  I came to know Christ at a young age. I had four godly grandparents who taught me the faith as a child.  My grandmother was actually on a mission trip in Africa when I began to ask questions about following Jesus.  My grandmother was leaving for a month long mission trip to Africa and I began to ask her why. She shared with me the need for everyone to hear and believe in Jesus. She also shared my need for Christ.  I believed and was saved.

At the age of 19 I was struggling with what to do with my life. My involvement in my church’s ministry was increasing. My desire to serve Christ was continuing to grow. I remember one day while working in my father’s welding shop stopping and thinking, " If the gospel was true I did not want to waste my life doing anything other than preaching it." At the time I was not sure what it would mean for me.

As continued to serve my home church, my pastor invested time to teach me what it meant to lead people. I eventually enrolled into Southeastern Bible College in Birmingham, Alabama. It was in Alabama that I met Pastor David Prince who has served as a mentor in pastoral ministry ever since.

GBTG:  How long have you been serving at Ashland Avenue Baptist Church?  Where are some areas you see God at work?

Jeremy:  I have been at AABC for six years now.  God is moving in tremendous way at AABC.  Its really hard to capture in a few sentences.  The gospel unity that is present in the congregation blows me away. There are folks from all over the world, with all kinds of shades of skin, from all sorts of backgrounds, some who are rich, some who are poor, and we are all committed to taking the gospel to the ends of the earth.  I have never been involved in anything like AABC in my whole life. 

GBTG:  What began to stir your heart toward adoption advocacy–and even adopting itself?  How did your children react to the notion of adopting?

Jeremy:  My wife and I always wanted to adopt. After having four kids biologically, we came to a point where we decided if we are going to adopt we should do it now. It was through sermons and leadership of David Prince, Dr. Russell Moore, and Dr Randy Stinson that we finally came to the decision. Our kids were thrilled with the decision to adopt because we were so excited about adopting.

GBTG:  You have mentioned in a sermon that adoption is not simply a portrait of the gospel, that adoption "is the gospel"?  What did you mean by this?

Jeremy:  God’s mission in the world is to form a family for Himself called the church.  The church is made up of people from every tribe, language, nation, and people. (Revelation 5:9) This family is created not according to the flesh, but through adoption.   Because of adoption every member of this family has the same privilege and status. Adoption is not like the gospel. Adoption is the gospel because it is what God is doing throughout the world as he calls people to himself. 

GBTG:  What can we expect from you from NTTN 2010?

Jeremy:  My goal is to unpack from Ephesians 3 my answer to #4.  To show how when the church is apart of rescuing orphans, together we are displaying the manifold wisdom of God in the world.  We are reflecting the same wisdom that shows forth when the nations are gathered into one family, not according to flesh but according faith in Christ. 

Please take time to go by Jeremy’s blog at http://haskinsadoption.wordpress.com.  And while you’re at it, come to our NTTN 2010 to hear Jeremy, Dr. David Sills, and Rev. Kevin Whitt share about God’s on-mission work for the Kingdom.

Thanks for taking time with this, Jeremy.

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Pastors Must Kill Their Flock—And Be There to Do It!

I’m reading through a very challenging book by William Still entitled, “The Work of the Pastor.”  Still was pastor for fifty years in Aberdeen, Scotland and geared his ministry around the clear exposition of Holy Scripture.  This book is a series of talks he gave to a pastors association, and he pulls no punches.  Here is one clear example:

Remember that ‘pastoring,’ meaning ‘pasturing,’ essentially has to do with feeding the flock.  Let me go on to say most reverently that the task of the Christian shepherd is to fatten the sheep for the kill.  In Israel that meant for sacrifice in the Temple.  By ‘the kill’ I mean, of course, consecration.  Our trouble in my own congregation is that the Lord so speedily pounces upon people whom He has sent along to be built up in the faith, that we sometimes have a hard time keeping together a working nucleus. 

But to the field of pastoral ministry.  It would seem that many Christian ministers accept pastorates or charges as a mean of basic security … and they use this as a jumping off place for the pursuit of their pet interests in one or other of a hundred associated fields.  The interest may be the application of the Gospel (or what they know, or understand, or even misunderstand of it) to politics, social service, the ecumenical movement, evangelistic work in a general inter- or non-denominational sort of way.  Or it may be the running of a complex of organizations in their own church, etc.  Many men make names for themselves in these pursuits as speakers, organizers, writers, good committee members, even as entertainers.  They sustain a calling almost independent of, or that has very little to do with, the task of pastoral ministry of feeding their sheep, from which they derive their daily bread.

… Too many ministers find other things to do, either because they do not like the pastoral ministry, and find it too hard, or because it creates too many problems working with people, or because they have gone cold and dead on it and it doesn’t cut much ice, and they are discouraged.  Ministers must do something to justify themselves, to boost their ego and express and fulfill themselves.  If they devote themselves to running large organizations, or spend their time forever a round of vain visiting, they feel that they are doing something.  Whereas if they devote themselves to the study and ministry of the Word of God, they create all sorts of problems for themselves and jangle many of their people, until their fellowships are soon a dither of change and challenge (p. 85-86).

I found this challenging.  Do we as ministers justify getting into other activities because we, deep down, don’t like being in the trenches of Great Commission gospel ministry?  Is this why we do Facebook and Twitter because we need an escape? 

This challenged me to see that my first priority is my calling as a pastor and minister of the Gospel at Boone’s Creek Baptist Church.  What are your thoughts?

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Candid Conversations Between Chan, Driscoll, and Harris

What’s Next for Francis Chan? A Conversation with Mark Driscoll and Joshua Harris from Ben Peays on Vimeo.

Mark Driscoll, Francis Chan, and Joshua Harris sit down and have a candid conversation about the future for Francis Chan, who abruptly left Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, CA in order to pursue other ministry opportunities in an effort to return to the simplicity of the Scriptures.  I like how they challenge some of the assumptions of Chan in a way that is not mean-spirited, but as a way to make sure he is thinking things through.  This is a 15 minute video well worth your time.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter. 

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Glenn Beck and American “Christianity” (Notice the Quotes)

American Christianity has always intrigued me.  I do not equate American Christianity with biblical Christianity because American Christianity is too wedded to government, politics, and materialism.  Biblical Christianity addresses these things as an outworking of the gospel, not a replacement of it.  I am so interested in this topic that I secretly would enjoy doing PhD work in this area (yet, I shall just read up on it as much as possible in order to stay at my church and help my people discern the difference).

Russ Moore once again has nailed the issue on the head with his reflections on Glenn Beck’s political/religious/American “revival” speech (“God, the Gospel, and Glenn Beck”).  Beck, an avowed Mormon, was embraced by many evangelical leaders and could likely be a flash point in the upcoming elections in 2010 and 2012.  Here’s an extended excerpt:

We used to sing that old gospel song, “I will cling to an old rugged cross, and exchange it some day for a crown.”  The scandalous scene at the Lincoln Memorial indicates that many of us want to exchange it in too soon. To Jesus, Satan offered power and glory. To us, all he needs offer is celebrity and attention.

Mormonism and Mammonism are contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ. They offer another Lord Jesus than the One offered in the Scriptures and Christian tradition, and another way to approach him. An embrace of these tragic new vehicles for the old Gnostic heresy is unloving to our Mormon friends and secularist neighbors, and to the rest of the watching world. Any “revival” that is possible without the Lord Jesus Christ is a “revival” of a different kind of spirit than the Spirit of Christ (1 Jn. 4:1-3).

The answer to this scandal isn’t a retreat, as some would have it, to an allegedly apolitical isolation. Such attempts lead us right back here, in spades, to a hyper-political wasteland. If the churches are not forming consciences, consciences will be formed by the status quo, including whatever demagogues can yell the loudest or cry the hardest. The answer isn’t a narrowing sectarianism, retreating further and further into our enclaves. The answer includes local churches that preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, and disciple their congregations to know the difference between the kingdom of God and the latest political whim.

It’s sad to see so many Christians confusing Mormon politics or American nationalism with the gospel of Jesus Christ. But, don’t get me wrong, I’m not pessimistic. Jesus will build his church, and he will build it on the gospel. He doesn’t need American Christianity to do it. Vibrant, loving, orthodox Christianity will flourish, perhaps among the poor of Haiti or the persecuted of Sudan or the outlawed of China, but it will flourish.

And there will be a new generation, in America and elsewhere, who will be ready for a gospel that is more than just Fox News at prayer.

Do yourself a favor and read the rest

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Is Church Membership Important? (Piper)

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When Abe Lincoln’s Honesty Didn’t Serve Him Well

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Pastors, Don’t Lead Based on the Fickleness of Human Wills

The success of the ministry which He has committed into our hands is not left contingent on the fickleness of the wills of those to whom we preach… “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold them also I must bring and they shall hear my voice” (John 10:16). Continue your quest, dear friend, after the ‘other sheep’ of Christ’s” (A.W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God). (HT: KC)

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Is the Bible About You?

A common misconception regarding the Scriptures is that they are primarily about us?  Pieced together from Tim Keller’s sermons, we see who the true lead in the redemptive story is truly about.

 

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Mohler: Which Way to the Future? Southern Baptists, Southern Seminary, and the Future of the Evangelical Movement in America

Watch or listen to Dr. Mohler’s Convocation Address at Southern Seminary. Worth listening to, even if you aren’t Southern Baptist.

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Everywhere He Went, Lincoln Carried a Book With Him

2009_lincoln_rev2 “Everywhere he went, Lincoln carried a book with him.  He thumbed through page after page while his horse rested at the end of a long row of planting.  Whenever he could escape work, he would like with his head against a tree and read.  Though he acquired only a handful of volumes, they were seminal works of the English language.  Reading the Bible and Shakespeare over and over implanted rhythms and poetry that would come to fruition in those works of his maturity that made Abraham Lincoln our only poet-president.  With remarkable energy and tenacity he quarried the thoughts and ideas that he wanted to remember.  ‘When he came across a passage that Struck him, ‘ his stepmother recalled, ‘he would write it down on boards if he had no paper,’ and ‘when the board would get too black he would shave it off with a drawing knife and go on again.’  Then once he obtained paper, he would rewrite it and keep it in a scrapbook so that it could be memorized.  Word thus became precious to him, never, as with Seward, to be lightly or indiscriminately used.”

(Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006, p 52.)

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