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.