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By Michael Lewis
Your pastor needs encouragement. During fall, the North American Mission
Board (NAMB) isencouraging you and
your church leadership to pick a day to lift your pastor through expressions of
loving appreciation. Why should you lift your pastor? Just consider the
greatest pastor who everlived, the
apostle Paul, who experienced a need for encouragement. In 2 Corinthians 7: 5-6,
Paul transparentlyshared, “For indeed, when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had
no rest, but we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside
were fears. Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the
coming of Titus” (NKJV).
If Paul needed encouragement, how much more does your pastor? Notice that
in the midst of Paul’s struggles with personal insecurities and ministry
conflict, God comforted him through the encouragement of Titus. The Lift Pastor
Appreciation emphasis encourages you to extend to your pastor and his family
the “Titus Touch” of encouragement. King Midas is popularly remembered in Greek
mythology for his ability to turn everything he touched into gold. This became known
as the “Golden Touch” or the “Midas Touch.”The “Titus Touch” is the golden
touch of encouragement, which is given by a church through lifting their pastor
in appreciation. Will you join God in His gracious work of “comforting” your
pastor and his family? Will you lift your pastor and extend the Titus Touch to
The struggles of pastoral ministry are real. They have been documented
anew in a unique study LifeWay Research recently completed in partnership with NAMB.
The study surveyed 1,500 pastors. Highlights among the results include 84
percent of pastors reporting they are on call 24 hours a day; 80 percent of pastors
expect conflict in their church; 54 percent find the role of pastor frequently
overwhelming; 53 percent are often concerned about their family's financial
security; 48 percent often feel the demands of ministry are more than they can
handle; and 21 percent say their church has unrealistic expectations of them.
In the course of 25 years, serving as pastor for churches of a variety
of sizes and settings, there have been special times when church leaders have
taken five minutes of a worship gathering to recognize our family, which has brought
great encouragement to me. One year the chairman of the personnel committee
asked our family to join him before the congregation and acknowledged the love
of the church for our family and appreciation for my leadership as a pastor.
The church gave us a gift card to enjoy a much-needed time of rest. This simple
act brought such affirmation and encouragement not only to me, but also to my
entire family. When a pastor is lifted up, the entire church is lifted with encouragement.
Students of the Great Awakenings have discovered that one common factor
to every move of God among His people is bold and courageous preaching. This
bold and courageous preaching comes only from pastors who are prayed for and
encouraged. Could it be by simple acts of lifting your pastor and his family
that God may begin the next Great Awakening in your church and community?
Resources and prayerful suggestions to make Lift Pastor Appreciation
special for you and your pastor can be found at sendnetwork.com/pastors-appreciation. If you lift your
pastor, NAMB may lift your church with a gifted Shane and Shane concert. Enter
a contest to host a concert by simply sharing
how you lift your pastor, and encourage others to do the same. Post photos on
Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #LiftMyPastor showing how you
lift your pastor with one of NAMB’s resources. Posts should include details of
why and how the church body chose to lift their pastor. Each social media post
that uses the hashtag #LiftMyPastor will be entered for the chance to bring
Shane and Shane to their church for a worship night.
Visit facebook.com/NAMB.SBC for details and more about entering your church’s example of pastor
Michael Lewis serves as executive director of pastoral care and
development for the North American Mission Board.
Date Created: 10/5/2015 3:13:01 PM
By Joe Conway
ALPHARETTA, Ga. – Millennial floodwaters, sparked by upper-atmospheric rain
bands from Hurricane Joaquin, covered much of Columbia, Charleston and other
cities and towns across South Carolina Saturday and Sunday, Oct, 3-4, claiming
as many as six lives and causing the shutdown of Interstate highways and scores
of evacuations. Southern Baptists are preparing to help, as forecasts call for
more rain and flash flooding in the Carolinas Monday.
As much as two to four additional inches of rain were forecast across
the Carolinas Monday, according to the National Weather Service. The service
reported that Columbia suffered its rainiest 24-hour period in history Sunday.
Reports of up to two feet of rain were common across the state.
For Mickey Caison, interim executive director for the North American Mission
Board’s (NAMB) Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR), the tragedy is
especially troubling. Caison is a South Carolina native.
“My heart breaks as I see the historic
flooding in my home state of South Carolina,” said Caison. “I have seen
pictures of Providence Baptist Church and the home where my family lived while
I served as pastor there. It is in the middle of flood waters. I am praying for
those in leadership as they mount the massive response that will be required.”
South Carolina Emergency Management Division has attributed at least nine weather-related deaths to the rain and flooding as of Monday. Eight counties or cities in the state have issued overnight curfews,
according to the office.
With the road and bridge infrastructure
damage, logistics as simple as travel will pose challenges. Caison and SBDR
leaders are working on solutions.
“The major problem is the large number of
roads and bridges that are washed out,” said Caison. “As soon as possible, we
will be moving equipment and volunteers into the affected areas. Please be in
prayer for those affected, as well as Disaster Relief leaders and volunteers as
we bring help, healing and hope.”
NAMB SBDR coordinators Eddie Blackmon and
Cathy Miller are deploying to South Carolina to assist the response. Miller
will assist South Carolina SBDR in the command post. Blackmon will assist South
Carolina as liaison with the American Red Cross.
In addition, NAMB will be mobilizing two semi
trucks with supplies Monday. NAMB will also deploy two recovery trailers as
soon as roads in the areas are open. Like so many other facilities, the South
Carolina Baptist Convention office building is almost cut off at this time with
flooded roads, according to Caison.
Caison said Southern Baptists can help now by
providing funds for flood survivors. In partnership and support of the South
Carolina Baptist Convention, NAMB will:
“We are praying for the people of South
Carolina and across the Atlantic states,” said Kevin Ezell, NAMB president. “We
will support our partners in providing aid to the hurting and assistance for
the devastating losses. People are grieving the loss of family and friends.
Homes, schools, businesses and churches are flooded. Southern Baptist will be
there to help bring healing.”
Those wishing to donate to SBDR relief can contact the
Baptist convention in their state or visit donations.namb.net/dr-donations.
For phone donations, call 1-866-407-NAMB (6262) or mail checks to NAMB, P.O.
Box 116543, Atlanta, GA 30368-6543. Designate checks for “Disaster Relief.”
NAMB coordinates and manages Southern Baptist
responses to major disasters through partnerships with 42 state Baptist
conventions, most of which have their own state Disaster Relief ministries.
Southern Baptists have 65,000 trained
volunteers—including chaplains—and 1,550 mobile units for feeding, chainsaw,
mud-out, command, communication, child care, shower, laundry, water
purification, repair/rebuild and power generation. SBDR is one of the three
largest mobilizers of trained Disaster Relief volunteers in the United States,
along with the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army.
Updates on the latest SBDR response are available
Joe Conway writes for the North American Mission Board.
Date Created: 10/5/2015 12:31:46 PM
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering®© Copyright 2015 North American Mission Board, SBC