Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Most Important Room at Emmanuel

All of us know that "the church" is not an institution or a building, but a people called out by God's grace to reflect the image of Christ in this world. I am thankful that God has His people in every nation, every tongue, every tribe of earth, not to mention people in every denomination, every assembly and every institution who names Christ as Lord. For the past eighteen years God has allowed me to be a part of a wonderful group of Christians at Emmanuel Baptist Church, Enid, Oklahoma. Being a pastor necessitates regular contact and ministry with these members through hospital visits, small groups, counseling sessions, funerals, weddings, etc..., but the pastors of Emmanuel do something very intentional that goes beyond regular pastoral ministry.

Every Tuesday morning we gather in the room pictured here and we pray for our members. There is a roster of 4,598 names of people who have an affiliation with Emmanuel. Each week I will assign ministry contacts to individual pastors, ranging in number from as few as four to as many as fifteen, depending on the pastor's schedule that week. I make sure no pastor has more ministry assignments than I. Our job is to personally visit with our assigned members that week and find out how things are going for them and their family members in every facet of their lives, particularly spiritually. We let them know up front that the following Tuesday the staff will be praying for them, and our task is to find out how we can more be specific in our prayers on their behalf.

The pastors know that nothing can be brought up during a prayer time that has not already been discussed with the person for whom we are praying. Too often, we Christians use "prayer request" time as an opportunity to talk about others and say things we would not say to them personally. Our pastoral rule is that our prayer times will only encompass those things which we have already discussed with our members. This precludes gossip. We also require each pastor to write down a report with the results his ministry contact, a copy of which will be attached to our member's profile. It's our desire, for instance, to follow through with our members in the months to come, covering those areas of prayer concerns from previous months to see how the Lord has graciously provided in their time of need. In addition, within a year's time, we will have completed our member ministry and will be starting over again. The reports provide a record of the previous contact.

Our support staff joins us for these hour and a half prayer and ministry times every Tuesday morning (8:30 to 10:00 am). It is absolutely amazing the amount of effective ministry that take places when we pastors see ourselves as spiritual shepherds and not spiritual overlords. The Chief Shepherd tells us that He knows His sheep by name, and it is my desire that every undershepherd at Emmanuel know every member, attender and prospect of Emmanuel by name--to know them with the same kind of loving, merciful knowledge that Jesus has for His people. These ministry and prayer times each Tuesday, the culmination of intentional ministry to approximately 75 to 100 family units by our pastoral staff during the previous week, makes this room the most important room at Emmanuel.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson


Rex Ray said...

You said, “Too often, we Christians use "prayer request" time as an opportunity to talk about others.”

Have you ever or would you ever tell deacons to pray for a teenage unmarried church member that was two weeks pregnant?

Unknown said...


An excellent post reminding pastor and parishioner alike of the primacy of prayer in all that we do. As a pastor I really do love the people I serve and it is always a joy to pray for them by name. Thanks again for this post!

Jack Maddox said...

Woops Wade, the previous post was made under my wife's account LOL! I have not changed my views on the role of Women in ministry! LOL!

Rex Ray said...

I still think your ‘goodbye to me’ was the funniest comment on Wade’s blog ever.

Are you still not talking to me? :)

How about bygones be bygones? said...


I was wondering who "Pastor Dorothy" was. Glad to know it is the alter-ego of Pastor Jack!

:) said...


If the family requested prayer, and if the pastor was ministering to the family, I see nothing wrong with the prayer request.


Gene S said...


I am heartened that a Senior Minister of a large church would be sure to take as many personal visitation assignments as possible. Too many today view their position as one of only administration / study / writing / preaching without the personal touch.

I found, when people hurt the most, they want to see that face and person who proclaims the Word on Sunday morning! Bless you for being the real deal.

It is a distinct change from the Model of Conservatism, W.A. Criswell who had quotas for numbers of people to walk the aisle Sunday and they had to be met with a formal report at the Friday Staff meeting. Since when has it been essential to have a certain number demanded to walk the aisle on a given Sunday? That is hardly a "moving of the Holy Spirit" in an individual's life, in my opinion!

Christiane said...

Perhaps the greatest argument for the personal ministry Wade's Church is offering to its members can be found in the Gospel of St. Matthew:

"For where there are two or three gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them."

Tom Parker said...

Jack Maddox:

You said:"Woops Wade, the previous post was made under my wife's account LOL! I have not changed my views on the role of Women in ministry! LOL!"

It continues to sadden me the view of too many men, especially Pastors in the SBC as to the role of Women.

I have been a SB since 1974 and it appears to me the role of Women has gone in reverse particularly since 1979.

The truth be known women are basically shut out of any positions that have the least bit of "authority"

How did we in the SBC go backwards as to the role of Women?

Gene S said...

We have taken major steps backwards to narrowness since 1979.

Our main themes have been:

No ordained women
Kill the gays
Condemn and guiltify women of abortion
Get rid of Autonomy
Train "King Pastors" who rule churches
Give them a "new" Constitution and By-laws to make them so to their student church
Use BF&M 2000 as a Creed and kick out anyone not willing to sign
Strange talk of Calvinism

You have detected rightly the SBC is in decline. It is so to the point we are not sending 600 missionaries we should for shortage of giving. Many churches are taking "Baptist" off their church sign.

Our Executives in the IMB / NAMB (formerly HMB) / Executive Committee have all resigned under pressure either in spending or not being "right enough" for current leadership. No one will disclose the exact salaries in the budgets and there is no accounting for spending under general expenditure headings.

Mostly now, the annual SBC Meeting rubber stamps the dictates of the Executive Committee.

If we had kept our spirit of Autonomy it is doubtful we even be talking about Conservative Resurgence and a Great Commission Renewal---we were, pre-1979 doing quite well and highly respected by the general public.

Steve said...

Hmm... nice photo, Wade. I didn't see any asbestos seat covers designated for "Angry Dudes" so obviously a certain SBC agency board could NOT meet there! Nor could its Insider Gang of 20! Hah!

rick t said...

This is a very special ministry for our church. It's like 3 of my assigned contacts this week were waiting for someone to call. All 3weeping and sharing their heart and heartaches, just waiting for an encouraging word. God is truly an amazing God and He is smack dab in the middle of this ministry!!!

Lydia said...

Anyone read JC Ryle's Practical Religion? Great book, horrible title.

He says that without a serious prayer life, we should question whether we are really saved or not.

Tom Parker said...

Gene S:

Have you ever thought about what the letters SBC have come to mean since 1979?

I've come to the conclusion they stand for

What a shame!

Ramesh said...

This Sunday sermon by Pastor Wade is relevant for this blog readers. It addresses the issues of Spiritual Gifts and dissent for Baptists.

#19. When the Perfect Comes (I Corinthians 13:8-10), of the series Love Never Fails (I Corinthians 13). If you watch the video, it's titled "When the Perfect Comes", 1 Cor 13:8-10, Part 19 of series, Jan 10, 10.

Joe Blackmon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pege` said...

Wade, I told you many, many years ago as I observed you for a long time and your relationship to your flock at Emmanuel, that you were the first Pastor I ever met that truly was a shepherd to his people.It was not just a Sunday show or a position for you. You REALLY care about your people. There is not enough space on this blog to write the numerous times
I have seen you loving care for the people at Emmanuel and all over the US. I can personally testify of your care for our family even though we are no longer living in Enid. I am so proud of the other Pastors there at Enid for following your example.
God is so honored and glorified by men who humbly love and serve God's people.

Jack Maddox said...

How is it that Wade provides a great post on pastoral ministry that is encouraging and uplifting and some have to use it simply to make a political point.

Gene, everything that is wrong in the world and ministry is not the fault of the conservative resurgence! I challenge you friend to respond to a post without slinging mud! I know you can do it!

Tom, it was a joke dude! Get over it! Search inside and find your inner sense of humor : )

Wade, Dorothy is more than my alter ego, she is my hero!

Rex, I love you bro but I am still /broke up' with you! LOL!

Jack Maddox said...


By the way bro, I just wanted you to know that I for one voted against the "Kill the gays" motion! I thought that was way out of line.



Gene S said...


ALL is not evil with the SBC. There is still hope or I would not be wasting my time. Prior to the obvious shortcomings of the last year, no one would listen to anyone offering constructive criticism.

Consider me the voice of one crying in the wilderness: "Prepare ye the way of the Lord."

Israel had it cycles of closeness to God and others of apostasy.

In my view, the years since 1979 have been ones of apostasy for the SBC. We deserted our ideal of separation of church and state. We deserted our ideal of Autonomy where we put aside slignt theological differences in favor of supporting our Missionary endeavors.

We have deserted our ideal of not having a Creed beyond the truthfulness of the Bible and Jesus as the one through whom all things are interpreted by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

I will rejoice and be glad, should the SBC return to its heritage of agreeing to disagree without being disagreeable.

What troubles me most is that we had as our theme in 1979 and years preceedidng Bold Mission Thrust. We had the means to share the Gospel literally with every person on the face of the earth through Baptist TelNet which we owned and had 24 hour use of the technology.

In my view, Satan rejoiced when it all went crashing into oblivion with CR. It was replaced with an ultra-conservativism so narrow that few want anything much to do with it, if they are sane and thinking.

We took a giant step backwards. Caused the solid Moderate loving leaders to, each one, be accused of all things evil and false. The CR folks had wicked grins on their faces when they took the mantra of "the ends justifies the means" and descended into the depths of Hell itself to cast out Christian brothers who still wanted to be brothers--BUT THEY WOULD NOT!

Christiane said...

Making 'House Calls'

House-calls are perfectly in order when with caring for the sheep who belong to the Great Physician.

When we think about it, in the midst of caring for his flock, Wade tries to help the people who blog here.
You could say that we, also, benefit from Wade's 'patient care.' :)

Jack Maddox said...


Thanks for clearing that up!



Tom Parker said...

Jack Maddox:

You said to me--"Tom, it was a joke dude! Get over it! Search inside and find your inner sense of humor : )"

I assure you Jack I find no humor in your view of the role of Women in the SBC. I want get over it. Because the it you speak of the Women who are owed much more by the men leaders of the Soley Boys Club.

Tom Parker said...

Gene S:

I would add to what you said to Jack Maddox that the CR set the role of Women back in the SBC to close to the year 1900.

I'm really suprised that women have yet to be excommunicated because of their threat to the authority of men by just existing since the CR began.

Anonymous said...

Jack Maddox,

You are a hoot an'a hollar!

If everyone had your sense of humor I would have less ememies in this world. :)


Christiane said...


They do not exist intact.
They have been beheaded.

Tom Parker said...


You said:"They do not exist intact.
They have been beheaded."

But to some it is all about humor. I am so glad my daughters have not taken an interest in the SBC because they both have enough sense to know it is an All Boys Club or ABC for short.

Anonymous said...

Tom Parker,

The real issue in the SBC began years ago with the change of the designs to our Holy Sanctuaries. You see, originally they were designed with two long rows of pews with an isle down the center and the pulpit in the center of the platform. This was Godly and Biblical for several reasons. The idea being that the Man would sit on the inside of the pew nearest the isle with his woman beside him, and his quiver stretched out clear to the other end of the pew. This system only ever required two ushers as the man was near the isle ready to drop in his tithe and offering. Additionally, the man was always closest to the pulpit, being the first to receive the Word. Any explanations beyond that of the pastoral exposition could come directly down from the man himself to his woman and quiver. Today however we have fan shaped "worship centers" and walking preachers and all sort of other nonsense that sometimes little Johnny hears the message first, or worse, the woman. Then she reaches down to little Suzy to tell her the preacher just said Jesus loves her and wants to bless her. The next week little Suzy is pregnant and drops out of church. Of course it wasn’t really little Johnny’s fault (Little Johnny was from the family in front of Little Suzy’s—just to clear that up), Little Suzy seduced him as she whispered in his ear “Jesus wants me to be your sunbeam, to shine for you each day.” Little John was given full pardon as Little Suzy’s family was rightfully ran out of town. Last I heard they became Methodists and Little Suzy is getting her DMin in preaching from Asbury Seminary.

It fo-shame fo shame!

Weez gotsta get back to dem one izzle churchiz!


Anonymous said...

Can a church be too big?

Seems that the Southern Baptist Convention has departed from the days when the typical church membership was 40-300.

In those days, the Convention was growing, but individual church membership usually topped out at 200 or so. (This is based upon my perception from that time and not on hard, reliable statistics.)

In those “old days”, the "pastor" was usually the only paid staff person with the possible exception of a part-time "music director". Rather than being "regional" the church was considered more a fixture of the community.

It wasn’t a perfect world, but everybody did know everybody and the pastor usually was personally involved in meeting the ministry needs of the congregation.

In recent times, the strategy seems to be to reach the community through bigger mega-churches with 1,000-20,000 members. Even if a church has 500, typically their strategy is to reach more by having even larger church membership which requires millions of dollars more to meet the building needs.

Certainly the mega-churches have home Bible study/cell groups but they aren’t intended to become autonomous churches and are not part of a church-planting strategy. The smaller groups may meet together in homes during the week but still gather together on Sundays at the arena for mega-church worship led by the large ministry staff.

It would be interesting to know if the dynamics of the super-size churches have had an impact on society’s impression of “church” and its being disingenuous.

Could it have anything to do with SB Convention leadership seeming to venture further away from smaller church autonomy, priesthood of the believer, and other tenements of Baptist tradition?

My impression is that even though we have "bigger" churches, we're losing the battle on engaging the masses in our country.

I don't mean to be critical of the mega-church strategy because I certainly haven’t done an in-depth study to discern whether the big-church phenomenon is actually responsible for the negative perceptions of the un-churched outsiders. I also praise God for the thousands that are led to Christ through the mega-church ministries and their mass-media ministries.

But I wonder if we're losing touch with the people or if we're on the right track for reaching our country for Christ with this big-church strategy?

Do you think it could be time for some really innovative person to surface who could lead the way with a new model for church growth strategy?

Jack Maddox said...


Thanks for straitening me out!



ps - what did you think about Wades post?

Jack Maddox said...


What in earth does your post have to do with the beheading of women and the killing of gays? Please try to stay on topic!


Rex Ray said...

Your words: “Rex, I love you bro but I am still/broke up with you! LOL” cuts me like a knife. :)

I’ve forgotten what we were fussing about; have you?

Might be like ‘lover’s quarrels – can’t remember anything except being upset.

BTW, what does ‘LOL’ mean? I’ve been aiming to ask for a long time.

Please don’t scold me for not being on topic.

Tom Parker said...


You said to me:"Tom

Thanks for straitening me out!



ps - what did you think about Wades post?"

No, Jack not trying to straighten anyboy out.

You may dismiss me and that is ok with me, but you and others will give an account for the mistreatment of Women in the SBC.

Gene S said...


You are SO RIGHT about women. My mother led the RA's when there was no man to take it. Wasn't that evil! As soon as a man took it, we had nowhere near the emphasis on scripture memorization and learning about missionaries.

The men wanted to play while my mother did both because she wanted us to know about the main reason for our denomination. She is a graduate of the, now defunct, Carver School of Missions! That was a really stupid CR move, if there ever was one!!!!

If women were so unimportant, why are both our main mission offerings named after women? Why has the WMU(WOM)been the backbone of the mission offering and the inventor of Sunbeams/GA's/RA's so missions had the highest place in the SBC?

Even W.A. Criswell paid women virtually nothing to have a staff member at ever level of FBC Dallas--then turn around and tell women they must obey! Mrs. Criswell stood tall and had the largest SS Class in the church! Same with Patterson. It is nothing but a bald-faced lie and pretense.

Were it not for women, who would have had the guts to go to the Tomb on Ressurection Day? After all the desciples had fled the foot of the cross--there was Jesus' Mother / Mary Magdelene / and John. I'll bet John found enough courage in those 2 women that he dared not leave lest he see inwardly what a coward ALL the men were.

I'm married to the most wonderful "Queen With a Septor" there ever was. When we were in the big churches, anytime there was a gap to be filled, I could count on her. Of her own volition she took so many jobs one time that she was in tears of overwork.

That's when I told the Nominating
Committee, "My wife is being killed by you. Quit looking to her as the one person who will say yes when asked. A few of you men could do something besides talk!"

Gene S said...


I'm not sure what you are trying to say about little Suzie and Johnny. Are you saying girls seduce little boys and then become women preachers??

If so, you are messed up in the head!

You really need to go back to frontier days to what it was like in every Baptist church. I have served 2 of the oldest, one in GA and the other in NC. They date back to the early 1800's.

In both churches the men entered by one door at the back and the women entered by the other. There was no family pew. Women and children sat on one side and the men sat on the other! It likely reflects Paul's fear of sex daring to enter into religion. Paul afflicted us that way and Peter being the "First Pope" was another affront.

Blaming Eve for the fall was prime evidence in the eyes of men who tried to run things exclusively without a good relationship to a woman. Thanks to that, we have a plague of child molestation among priests and clergy today. God created sex and said, "It is good."

Man created discrimination and external lying about lust. That is why tunnels between the Monistaries of Europe and the Convent across the road are full of little babies bones dug into the walls.

When we violate God's plan for men and women to love and respect one another, we create a false religion just as full of inconsistency as CR!!!

Gene S said...


You are totally on target about the current idea of "bigger is better." It sounds like something out of Texas to me--and it is!!!!

Our time of great growth in the 50-60's had, at its core, the starting of mission churches. My father was Assistant DOM for the Atlanta Association during that era. He and Dr. Baggott, the DOM, established a new church start fund. With that money they could negotiate a good large piece of property with many a faithful Baptist citizen who would sell it for half of what it could bring for a shopping center or housing development. They wanted a good Baptist church to serve the growing suburbs.

By the time the church was located under sponsorship of an in town/suburb large church, half the property could be sold to provide funds for the first large building and start with a bang. Those large churches asked members living in the area of the property to go as a core of workers to have a well-staffed Sunday School from day one. The Atlanta Association was growing by leaps and bounds.

Then came Charles Stanley to FBC Atlanta along with a few others. They were sending buses to those mission communities trying to pick up chidren from the local church so their numbers looked better. The children were asking, "Can we go with the clown bus driver today or do we go with the cowboy?"

In place of RA's / GA's we suddenly had AWANA clubs--what was that all about???

Today, try to get a large church to encourage any members to start a mission. The Pastor will say, "We don't have enough to take care of our own needs AND our Building Fund will suffer if we give more to missions." Failing to say his 3 figure income might have to go downward!

Small Businesses have been the success of American Enterprise and Corporations have driven this economy into the dirt. Has GM reduced the cost of their autos by 61% because taxpayers now own 61% of GM? Have mega banks reduced interest rates in a "no inflation" economy? Our money bailed them out so they can give the Executives bigger bonuses this year than last--it is the lead story of "Good Morning America" today, and for the next several days, as their top executives try and explain to Congress their bonus rationale.

My small business is about to go under along with all others in Eastern NC--thanks to a corporate mindset. How many of us could thrive if the cost of just one bomb for Iraq were sent to us instead.

Big is DEFINITELY NOT BETTER. Big government runs over voters. Big Business corrupts every government measure to make sure they are favored. Lobbists don't get paid mega-bucks by mega-businesses to wine and dine Washington into corruption!

This country is on the edge of revolt. Rick Warren's coverage in USA Today of his $900,000 plea which got $2.4 Million got almost 80% negative and hateful comments along the lines of "It's just a big show and does little for the average person in the Saddleback community--and why is he so plump these days and wears such nice suits?"

I think people are tiring of the Pharisees at the Temple with moneychangers on the steps getting rich while the Priests are fat under their fine robes because they get to eat the First Fruit Tithes of faithful and dedicated Jews who make the trip of a lifetime to worship at the Jerusalem Temple.

We have met the enemy--and it is us---mega-minded idiots who still pay our taxes to be run over by the big boys in corporate jets / 3 homes in the most exotic places / furnishings, clothes, entertainment, cars not to be believed for their expense.

Someone pays for the "lives of the rich and famous" (preachers)---and it is us who want to be entertained by atheletes/great orators who make millions and use steroids for our amusement. What do tickets to pro events cost these days?


Anonymous said...


The relevance comes as one reads Wade's post about having 2,300 members and the challenge that comes with trying to minister to a group that large.

We address it by having an increasingly large staff and assigning members to each for prayer. Even then it's only possible to direct prayer to 100 or so each week.

Even with the best of attempts it seems to miss on the personalization of ministry that people seek.

Gene S said...

Food for thought re: WOMEN

Peter Gomes, divinity school @ Harvard, put it this way: "The Virgin Mary becomes the means of the New Creation. We are not certain about what to do with Mary, but the question is wrongly put; for it is not so much what we are to do with Mary as it is what God does with Mary . How she is used as an Instrument of His purpose!" Gomes then tells about the late "gloomy Dean," William Ralph Inge of St. Paul's Cathedral in London. Inge dies, and was ushered into the presence of God. Jesus came down from God's right hand and said, "Ah, Mr. Dean. Welcome to heaven. I know you have met my Father, but I don't believe you have met my Mother." (Peter J. Gomes "Sermons", p. 10)..

Anonymous said...

My above story was totally satire.

Debbie Kaufman said...

As a long time member of Emmanuel Baptist church I can personally say that my family covets these prayers. I won't know until I get to heaven the ways that these prayers have affected us. But to know that ones church is praying for each member daily means so much.

Debbie Kaufman said...

BTW Jack: I'm still laughing at the Dorothy comment. Hilarious.

Rex: LOL means laughing out loud.

Gene S said...


Satire or fantasy initiates in the subconscious and from there puts together the story.

What is going on in your subconscious mind to have a young girl seduce a boy and then become a female peacher?

Anonymous said...


It is satire. There are perverbial analogies. I was in fact poking fun at the fundamentalist you say are taking over the SBC. Lighten up dude.


Steve said...

As for larger -vs- smaller churches:

My small church experience was always greatly affected by which roosters crowed the loudest, and who were the chiefs -vs- who were the Indians. The smaller churches simply had 3 or 4 chiefs instead of 12 insisting that things be done their way.

But the big church I am in now has been full-to-overcrwoded since the day it was built and we will add a church service and a SS soon because we are all Indians - even the pastor acts humbly.

When I was in the small settings we all heard the same garbage against successful churches and their size that has always gone around - only the thing is, nobody listens to that stuff anymore when they know better.

Finally, our small church had a big fight or two every year, and we didn't even know the words Landmark and Fundamentalist. This church I'm in now? fuggetaboudit.

Gene S said...

Sorry, Kev---I've just seen a lot too much in recent weeks with hidden sexual stuff floating beneath church work.

A Catholic Priest was on th news here last night being charged with molestation. He serves 3 small churches. The Migrant gentleman who was speaking in his defense was far too positive he was innocent to suit me.

Of course, the Priest was surrounded by lawyers at church expense to try and keep their nose clean to the public.

I'm getting tired of pretense and didn't mean to pick on you so hard. Please forgive.

Gene S said...


Somewhere between small glorified social club and large entertainment center there has to be a good place for God worship.

I am convinced spiritual commitment, along with love and forgiveness, determines more the quality of a church than just the size.

Tom Parker said...

Gene S:

You said to me:"If women were so unimportant, why are both our main mission offerings named after women? Why has the WMU(WOM)been the backbone of the mission offering and the inventor of Sunbeams/GA's/RA's so missions had the highest place in the SBC?"

Gene, if some of these men pastor's in the SBC would read just a little bit of history about the SBC they would know it would have folded with the WMU.

They would probably if they read and studied reply that was then and this is now.

As I said to Jack M--they will give and account to God one day for the abuse they have given to women in his name.

Women have been and continue to be the backbone of most SB churches.

Jack Maddox said...


As far as I remember it was something to do with you being wrong and me being right!

Brother, trust me, I do not get 'upset' over poeple opining on a blog. I actually have a life and a ministry. :)


Jack Maddox said...


I was joking bro...


Jack Maddox said...

Tom and Gene

I love you! I know, I know, its the fundies fault...but I do love you!


Anonymous said...


I love ya man, no harm no fowl. Sometimes I crack myself up and no one else laughs. :(

Anyway, I am lovng Facebook. Abraham Piper years ago started a blog called "22 Words" Something about lessons in getting to the point. Facebook (and Twitter for that matter) is totally the same concept.

Anyone think blogs are gonna die out? (Present venue not withstanding)

Rex Ray said...

So you broke up with me because I was wrong and you were right?

That makes me LOL. (Thanks Debbie.) I thought it was the loosing team that was angry with the refs. :)

But I’ve enjoyed the conversation.

Hey! How about going down my slide? The rule is the more weight, the faster you go.

The record is 30 feet airborne on a sled for a preacher 275#, but besides breaking bats, he blew up a hot water bottle till it burst – one of those ‘Power Impact Teams’.

He ended his slide with “Yippee!” but wrote “If you can’t die, don’t try.”

Gene S said...


God help their souls! Not only have they picked the crowning creature of mankind, but the same sex as Jesus' mother to try and defame.

God help their souls!!!!

WTJeff said...

Uh....wasn't this post about how the staff at Emmanuel cares for it's flock through contact and prayer?

Thanks Wade, I'm in the process of gathering a launch team for a church plant and I'm definitely planning to make this a huge part of what we do. Thanks for setting a great example.

Tom Parker said...


You said:"God help their souls! Not only have they picked the crowning creature of mankind, but the same sex as Jesus' mother to try and defame.

God help their souls!!!!"

Gene, to relate this to this post. They pray for others not even realizing that they need prayer for themselves to reveal to them how wrong they are about the role of Women in the SBC. The SBC will continue its decline until its leaders repent for their treatment of Women.

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gene S said...

What I can't figure is the Sandy Creek Revivla series at SEBTS every year, plus other dramatic recommitment and confession CR events.

If they are so righteous, why do the need them?

If they are confessing sins and not changing--what is their reason and what are they confessing?

Bob Cleveland said...

Scheduling "revivals" every year sends a (perhaps not so) subtle message that we expect your faith to die every year, or lapse into a comatose state, and need to be revived on a regular basis.

If that's the case, and this is the expectation our soon-to-be pastors leave the seminaries with, then that might go a long way toward explaining why (out of 16 million members) such an alarming number are not leading consistent, faithful Christian lives.

They're not expected to.


Christiane said...

The timing of revival is written:

" .. . from this time on and for evermore.
3From the rising of the sun to its setting
the name of the Lord is to be praised."
(from the Psalm 113)

dear brothers and sisters,


Christiane said...

VISITATION: the coming of the

"Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us." (Luke 1:78)

"This is an unusual, but beautiful, name of the coming Savior given Him by Zacharias when he was "filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied" (Luke 1:67). In that same prophecy, Zacharias also called that coming one "the Highest" and "the Lord" who would "give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins" (vv. 76-77). Just six months later, Jesus was born.

The Greek word here translated "dayspring" is so translated only this one time. It refers to the metaphorical spring from which the sun springs forth each day, and so is usually translated simply as "the east." It is interesting that it is used three times in connection with the story of the wise men "from the east" who saw "his star in the east" and then, when they reached Bethlehem once again, "the star, which they saw in the east," led them to the one who was Himself "the dayspring"
(Matthew 2:1-2, 9).

There is one other sunrise appropriately presaged here. Many years later the women who had tearfully watched the Lord being crucified and buried, came to His sepulcher to anoint Him with sweet spices "at the rising of the sun" (Mark 16:2) immediately after He had risen from the dead. Here a closely related word is the word translated "rising."

from the writings
of Dr. Henry Morris

linda said...

I've thoroughly enjoyed this post and the comments.

Rex Ray and Gene S have posted some "good stuff."

We made the recent decision to return (somewhat) to the SBC.

I say somewhat because we cannot return to the SBC I joined when saved--it no longer exists!

But we will still attend Sunday School (a two hour worship service with loud rock band just isn't for us! It's our only SBC church in town.)

We will teach our granddaughter the Baptist Distinctives.

We will still study our books by Mullins and Hobbs.

We will not join as long as the emphasis is on forcing everyone into a fundamentalist mold (even when we agree with them!) and on mega church with mega salary.

Two blocks from us there used to be a little SBC mission church, building owned by the larger church. It closed to boost the coffers of the larger church. In this poorer neighborhood that effectively shut the Hispanics out of the SBC since they cannot afford the across town drive to the larger church.

I will continue to practice my faith just as it was 1967-1978, and teach my granddaughter the same.

And I will pray the SBC return to being a BAPTIST CONVENTION, not a fundamentalist denomination.

There is a difference, and when the rank and file realize we lost our Baptist freedoms for a mess of pottage, perhaps one day we will return to being the greatest evangelistic organization in history.

Gene S said...


Sadly, I don't think we will ever have the SCB we once had.

My advice is to look for a CBF church. They are the old SBC with a new name.

Otherwise, you might consider a good Methodist Church, for they have the basic SBC theology with a slightly different denominational structure which actually protects the Pastor who wants to speak truthfully the Bible from the pulpit when church members just want "churchianity."

Had I to do my career over again in light of 1979 changes, I would find joy and peace being a Methodist Clergyman.

Christiane said...

Linda wrote:

"Two blocks from us there used to be a little SBC mission church, building owned by the larger church. It closed to boost the coffers of the larger church. In this poorer neighborhood that effectively shut the Hispanics out of the SBC since they cannot afford the across town drive to the larger church."

I feel so sad reading this.
It's not supposed to happen this way. Even I know that.

Caritas Christi,

Tom Kelley said...

I'm sure this is indeed an important room at Emmanuel, but I propose an experiment to determine for certain if it is the most important one. Close off the room for a month and don't use it. Then reopen it and close off the most used ladies' bathroom in the church for a month. See which one evokes the most complaints and/or impacts church attendance.

Lydia said...

Anyone think blogs are gonna die out? (Present venue not withstanding)

Of course. We are a soundbite people who have become a nanosecond twitter people devoid of content.

We just elected a guy based on how well he could read a teleprompter and say "hope and change" with great charisma. (Never mind the "rising sun" logo. What is up with that?) said...

Tom Kelley,


I don't disagree. said...


I have mulled over a post about the dumbing down of written communication. The texts, tweets, and blackberry pushed emails have made us all people of short attention spans, shorter vocabularies, and even shorter abilities to logically think things through via sound reasoning.

Blogs may die out, but my prayer is that well thought out writing and theological debate is only beginning.


Anonymous said...

Ya, umm and Wade.....on them there other other sites don't have to be friends with anyone you don't wanna be friends with...

Anonymous said...


Saddle up yur chainsaws and let's go to Haiti.

K said...


Resend your request.

I honestly am a FACEBOOK neophyte, and mess up often on protocol.

My bad.


Gene S said...

Fill me in Kevin--

John Fariss said...

Re: big, BIG churches:

A group of small-church ministers, including me, had a conversation with Randall Lolley shortly after he went to FBC, Greensboro. Someone asked him what it was like pastoring so large a congregation. I'll never forget his answer. "I don't pastor a church of 3300 people," be began, with what I think was a look of sadness. "I supervise a staff which pastors a church of 3300 people."

Maybe Wade has found a way to overcome that--more power to him if he has. But every pastor of every big church has to either find a way to overcome the sheer numbers, or a way to excuse his lack of pastoral interaction. I think most take the latter route, based on my observations. And I have talked with several large- and mega-church pastors and staff.


Anonymous said...


I had just read the CNN story of the 7.0 earthquake that hit Haiti.

Sorta makes me sad that I have nothing to do at the moment and people are suffering.



No problem, it is done. I was just so deeply hurt, and felt emasculated and worthless that you would pick "Quivering Daughters" to be your friend over me.


Gene S said...


Randall Lolley always tells the truth. The down side of Pastoring a large church is administrative duties.

He is one who loves to be Pastoral and has just taken a 300 or so member church in Raleigh. I talked with him last week and he is his usual jolly self--always when he has a church to serve and place to preach.

Gene S said...

I am aware of the Haiti quake, but have no money to go.

If someone wants to cover my passport / airfare / any extra charges for saws, ropes, etc., I am out of work right now and would gladly tackle it.

You just want to make sure there is a good local connection and time won't be wasted.

Give me a 3' gap and I will put it on target! Earthquakes usually have more building damage than trees. Trees sway and swing and with deep enough roots seldom come down in droves. If it's bad enough to bring down trees, ground will be so torn up you can't cross it!

Anonymous said...

Well we can pray. Sounds cheap I know. But we have missionaries there and they will need lots of intercession.


Lydia said...

"Blogs may die out, but my prayer is that well thought out writing and theological debate is only beginning."

I do not have time to flesh this out but I think this goes back to not only technology but further back to the change from teacher centered classrooms to child centered classrooms.

linda said...

Gene--thank you.

There are no cbf churches in our region, or else I would gladly be in one. Our choices, if we want to be in a Baptist church and we do, are SBC and one ultra-fundamentalist KJVO one.

We tried the local Methodist church. In some areas it is good, but our local one is very new age.

I served there as liturgist for a while, but left rather than read liturgy to the sun and moon. Not the Creator of the sun and moon, but asking the blessings be given us by the sun and moon. (And I don't mean crops and tides and natural events.)

L's--it saddens me too. Beyond words.

Gene S said...

It sounds like Baptists aren't the only ones practicing "Churchianity" these days.

Sad comment, and good luck with the new folks---

On the other hand, you might consider a private meeting with the Methodist minister concerning your concerns that they are not supposed to be pagans dancing around naked in the cornfields baying at the moon!