Pastors encouraged to preach with urgency, passionby C. Walter Overman
The annual North Carolina Baptist Pastor’s Conference, held Nov. 11-12 at Lawndale Baptist Church in Greensboro, focused on the theme “Preach the Word,” based on 2 Timothy 4:2.
Greg Mathis, senior pastor of Mud Creek Baptist Church in Hendersonville, opened the conference with an appeal to pastors to embrace the Great Commission with a renewed sense of urgency.
“There is one last great hope for the world, our nation, our children and our churches, and that hope lies in the person and power of Jesus Christ and no one else,” he said. “How can we love the Lord Jesus Christ so passionately tonight and not share Him immediately and continually with those around us?”
Mathis said the exploding global population and increasing number of people who do not know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior has created an urgent need for missions locally and internationally. Yet, too many believers are unaware of, or unconcerned about, the growing numbers of lostness.
“We’ve got something a lost world needs. We cannot keep this to ourselves,” Mathis said.
Mathis encouraged pastors to re-energize their efforts on a singular focus – spreading the gospel.
“We have a debt to take the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world,” he said. “God help us, North Carolina Baptists, to be urgent with the gospel.”
Bobby Welch, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, also addressed the urgency of missions.
Welch challenged pastors from Matthew 9:36-38 to begin praying that God would send them out of their comfort zones and into the harvest fields. He said too many pastors are great preachers of God’s Word but fail to follow through with action.
“You cannot get away with this. You cannot be allowed to preach the Word without acting on it,” Welch said.
Welch said he sees much passion in modern preaching, but believes there is a deficiency in compassion, and without compassion, pastors will never feel the need to act on God’s Word.
“They have great passion but it stops at the doors of the church and it leaves them by the time they get out of the parking lot,” he said. “Herald the gospel with passion and compassion. Don’t just talk about it. Put some action in it.”
Welch said the cross of Christ is the supreme example of passion and compassion working together. The cross illustrates God’s passion to save a lost world and His compassion to act by sacrificing His Son on the cross.
God’s passion and compassion as demonstrated on the cross should motivate believers to actively engage the world for Christ with the same zeal.
“Let us share the gospel for the cross,” Welch said. “Let us with passion and compassion let loose the gospel concerning the cross of Christ.”