Spring Conference 2013 [Tuesday Evening]

Our 53rd Annual Spring Conference continued this evening with Scripture-soaked messages, giving honor where honor is due, and words of encouragement.

The choir from Thompson Road opened with “Ancient Words,” followed by the congregation singing “Victory in Jesus.” ♪ Pastor Doug King then led us in prayer before we sang “Loyalty to Christ.” ♪ His Gospel we’ll proclaim, throughout the world’s domain, Of loyalty, loyalty, yes, loyalty to Christ. 

Pastor Mark Pyles sang “He’s All I Need” before the first message. 

Missionary John Hatcher, who has served 58 years in Brazil, brought the first message from the Psalms, but opened by singing a Portuguese song and all the Portuguese speakers joined in! (Something about being happy…”O yo something feliz.” Apologies from Phoebe who forgot to ask for a translation afterward.)

“I want the Scriptures to speak to you,” he said. “I’ll make my words few.”

Psalm 1 contains the perfect instructions for guiding your life as a Christian. The promises in it are overwhelming.

vs. 1- Happy is the man who walks in the right way, stands in the right place, and doesn’t sit in the wrong places.

vs. 2- 24 hours a day. Some of us our too lazy and too “busy” to meditate on God’s Word, but that’s the only thing that will last forever.

vs. 3- What a promise! Whatever I do as God’s child will prosper. God has obligated Himself to this promise if I meet the demands of the first part of the chapter.

If you want a successful life, do what He says. 

“This may be the shortest sermon I’ve ever preached at a conference,” he remarked, “but the words are eternal.”

Psalm 126 shows the secret of success in a life that is going to win souls.
Our job is to win souls to the Lord and they can’t be saved without hearing that Jesus died, was buried, and rose from the dead.

vs. 5- Another promise. Weep as you sow. We cry over the lost. We cry over their need. We cry over their destiny without Christ. It’s my job to sow the seed and weep over the lost. It’s Christ’s job to make it sprout. You have to plant the seed with care. There have been some tears, but you keep sowing.

When we have the opportunity to tell and we don’t, the blood is on our hands. We can’t pass that off.

If you want to be a soul-winner, you must understand Psalm 126.

Psalm 127– The Family
vs. 2- God works for us while we rest! He wants us to rest in Him.
vs. 3- CHILDREN are a heritage from the Lord. We often think of material possessions as a heritage, but it’s CHILDREN. “We always wanted 8 kids. We made it to 5–and if we had more like the 5 we had, we’d want at least 8.”

Psalm 128– Great Promises: When you honor Him, the family is the blessing.
The Hatchers have 5 children, 15 grandchildren, and 26 great-grandchildren. Every one of the grandchildren is serving the Lord in a special ministry. All 4 greats in France have trusted the Lord and they are trusting the rest will as well!

Psalm 127 & 128 pronounce blessings over the family. When you have godly families, you’ll have godly politicians, schoolteachers, workers, and bosses. When the family fails, all fails.

Take the Word in its simplicity.

♪ Close to Thee 

We had a special presentation to honor the exemplary and faithful service of four of our missionary families this evening.

  • John & Alta Hatcher – 58 years in Brazil
  • Harold & Marie Bratcher – 53 ½ years in Brazil
  • Bobby & Betty Creiglow – 33 years in Brazil
  • Harold & Ursula Draper – 32 ½ years in Brazil

They each received a plaque with their years of service and a message of thanks and 2 Timothy 2:2 at the bottom. (You can download a sample PDF here to see the text and generic design of the plaque.)

“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” -2 Timothy 2:2

Pastor David Hatcher from Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil, then told the story of a little seed planted by BFM. He wanted to encourage us to be faithful and to show that our work has not been in vain–that our faith in what BFM missionaries were planting was not in vain. “Sometimes you get one of those genetically modified kernels,” he said. God determines the size as He uses us.

He shared a video about the history Chapada Baptist Church that was made to “gladden our hearts.” Chapada was the first church planted in Brazil by John & Alta Hatcher in 1960. Five years ago, they had 130 members. Now it’s grown to 5000 and they have planted 20 churches in Brazil and 4 churches in other countries (Venezuela, Mozambique, Peru, and British Guyana).

What you did will have eternal rewards and you’ll only find out about most of it when you get to Heaven. You may never know the extent of the work that you’re doing–only Heaven will tell. So do not grow weary.

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” -Galatians 6:9

The seed is good seed, but there are some things we can do in planting the seed to make it more effective.

Six Things the Chapada Church has Focused On
First off, pastors need to get rid of fear. Figure out what God wants and do it regardless of what other people think. Think outside the church walls. 

1) The absolute top priority of the church & the Christian is to love God above all. It’s Jesus everywhere. Jesus in your job, in your sports, in your dating, in your marriage. (Deuteronomy 6:5)
The #1 way you love God: Obey. (John 14)
Sanctification involves learning to obey and learning to hear the voice of the Spirit. It takes commitment AND passion. Learn to praise God. (Psalm 89:15)

2) It’s the joy of the Lord that is our strength. 
-People need to WANT to go to church. Bring joy into your services because the JOY of the Lord is the strength of the Christian. It shouldn’t be an obligation. When we are full of joy, the burden of the Lord’s work becomes light. (Psalm 37:4)
-Study God’s Word collectively and individually. Every member is encouraged to spend 20-25 minutes per day in the Word 5 days a week. They memorize 5 or so verses a week and do Bible Study sheets. Not all 5000 do it, but 2000 do, and 2000 is better than no-thousand!
-Get people into the Word! How shall a young man keep His way pure? (Psalm 119:9) When you get people in the Word, it overflows in fruit (the best kind of fruit is souls). Stimulate the reading, studying, and memorization with rewards.
“When I was a boy, I read because my mother would let me go buy a toy as a reward at the end of a year. That got me in the habit of doing it, but that’s not why I do it now.”
-Everyone should be trained, not just the pastor.
As people serve and invest their lives, they’ll love the church and Jesus more. Where your treasure is… (Matthew 6:21) Don’t ask what the church can do for you.

3) Apply the theology to everyday life. Don’t assume people know what to do with the Word. (Matthew 7:24) Help them put it into their tennis shoes. The Bible is the manual of life.

4) Ministry is done by volunteers. The people do the work. When you’re invested, you can’t leave. God has given us intelligence, time, and energy–we turn these in to make money and buy material things, but don’t forget to invest in and buy eternal things. The average member at Chapada gives about 8-10 hours per week to the church.

5) Focus on loving one another.
Sometimes we emphasize the wrong things. Anything that is not going to make an eternal difference is the wrong thing. Focus on the right things. (1 John 3:16) MAKE PEOPLE FEEL LOVED. (John 13:34-35) Love is the best advertisement for your church. Bring gifts for people when you come to church–cards, candy, fruit. Leave messages on their phone. Send them texts of encouragement. (Sidenote: Instead of Facebook, get your face in the Book! But if you use Facebook, use it for the Lord and to encourage one another!)

6) Our Purpose: Give people the opportunity to respond to the Gospel.
1 Corinthians 9:24-26 Speak in a language that people understand. Consider everything as a divine appointment. When you’re filling up your gas tank, it’s a divine appointment. Invite the cashier to church–tell them how Jesus died for their sins.

He challenged us to rethink our methods. We must plant the seed in an effective way. Do not be weary. Do not be discouraged. Be creative.

We closed the evening session with ♪ Lord Speak to Me ♪

Tomorrow is the final day of the conference. We hope you can join us! [Schedule]

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