Pastors challenged to embrace Gospel preaching, ministry
Nov 28, 2011
By CHRIS TURNER & DAVID ROACH
Special to Florida Baptist Witness

Related Coverage:

2011 FBSC Annual Meeting

CORAL SPRINGS (FBW)—If broken lives are going to receive any relief in this lifetime it is going to come as the result of pastors who preach the Gospel and through churches that minister intentionally to families with a Gospel intent, admonished speakers during the 2011 Florida Baptist Pastors’ Conference Nov. 15 at Church by the Glades.

Attendees heard messages from Florida Baptist pastors John Cross, Ken Whitten, Jeff Singletary, Jimmy Scroggins, Troy Gramling, Bob Barnes, and Danny Egipciaco and Bob Coy, pastor of Calvary Chapel in Fort Lauderdale.

Conference President David Hughes, pastor of Church by the Glades, organized the conference and led the business session. The new officers elected were, Brad White, pastor, LifePoint in Tampa, president for 2013; Jimmy Scroggins, pastor, First Baptist Church in West Palm Beach, first vice-president; and Eric Gervais, pastor, First Baptist Church in Salt Springs, second-vice president. Stephen Rummage, pastor, Bell Shoals Baptist Church, Brandon, is president for the 2012 Florida Baptist Pastors’ Conference in Orlando.

ENERGIZED Anthony Evans, popular Christian pop artist, leads worship during the Florida Baptist Pastors’ Conference Nov. 13-14 in Coral Springs. Photo by Joni B. Hannigan

Christian pop artist Anthony Evans led worship with vocalists and musicians from Church by the Glades. His father, Tony Evans, is the founder of the syndicated Urban Alternative.

JOHN CROSS

John Cross, pastor of South Biscayne Church in North Port, said pastors must choose the right types of people as partners in spiritual warfare if they hope to fend off the devil’s attacks.

“Show me your friends, I’ll show you your future,” he said.

Preaching from Exodus 17, Cross drew a plan for spiritual victory against Satan from Israel’s battle with the Amalekites. First, he said pastors need “hands-on” people like Joshua.

When the Amalekites attacked, Moses told Joshua to select some warriors. The next day Joshua and his men fought the enemy. Cross compared the soldiers with believers willing to do ministry alongside their pastor.

“The battle is on, and we’ve got to be wise like Moses,” he said. “And we’ve got to ask those around us, those closest to us to choose the right kinds of people as we engage in this spiritual warfare. We need men and women of courage, men and women who are strong, men and women who will not back down, who will not back up, but will stand up and speak up for that which is right.”

JOHN CROSS Pastor, South Biscayne Church, North Port Photo by Joni B. Hannigan
As the hands-on people fight, pastors must have their hands up like Moses, Cross said. As the battle raged, Moses went on a hill and lifted his hands. Whenever his hands were up, Israel prevailed. But when he lowered them, the Amalekites began to win. Cross said lifting hands is a posture of prayer and symbolizes the pastor’s need to spend time alone with God.

“If we want to lead our people, we’ve got to be getting that daily bread from the Word of God,” he said to pastors. “We’ve got to take that daily drink, that daily infilling, that daily empowering of the Holy Spirit of God. And we’ve got to get alone to do that. We can’t always be available.”

Pastors also need people to pray for them, Cross said, comparing prayer warriors to Aaron and Hur, the two men who held up Moses’ arms during the battle when he got tired.

At his church Cross has a team that prays for him and his family daily and before worship services. He urged other ministers to establish similar teams—“Aarons” and “Hurs.”

Too many pastors “isolate themselves,” he said. “And they’re weak, and they’re weary. And like the Amalekites [enemies] come and attack. And far too often the evil one scores a victory.”

Related Coverage:

2011 FBSC Annual Meeting

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