Pastors’ panel anticipates church 15 years in future
Dec 5, 2012
By JONI B. HANNIGAN
Managing Editor

Inserra said when he’s at home he tries to throw his cell phone into a bedroom. Of his wife, he said, “She’s a church member. They did not hire a two for one. … She’s not the pastor’s wife … not my church’s wife, she’s my wife.”

The younger pastor said he coaches his boys’ sports teams, as does Scroggins who said he has six sons and two daughters and is grateful his church is “very encouraging and loving” to him and his family. 

Gates said it’s a “heart issue” and he looks for the Holy Spirit to give him wisdom when dealing with which church matters he needs to attend, even those that sometimes require him to leave the house at night.

“No one has to beg me to spend time with my family,” Gates said, however.

Examining boundaries and priorities are important to Rice who said: “It’s not like these two worlds don’t overlap. My wife loves Jesus and she would be involved in the church no matter who she’s married to.”

Still, Rice said family relationships are to be protected. “It is fundamentally hard” to say no, he admitted.

“But I’ve learned to say ‘yes’ to the bigger things,” he said. “There are appropriate boundaries. You are going to disappoint some people. You don’t want to disappoint your family.”

WHERE ARE THE YOUNG GUYS?

Uth posed a final question to the panel, asking members of the audience under 45 years of age to stand. Seeing more than he said is usual at the FBSC, he said typically in denominational life there are only a handful of younger men involved. “What’s happening?” he asked. “Where are the young guys?”

Inserra credited a lack of involvement of younger pastors with “immaturity” of young people versus a “wolf pack mentality” he referenced in denominational life.

“It shows immaturity on my generation’s part that we’re not getting the big picture of what God’s doing cooperatively and we don’t see the importance of working together in what the denomination is actually doing,” Inserra said.

Admitting he was struggling to be honest, Inserra said “there is so often a wolf pack mentality in Baptist mentality” that he hesitated at going to the platform without first tucking his long sleeved shirt into his jeans—although only Uth and Gates were wearing suits and ties. 

“I feel often like I have to walk back in time 50 years when I go to denominational meetings and it’s hard to get other people to go with me,” Inserra said. “I just want to feel like when we come here, that we’re not just this little side note of these people who are rebellious; you know we sometimes are, and we should repent of that; or we get marginalized because we might be a little more reformed in our theology, some of us; or because we might have a different view on alcohol. …”

Inserra said he knows some of these things are “a big deal” but should not be a cause for pastors to be marginalized: “We’re in a world where if you tweet somebody or you re-tweet somebody that you don’t agree with on everything—you all of a sudden get associated with that person. So we have to write in our twitter accounts, ‘re-tweet does not mean endorsement.’ Are we that tribal? Have we really gotten to that place?”

Citing the 2012 FBSC annual meet­ing theme, “What Really Matters,” Inserra said apathy in denominational matters on the part of the younger men can be attributed to “fear of the wolf pack.”

“So I think we have to lower the fangs. Focus on what matters,” Inserra said. “Immaturity on our part; lack of really wanting us to be here on the other.”

 

 

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