There is great coverage of the New Baptist Covenant on many fronts. The importance of the message is validated by the prompt posting of videos of key speakers and articles covering every Special Interest Session. If you were not able to attend the gathering in Atlanta do not feel that you have to miss out. At least not completely. Here are some links to some messages that I have not blogged about yet:
Julie Pennington-Russell – Thursday night (PR is the pastor of FBC, Decater, GA, and a personal role model as a female pastor.)
Al Gore – Thursday Lunch (Al Gore was the featured speaker for a luncheon regarding global warming and was attended by over 2,000)
I attended the "Reaching the Sick" special interest session and was disappointed in the content and presentation. Perhaps it was simply a mismatch of expectations and reality. As I begin to dream about my new role of missions at the church, one of my strongest dreams is the development of our community ministries. One aspect of that ministry has to be in the area of health care. I did pick up a few practical ideas.
I left that session and went to the Prophetic Preaching gathering where four preachers bring the Word throughout the day. I made it in time to hear the one I was most interested in hearing – Rev. James Forbes, Senior Minister Emeritus at Riverside in New York, NY. Forbes was voted in the past by Baylor University as one of the 12 most effective preachers in the English-speaking world. I’ve heard great comments on his preaching and was not disappointed in the least. The man is gifted – not only in delivery (which the man can BRING it) but in content as well. Please take time to listen to it here. [Hat tip to Big Daddy Weave for making the audio possible.]
I also was able to hear Rev. George Mason, pastor at Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. His sermon was titled "Us and Them" based out of the text of Luke 6:27-36. His was a brilliant challenge on changing from the "Us vs. Them" mentality and moving it to an "Us in them and them in Us" mentality and ultimately, Emmanuel – God with us all. It was a wonderful and powerful message that needs to be heard continually. It is so easy for us to move into a dangerous place where awareness of differences can grow to hatred and division and then to acts of violence. Mason effectively showed how America’s portrayal of Muslims (they are the evil-doers and we are the do-gooders) is a mirror to many Muslim’s feelings toward America.
There is a way (through the power of the Spirit, the witness of Jesus the Christ, and the abundant love of God) for us to work together, to coexist, to find common ground with one another and to minister out of that place. This, the prevalent theme of the NBC.