leadership

It is our mission at Wilkesboro Baptist Church to lead our neighbors and the nations to follow Jesus. We fulfill our mission by worshiping, learning, serving, and replicating. In just a couple of weeks, we will revisit our mission and these steps in our worship services.

But now for some news about replicating. In order for us to make disciples and replicate the life of Jesus in others, we need to invite others to serve alongside us, share responsibility, and send out followers of Jesus to lead other groups, classes, and even churches. We now have the privilege of sending our Minister of Communications, Gary Buffaloe, to begin a new church.

Gary has been instrumental in the life, mission, and health of Wilkesboro Baptist Church over the past few years. His development of media leadership, editing and posting videos, and keeping us engaged on social media platforms have helped WBC navigate the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic. Gary is a gifted servant with a pastor’s heart.

When we hired Gary, he let us know that he had a burden for church planting. It seems as if God is opening a door for Gary and staffers at YMCA Camp Harrison to plant a church in Boomer, NC. He and others have been praying about this opportunity for several months, and Gary will be stepping away from his role here at WBC at the end of the year.

We will miss Gary, his expertise, and his pastoral heart. He was a God-send to our church at just the right time. But we are excited for him and the future work that will begin sometime in 2022. We will have a formal service of sending Gary and his family later in October.

In truth, this step for Gary is also an opportunity for WBC to fulfill our mission. It is our mission to replicate. In Gary’s case that has meant replicating the life of Jesus into a fellow pastor and sending him out to plant a church. For WBC, sending Gary and his family provides us the privilege of replicating a new church in the Boomer area.

For us to fulfill our mission, we cannot just stay and enjoy the blessings we have. We have to share and send the blessings God has given us to others.

If you have any questions about this transition, feel free to reach out. You’ll likely see a post in the near future as we seek to replace Gary’s responsibilities at the church. You’ll also get a chance to hear from Gary before he steps away at the end of the year. It is also likely that this new work will become one of our annual mission partners.

For now, pray for Gary, his family, and his team as they continue to plan for this new work. Pray that WBC will know how to best support this new church plant. And pray that WBC will find the right person to help us with our communications and media ministries.

At Wilkesboro Baptist, we’ve identified our mission as leading our neighbors and the nations to follow Jesus. We do this by worshiping, learning, serving, and replicating.

Worship, learn, and serve are pretty obvious, right?

  • To worship is to give God the appropriate attention, glory, and praise due his name. With regard to our church’s mission, to worship means that we commit to worshiping together in our regular worship services.
  • To learn is to recognize that in our role as disciples, we are learners. We learn from God’s Word, prayer, and especially as we gather in groups (Sunday School and Discipleship Groups), to study and apply God’s Word.
  • To serve is to give our time, energy, and resources for the benefit of others and the accomplishment of God’s mission. When we meet a need, visit someone who is hurting, lead a class, or join with a mission partner, we are fulfilling our obligation to serve.

But what does it mean to replicate? In short, to replicate means to reproduce a replica or likeness in someone or something else. Ultimately, this is the goal of our biblical mission. Making disciples is replicating the life of Jesus in someone else. When I teach someone how to follow Jesus by worshiping, learning, and serving, then I’m replicating the life of Jesus in them. When I share ministry responsibilities with others, and we work together to fulfill God’s mission in our church, then I’m replicating the life of Jesus in them.

In the coming couple of weeks, we’re going to model our mission to you as a congregation. I’m going to replicate in my preaching ministry.

God has blessed Wilkesboro Baptist Church with some fine staff members and excellent communicators. Our Associate Pastor, Tad Craig and Minister of Communications, Gary Buffaloe are gifted preachers. But God has also sent some younger ministers to us. Over the summer our pastoral staff have gathered with some young men God has called to ministry to help them grow in their calling and service to the Lord. And in the next two weeks, depending on the service you attend for worship, you will get a chance to hear them preach.

Here’s the preaching schedule for the next couple of weeks: 

  • Tad Craig will preach on Wednesday, July 21 at our 6:00 PM worship service and also preach the 8:00 AM and 9:30 AM services on Sunday July 25.
  • Josh Pinkerton will preach the 11:00 AM service on Sunday July 25. 
  • Gary Buffaloe will preach on Wednesday, July 28 at our 6:00 PM worship service and will also preach the 9:30 am service on Sunday August 1.
  • Shawn Dubose will preach the 8:00 AM service on August 1.
  • Hudson Myers will preach the 11:00 AM service on August 1.

Josh Pinkerton is the son of Dr. Joe and Doreen Pinkerton. He grew up at Wilkesboro Baptist and is currently earning a Masters degree toward Christian Counseling.

Hudson Myers is the son of Madeline Myers. He also grew up at Wilkesboro Baptist and is currently at Gardner Webb University earning a Bachelor’s degree in Christian ministry. Hudson is serving a pastoral internship at our church this summer.

Shawn Dubose is a recent church member. He was one of my students at Fruitland Baptist Bible College. He will finish Fruitland in September and is planning to attend Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in the new year.

Over these two weeks Josh, Hudson, and Shawn, as well as Tad and Gary will get the opportunity to preach at what I think is one of the finest churches in America. Our pastoral staff will be listening to their sermons and critiquing them after they preach with the goal of helping them learn. (Incidentally, Josh, Hudson, and Shawn have been critiquing my sermons recently to my great benefit).

This schedule takes the pressure off Josh, Hudson, and Shawn to preach for recording (our Wednesday services) as well as having to preach multiple times. When I return to preach in August, I will continue our Walk Wisely series in the book of Proverbs for another number of weeks.

  • Would you pray for Tad, Gary, Josh, Hudson, and Shawn as they preach in the coming weeks?
  • Would you pray for rest and renewed energy for myself as I take a week away with my family?
  • Would you pray for our congregation to respond to what I believe will be Spirit-filled preaching over the next weeks?
  • Would you pray that we will embrace this picture of replication in living out our mission?

Photo by Alexander Michl on Unsplash