replicate

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

This past week my sermon came from the most familiar Proverb.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Solomon offers a number of incentives in this chapter for the person who walks wisely. Verses 5 and 6 detail the demands for one to be wise. In my sermon, I listed those demands:

  • Trust the LORD completely.
  • Reject self-reliance deliberately.
  • Acknowledge the LORD constantly.

God often convicts me with my own sermons. And one of the ways he is convicting me this week is about acknowledging him constantly. In all my ways, I must acknowledge him. In all your ways, you should acknowledge him.

What are our ways? Well, we have many of them. We have the way of our own spiritual walk. We have the way of family interactions. We have the way of work or school. We have the way of leisure. We could on. What is clear is that Solomon teaches us to acknowledge, that is recognize and testify to our relationship with the LORD in all our ways. Acknowledge comes from the Hebrew word da’at which means a relational knowledge. So we must confess and testify to the LORD’s saving presence with us in all our ways.

A verse in Isaiah relates what we mean.

Listen to me, O house of Jacob,
    all the remnant of the house of Israel,
who have been borne by me from before your birth,
    carried from the womb;
even to your old age I am he,
    and to gray hairs I will carry you.
I have made, and I will bear;
    I will carry and will save.

Isaiah 46:3-4

The LORD knows us from before birth and carries us into old age. He guides, protects, saves, and defends. He knows all our ways. He watches over his own throughout their lives. His saving compassion is motivation to acknowledge him in all our ways.

One way we could acknowledge the LORD is in light of our mission. Our mission at Wilkesboro Baptist is to lead our neighbors and the nations to follow Jesus. We do so by worshiping, learning, serving, and replicating.

Here are some thoughts I’ve jotted down for myself for this week.

In my way of worship today and this week, I will acknowledge the LORD. I will remember his greatness and majesty (Isaiah 46:9). As best as I’m able, I will go through the day and this week acknowledging the presence and greatness of the LORD in my attitude and practice of worship.

In my way of learning today and this week, I will acknowledge the LORD. I will be attentive to what I read, hear, and learn from others. Intentionally, I will seek to be teachable and to grow in my understanding of what’s going on around me.

In my way of serving today and this week, I will acknowledge the LORD. I will seek to serve the LORD as I serve others personally and ministerially. Rather than be overwhelmed by the ministry conversations and interactions of the week, I will seek to let each of them be a means of serving the LORD who is worthy.

In my way of replicating today and this week, I will acknowledge the LORD. I will consider conversations, relationships, and opportunities in light of the Great Commission mandate to make disciples. From my discipleship group to interactions with family and even to strangers, I will seek to acknowledge the LORD in these relationships by seeing these moments as opportunities to replicate the life of Jesus in someone else.

There are of course many other ways that we will walk this week. If we truly want the LORD to make our paths straight, then we need to acknowledge him in all our ways. The opportunities and decisions are in front of us. So let’s acknowledge him in our ways today.

Photo by Gunnar Ridderström on Unsplash