GOSPEL OF MARK – ROBBY GALLATY – Program 25
By: The John Ankerberg Show
|By: Pastor Robby Gallaty; ©2011|
|Looking forward to a new year of ministry.|
The title this morning is this: Vision Sunday. When I came to Brainerd Baptist Church, I shared with you the vision that God had given me for our church. It was a mission, based on the Great Commission. We need to be about the business of seeing God what? Deliver individuals from the bondage of sin in order to Disciple them into faithful followers of Christ in order to Deploy them to the nation as leaders for the glory of God.
Well, it’s based on the Great Commission: “All authority in heaven and on earth have been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you and behold, I will be with you until the end of the age.” Notice it. We see individuals delivered through the Great Commission in order to be disciples. We take part in discipling individuals by teaching them all that God has commanded us, by baptizing them into the name of the Lord Jesus Christ so that what? We can deploy them—going therefore—into the nation as leaders to replicate the process.
It’s built on a group of people who are passionate about obeying the Great Commission. And I want to submit to you that many of you, if not all of you, would say, “I’m here, passionate about the Great Commission.” And I want to submit to you that we couldn’t have seen God do what He did—what I’m about to explain to you—over this past year without your help. And so I want to thank you for your support, not only just your support of Kandi and me but your support of what God is doing at this church. What I’d like to do for just a few moments is brag on God, if you will. I just want to share with you what God has done in 2010.
Let’s start in our Pre-School area. We had 26 babies born to members of Brainerd Baptist Church. The staff had a lot to do with that, as you know. There were 26 babies born in our church. That’s just the babies we know about. In addition to that, we’ve added 11 pre-schoolers to our ministry over the past year. 172 volunteers make up the worship care group of volunteers. Can you imagine that? 172 volunteer in a 6-week rotation to make that possible and guess what? We need 12 more. In addition to that, we have 40 pre-school Sunday morning Bible Study volunteers who meet every week in a rotation. They come in, they serve the Lord, and they minister to our young adults through that ministry. We need 3 more in that department as well. 120 children have signed up over the past year for our Parent’s Night Out. It’s a ministry where our parents drop their kids off, they get invested in, they get shared the gospel, they learn about the Lord. And then the parents get to go out. 120 children came to Parent’s Night Out this year.
Let’s move to Children. Last year, we had 269 different children come through our Sunday morning Bible Study, which is pretty phenomenal. We’ve had 21 children more this year than we’ve had last year. In our AWANAs program, which many of you are a part of, we had 87 clubbers in 2009. We had 97 clubbers, which are the kids, in 2010. The volunteers increased slightly. In 2009, we had 45. In 2010, we increased to 47 volunteers. We started something new this year called Divorce Care for Kids. We realize that when a family goes through a divorce, they people that are affected the most are the kids. We started that this year. We had 13 children—get that—sign up for Divorce Care for Kids and we had four leaders who were faithful to come and pour into those kids.
Let’s move to the Youth Ministry. We’re just going to go up by age. In our Youth Ministry, our Wednesday night service from 2009 was 35 people. We’re averaging now 70 people in our youth ministry because of the faithful—and those who volunteer—but because of the faithful service of our youth pastor as well. Let’s go on to Sunday Morning Bible Study. Our average in 2009 was 81. We’re almost at 100 right now every week. This is just weekly averages.
Let’s go to our College Ministry. In our College Ministry right now, there are 23 college students involved in a weekly disciple group. What that means is 23 students are in a group of two to three to four that meet every single week. Our mid-week small group college group started with 30. It has increased to 50 students. Eight students through our college ministry, you’ll be excited to know, have been baptized this year.
Let’s move on to Education. Last year, in 2010, we were able to see the Lord allow us to baptize 54 people and then we added 200—this is pretty interested—235 people joined our church last year. Pretty amazing. Let me give you a couple more numbers. In Education, we had 792 first time attenders in Sunday School. That means 790 people just came for the first time and they went to Sunday School and we got their names because of that. How many people do you think attended Sunday School last year in its entirety? Guess how many people came all last year just one time. 2371 people came to Sunday School. So you see in the bulletin 1100 people every week. We’ve actually had 2300 people come through our Sunday School or Sunday Morning Bible Study as well. We had our Sunday Bible Study teachers, guess how many people teach every week. 162 people. That’s pretty staggering. Think about that. 162 people plan, prepare, show up and are disciplined to go. If you’re Sunday Morning Bible Study Teacher, would you raise your hand? We want to acknowledge you because you are faithful. We appreciate you every week.
In our Worship Ministry, we’ve done a great job and we still have more seats as well here and at the Gathering on our Praise Team. So if you have been gifted with a talent and ability, we still would encourage you to be a part of that. But this year, we started something different. We started a Youth Choir Tour and what we did is we took youth in the high school and then some parents and we toured the East Coast. We went to Virginia and Washington, D.C. They sang and performed in prisons and detention centers. We actually took 26 students with us and we had nine chaperones, which was a great success. We had over 100 decisions for Christ during that week visiting that detention center. So just incredible ministry there. We’re going to do it again this year as well so if you are in high school and want to be a part of that, you see our Music Minister.
217 more people are coming this year than last year every week to our worship service. That’s over 600 more people since ’08 that are coming every week. Let me give you some worship number attendance; and keep in mind, it’s not about numbers but it’s important to know where we’ve been and where we’re going. In 2008, the average number of all the services combined was 894. In 2009, the number grew to 1277. And then, in this year, almost 1500 people are coming and serving and being exposed to the gospel at Brainerd Baptist.
Our Senior Adult Ministry, this year we took 17 seniors on mission to, of all places, New Orleans, Louisiana, and they were faithful to serve the Lord. We had a great response. We’re going to do that again. Our Senior Adult Pastor is passionate about taking us on mission as well. We had a group of seniors, 29 to be exact, go down to Atlanta to stuff Operation Christmas Child boxes. We raised and collected over 350 boxes that we were able to take down and to give to them as well.
Just a side number that’s not on the screen, in our BX right now, we have 2200 people signed up to be a part of our BX workout facility. And listen, you can’t beat it. For $60 a month you can work out there, right? No. No. A year! $60 a year. I used to be a sales manager of a gym. We used to sign people up at $60 a month. This is $60 a year, so if you’re looking to lose some weight, there’s no need to put it off, right? We’re signing up as we speak. We’ll just sign you up after the service if you want. But $60 a year. You can’t beat that and it’s a great ministry of our church. 2200 people come through that ministry. Our BX Director personally is mentoring five guys right now. I just want you to see from the top down, everyone is passionate about missions ministry and discipleship. We had three first time decisions as a direct result of the BX; three first time decisions. They came to the BX, we made a contact with them, we walked with them, we befriended them, led to the Lord and now they’re a part of our service. That deserves an amen.
2010 Missions recap, let me give you kind of a run through of the mission trips. We had a team go to Uganda last January. They were able to pastor and lead a pastors’ conference of over 20 people. Then the teams went out and ministered to people in the HIV/AIDs clinics. They went to eyeglass clinics. They went to prisons in male and female quarters and preached the gospel there. They also went to the Nakievale Refugee Camp where they will go this year as well and they ministered to people there as well. We sent a team to the Ukraine and they took my discipleship book, Creating an Atmosphere to Hear God Speak. It was translated into Ukrainian Russian. We were able to teach the pastors there how to make disciples. We also went to drug rehabilitation centers and to eyeglass clinics and we shared the gospel as well. We were able to go to Mexico this year. We took a team. They did street evangelism. They ministered to the children through a carnival and Bible backyard clubs. Just a great time as we saw many children come to know the Lord as well.
We sent two of our own to Indonesia. They went down to the hardest place in Indonesia, to the slums of Indonesia and they ministered to people there, really encouraged the team members who were missionaries. And the highlight of the trip this summer was this, they went to a town where a man had not walked in 13 years and the two team members, along with some of the missionaries, laid hands on this man, he stood up and he walked. Now, you can imagine the town. The people went crazy, they said. They gathered the whole town: 100 people came out to see this man walking and in the providence of God, the divine appointment happened. They shared the gospel with them. Kind of like the book of Acts, right? Paul and Peter would heal and then they would share the gospel. That was in Indonesia so you’ll be excited to know that we are impacting the world from 300 Brookfield Avenue.
We went to Israel this past year and will go this year and we will share the gospel with the local people there as we partner with the missionaries to reach the Jewish people to show them that the Messiah has already come and his name is Jesus. We’re going to Guatemala over the next two years. We went this year as a vision trip just to kind of see what’s happening and we will go back there as well. I got an opportunity to go to the Dominican Republic where I was able to teach and train 15 or 14 leaders in discipleship. I was a part of a leadership business conference where we brought a bunch of businessmen in and shared the gospel. And then I was able to train over 400 Haitian and Dominican pastors on pastoral ministry. So we had a great time in the Dominican Republic. We’ll go back this year as well.
Went to Jamaica this year, this past year. We performed a Vacation Bible Study or participated in a Vacation Bible Study at Central Baptist Church. We did street evangelism and saw many come to know the Lord in Jamaica. Went to Ecuador. We had 25 professions of faith as the students went out in street evangelism, performing carnivals and preaching.
Overall this past year, we had 105 different people participate in international missions. Since the time I came here as pastor, we have had over 367 different people participate in international and stateside missions.
Now, here’s the question. What haven’t you gone? That’s the question, right? Why haven’t you stepped out of your comfort zone to go on mission for the Lord? Leaders, you’ve got to lead the way in this thing. Listen to me for a moment. Sunday School teachers, deacons, choir members, orchestra, leaders in our church, you guys and ladies have to lead the way in this. You’ve got to step out of your comfort zone and say, “God, I want to be on mission for you.” I want to challenge you this year to give the Lord 2% of your time for missions. You know what that equates to? That’s 7 days to go on a short-term mission trip and I promise you it will change your life.
We had our Christmas Eve service this year, which was a great time of just worshipping and praising the Lord. In 2010, our first year—actually 2009 when we did it—we had 2100 show up at the Trade Center. This year we roughly counted around 2400 people showed up to worship and praise the Lord. How many people go to go to that? Did you enjoy the service? It was a great time to worship the Lord.
This year, our debt is below $3 million dollars for the first time. That deserves a hand clap, amen? We praise the Lord for that. You’ve been faithful to give. And, listen, if we continue the pace we’re at, we will pay off the BX in two years. We’re on pace to pay it off in two years. Now what does that mean to you and I? That means when we pay off that building, over $300,000 in our budget will be freed up for missions and ministry. Let me say that again, $300,000 a year. That equates to about 8%. So we would have an 8% increase to do ministry and missions. Well what does that mean for you? Continue to give to the capital campaign Beyond Measure. Many of you have been giving. Many of you are giving as well.
“Okay, Robby, that’s where we’ve been. Where are we going in the future?” I’m excited about where the Lord is leading our church in the future. As we look through the lens of deliver, disciple, deploy, where do we go for the future? The first is this, I’ve said this before. I’ll say it again. We’re going to launch a new church campus in Georgia. We have been looking for the last 6–8 months. A team of us have gone out. We have looked at potential locations. We have looked at potential cities. We’re going to launch a new campus in Georgia.
Now why in the world would you launch a new campus in Georgia? This is why. Thirty percent of our membership comes from where? Georgia. Can you believe that? Thirty percent of the members of Brainerd Baptist Church drive in from Georgia. The old mentality of church was you come to church and be in a building. But that’s not biblical and that’s not of the New Testament. See, the New Testament never invited people to come to church. The New Testament believed that we were the church. You and I are the church and so wherever you go, you bring the kingdom of God with you. You’re filled with the Holy Spirit of God, bought by the blood of Christ and so if you meet in a home that is the church because you are the church. And so we’ve looked at potential places and we need to launch this campus within a year.
Now this is why. I shared with you a while back we did a study on our campus and we realized that when we hit 1800 people coming in attendance, we’re going to have a major issue and what is the issue? You remember? Parking, right? Unless you fly in or unless you take the bus, we’ve got problems, right? I mean, let’s just be honest. So at 1800, we have to do this. And so as I look in the future, I’m tell you now—you’re probably saying, “Well, I don’t see it pastor”—as we look in the future, if we get there, and figure it out, it’s too late. So we need to launch this campus.
Now, what are we going to do? We’re going to take the BX service that has video and live worship. We’re going to remove it—actually, we’re going to duplicate it and we’re going to move it off campus. So those who have been coming to the BX, actually we’re training you to leave, believe it or not, and some from here as well. We’re going to send about 100 to 150 people from our church. We’re going to send them down to Georgia and we’re going to say, “Give us six months to a year. We want you to plant yourself there for the glory of God to reach the people of that city.” And I think God’s going to honor that as well. And so you be praying with us about that.
Now, what is preventing us from doing it next week? Because if we could, we’d do it next week. What’s preventing us? Resources, right? We just don’t have the money. We don’t have the extra money in the budget to do it. We just don’t have the resources to do it because of the stipulations of our Beyond Measure campaign and just because we’re pretty tight right now on what we can do. So we can’t so extracurricular ministries. So I just want to challenge you as you consider this year to partner with us in mission and ministry, that’s one of the prayer requests as we go forward this year.
Secondly, we’re going to Chattanooga Replicate again. If you remember, Replicate Chattanooga was two years ago, which was a discipleship conference at our church. Let me give you the history of Replicate. The Lord spoke to me a couple of years ago and really impressed upon my heart, “You need to be about the business of a replicate conference.” I didn’t hear with an audible voice, through the reading of scripture, through prayer and meditation I realized there were a lot of conferences on preaching, there were a lot of pastoral ministry conferences, a lot of mission conferences, a lot of evangelism conferences, a lot of Bible study conferences. Not a lot of discipleship conferences. Think about it. There’s not a lot of conferences on discipleship.
And so in 2008, we started our first conference in Philadelphia. We had 30 people show up. We trained them to make disciples. We’ve got testimonies from them. They enjoyed it. Later that year in 2008, we came to Chattanooga in October in that year, or September, I think it was, of that year and we had Replicate Chattanooga. We had 180 people show up here on our campus. Last year in 2010, we went to New Orleans, Louisiana, at the seminary. We had Replicate New Orleans. We had 400 people show up to be trained to make disciples. And so this year, in 2011, October—actually September 24, you can write it down—we’re coming back to Chattanooga to the BX. Tim LaFleur, Bill Hull are already committed to come. And so it’s going to be an awesome time on our campus to make disciples, to train people to make disciples.
In addition to that, next year—this coming year—we’re starting a seminary on campus. You heard it right. A Southern Baptist seminary on campus. You see, many of you have gone through the School of Discipleship and over the past two years you have come to me or one of my staff members and said, “I feel the Lord leading me to get trained for ministry. I want to be equipped further than what’s happening in the School. I want to be equipped for the work of ministry. What do I do?” Now, normally what you would do is this: you would sell most of your belongings, you would leave your environment, you would leave your church and your family and your friends. You would go to a city that has one of the six Southern Baptist seminaries. You would plant yourself down. You would start over. You would have to find a new church. You’d have to find a new ministry. You’d have to find friends. It would just be a new experience for you. And so by the time you finished that in three years, just when you’re starting to get invested, you finish school and then you go serve the Lord somewhere. That’s normally what happens.
But I’ve always thought shouldn’t it be the local church who’s training it’s members for ministry? Don’t you believe that? I mean, it’s New Testament. And so what we’ve decided to do is we have partnered with Southeastern Seminary and we’re going to launch what’s called an equipping center. It’s going to be a place where you can come through our School of Discipleship and instead of just going through the school—watch this—you’re going to get class credit to go through the school. You’re going to be able to do 40 of your hours on the internet and—get this—you’ll only have to go to Southeastern three or four weeks in your whole Masters career. Is that not unbelievable? I had to spend my whole life in New Orleans to go to school, right? I mean, three to four weeks, you can get your entire Masters education through the seminary. It’s just an amazing opportunity.
I was reading a book, actually Hal referred me to it, and the quote in the book says this—the book’s called The Teaching Ministry of the Church—listen to what the author says, “I believe the reformation of the church in the 21st century is the deployment of all believers into the world to be ministers.” That’s the reformation. In the first reformation, we had a sole scriptura, a return to scripture. And so Martin Luther said, “By grace alone through faith alone, by scripture alone.” Now he believes, and I believe he’s right, that the reformation in the church is when the people of God realize that God has equipped you for the work of ministry and that the sole purpose of the pastor, or the two purposes of the pastor, is not just to preach the Word of God faithfully to the people of God but my role and the role of this staff is to equip you to do the work of ministry.
That’s what it says in Ephesians 4:12: He gave some to be preachers, apostles, teachers, prophets to equip the saints what? For the what? For the work of ministry. It doesn’t say so the saints can watch the pastor do the work of ministry, right? It doesn’t say so the saints can watch the staff do the work of ministry. It doesn’t even say so the saints can watch anybody do the work of ministry. It says He gave apostles, prophets, teachers, evangelists, shepherds to equip the saints for the work of ministry and that’s what we want to do here at Brainerd Baptist Church.
Now this is what you’re saying. You’re saying, “Okay. I get that. But what do you want me to do, Pastor. What does God want me to do here as a member of Brainerd Baptist Church? We all have different talents. We all have different abilities. We all have different pasts. We all have different testimonies.” Here’s the irreducible minimum to be a member of Brainerd Baptist Church. Four categories. If you haven’t written anything down, I want you to write these four down. Here’s the first one. To be a member of Brainerd Baptist Church, this is what we expect every member to participate in. The first is this: we want you to participate in a one-hour worship gathering every week. This is under the area of deliver. So we’re going to do deliver, disciple, deploy. Deliver. We want you to be about the business of participating in a weekly service to worship the Lord as a body of gathered believers who have been delivered, right? In addition to that, we want you to be passionate about inviting your friends and family to join you here as well. We want you to be passionate in the community to share your testimony and to tell people of the hope of glory that is within you, to tell people about what God has done in your life. That’s the deliver part. We want you to nurture relationship with unbelievers.
Second is the disciple. I want you to be a part of a one hour small group Bible study, okay? That could be Sunday morning. That can be Sunday night. That can be Wednesday night. But I want you to be a part of one, not two. Now, if you want to be a part of two, you can do two, but I really want you to be a part of at least one. Some of you are not a part of any. So I want to challenge you this year to get plugged in to one of our on-campus and off-campus small groups.
Thirdly, write this down, deploy. I want you to give the church and the Lord your time, your talent, and your treasure. First of all, your time. I want every member to be a minister and I want every person here to realize you have purpose. In order for you to have a purpose, that means you have to serve the Lord. And so this year, 2011, I want you to volunteer in one area of service at Brainerd Baptist Church. Husband one, wife one. I want everyone to consider volunteering. The first one is this; I want you to give us your time.
You can volunteer to be a greeter here at Brainerd Baptist Church. What a great ministry that is. You can volunteer to be a part of the security team. You can volunteer to drive golf cart around to put people in their cars and to pick them up. You can volunteer in the worship care ministry of our church. What a great blessing it is to minister to our young adult families by investing in their children. You can be a shepherd in our Children’s Ministry. You can be a set-up person on the BX Team. Do you know every week a team comes on Saturday night and sets out 500–600 chairs, puts up all the screens, puts up the drape on the side every week and they take it down every week. Well, that doesn’t last long before somebody gets tired doing that and so what we need is more people to volunteer. “Well pastor, I don’t go to that service.” It’s our church. It’s our church whether we go here or we go there, it’s our church. So I want to encourage you to be a part of that. You can help out with the Benevolence Committee. They meet during the week and they serve the Lord. I want you to give us your time.
Secondly, I want you to give us your talent, give the Lord your talent. If you’ve been gifted with the ability to teach, then I want to encourage you to pursue that. Maybe you say, “Pastor, I can sing, but I don’t sing in the choir.” We have room for you. Maybe “I play an instrument or I played my instrument through my life but I haven’t played it now.” We have room in the orchestra for you as well. Maybe “I can sing on the praise team at the Gathering. I can play an instrument for the praise team.” We have room for you as well. Maybe you can help out in the Sunday School class. You can be an organizer. You can be a care group leader. You can be a prayer coordinator. I just want you to think how can you use your talent for the Lord. Maybe you can come on Monday night to be a part of our outreach ministry on Monday night to reach the city and encourage people who have come to our service.
Finally, I want you to give your treasure to the Lord. The interesting thing about Nehemiah is when Nehemiah built the walls and rebuilt the temple, he was able to do that because the king had given him the resources. Don’t miss this. If the king wouldn’t have given him the wood and the resources to build the temple and the city, he wouldn’t have been able to build anything. And I just want to share with you without the support of our people giving to the work of the Lord, the ministry here is going to be hindered. I want to challenge you as members of this church, if you’re faithful to give this year, the gospel will go forth quicker and we will be able to do more ministry than we’ve ever done before. For those of you who have been giving, you continue to give. For those of you who have never given, I want to encourage you to give. I want you to pray about partnering with us. “Where do I start, pastor?” Start with 10 percent. That’s the baseline. What do I give? Ten percent of what comes in, I’m going to give back unto the Lord.
And then finally, the fourth aspect is this. I want you to participate—here it is, this is the big one—in a one-week short term mission trip. That’s every person in our church. Now, how much do we have to grow? Well, we have over 3500, 3400 members now at Brainerd Baptist Church. Guess how many we had go last year? Right over 100. Do we have room to grow? Absolutely. So I want to challenge you to say, “Okay, God. Could I go on a short-term mission trip to share the gospel out of my comfort zone unto you, for you, and for your name’s sake?” I want you to be thinking about what can you do for the Lord in the area of ministry. I want to risk it all this year. You know, we’re only here at the max 100 years and God has gifted you with so many things that it’s time for us to say, “Not what can God do for me; the question is what can I do back for the Lord?” Some of you are just beginning in the stage of life. Some of you are in the middle of life. Some of us are in the fourth quarter of life. And I just want to challenge you to think what can you risk for the Lord.
A great athlete—I’ll close with this saying—said this before he retired, “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my basketball career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and I’ve failed over and over again in life and that is why I succeeded.” Michael Jordan. I want to challenge you to think that we’re only here for a short time of eternity. God has given you and I a mandate. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations. And I want you to risk it all for the Lord. In fact, I would rather you risk it for the Lord and fail than to not risk it at all. But listen to me. In the divine economy of God, there are no failures. When you fail in the divine economy of God, it’s an opportunity to learn and to move closer to Him.