I want to begin by expressing personal gratitude to those who surround me in this assignment, and to whom I am especially indebted…our advisory board, two district secretaries this past year in Joe McNulty and Dave Pullen, our district treasurer Mark Patrick, our auxiliary leaders in Susan Day (NMI), Donna Nichols (SDMI), and Tim Hildreth (NYI), and our team of pastors and spouses. Thank you…your love, support, and encouragement.
II. The Plus of a Great Theology
Who will replace the legendary names of Anderson, Beals, Browning, Depasquale, Eckel, Esselstyn, Garman, Hynd, Knox, Orjala, Prescott, Schmelzenbach, Sedat, and Carson- Winans among our long list of missionary heroes?
- Part One. Two years ago I asked that you preach at least one sermon a month on heart holiness. This year I’d like to see you increase that emphasis. If you don’t already have a copy, obtain the following books an immerse yourself in them for study and sermon preparation, and to feed your own soul: Exploring Christian Holiness, Vol. 1-3 (BHP); Biblical Resources for Holiness Preaching, Dunning/Wiseman (BHP); Studies in Biblical Holiness, Metz (BHP); Grace, Faith, & Holiness, Dunning (BHP).
- Part Two. Read through E. M. Bounds’ book, The Preacher and Prayer. It will change your life!
- Part Three. And as congregations, may I challenge you to spend intentional and specific times in prayer for the Church of the Nazarene? Pray for boldness, courage, steadfastness, and spiritual power against the forces of darkness and evil that come against us. Pray for every phase of our church, including our leadership, our missionary enterprise, our publishing and curriculum arm, our Global Ministry Center personnel, and for Spirit-filled pastors and lay leaders in our local churches. For nothing of real significance ever happens in the church if it doesn’t take place there. Pray earnestly for your own congregation, not just for the sick or the absent. But ask God, point blank, to help you engage, befriend, and win to Christ no less than at least one new person this year!