NEW ORLEANS – Arkansas father-son pastors Ronnie and Nick Floyd teamed up to preach a sermon together during the 2012 Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Pastors' Conference built around a Father’s Day theme.
The Floyds alternated turns in the pulpit, challenging pastors to develop an expanding vision for their cities.
"Have we forgotten the vision of reaching our cities, our communities, our villages and our towns?" asked Nick Floyd, pastor of the Fayetteville campus of Cross Church.
Ronnie Floyd, senior pastor of Cross Church in Northwest Arkansas, with campuses in Springdale and Rogers, lamented that many pastors have forgotten that God has called them to reach the people outside the church where they live. Pastors, he said, must see their calling theologically, providentially and purposefully.
"Where you are is part of God's plan," Ronnie Floyd said. "[God's] providence has guided you, has blessed you ... and has placed you to live in this time in all of human history and to let you live where you live ... with a purpose.
"God has called you to live where you live, to lead the church you lead, with the gifts you have, for one purpose: to fulfill God's vision of reaching every person in that region with the Gospel of Jesus Christ," he said. "You were made for this moment."
Bailey and Josh Smith
Other fathers and sons speakers included former SBC president Bailey Smith and son, Josh.
Bailey Smith introduced the first speaker of the conference, his son Josh. Bailey praised God for all three of his sons, each of whom are serving the Lord in Baptist institutions and churches, and gave most of the credit to his godly wife. He described his son Josh as a child as an energetic grasshopper on roller-skates, but he watched God "take his life early and really mold him into something wonderful."
"I realized the first time I heard Josh preach that I wasn't hearing my son, I was hearing a man of God," Bailey Smith said. Turning to his son, he said, "Josh, I love you and I'm proud of you, not because you're a good preacher but because you're a man who loves the Lord and preaches His book."
Josh Smith, pastor of MacArthur Boulevard Baptist Church in Irving, Texas, preached from Jonah 3 on the proper response to God's Word. Noting that most people want to experience the extraordinary instead of the ordinary, Smith reminded pastors, "Big doors swing on small hinges."
Don Wilton, pastor of First Baptist Church in Spartanburg, S.C., described three pictures from 2 Timothy 2 of what it means to be strong in the grace of God. Pastors, he said, must fight like soldiers, run like athletes and work like farmers in their ministries.
"[God is] calling us to become fathers to our sons and to our daughters, to lead by example and to be the kind of dads in the ministry that God has called us to be," Wilton said.
The United States is facing a battle that may be unprecedented in its history, Wilton said, and the church needs men who will fight passionately for the gospel.
Tony Evans, pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, preached the concluding sermon for the night with his son Anthony Evans, a gospel music artist and recent contestant on NBC's "The Voice," introducing him.
Following the pattern of Psalm 128, Tony Evans preached about the effervescent results of a man who fears God. This man, who Evans called a "Kingdom man," takes God seriously, and because he does so, leads his family according to God's Word. Evans used this second point as an opportunity to speak to the current debate about same-sex marriage.
"What God wants is men, partnering with their wives, who run their families according to God – because the saga of a nation is the saga of the family, in large," he said. "Marriage is not a civil institution; marriage is a divine institution to be recognized in a civil society."
Compiled from Baptist Press reports.