Summary: Biblical advice for the church from a departing pastor
What Should We Do Now?
Sermon by Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church - Oct. 24, 2010
*I was saved through the ministry of this church in 1975, and after answering God’s call to the ministry, I returned to serve as associate pastor from 1983-1992. After serving as the pastor of another church for 6 years, I returned to McClendon in 1998, serving for another year and a half as associate pastor, then almost 11 years as pastor. So to help the church understand why I was leaving, I gave them a personal testimony about how the Lord had moved me in past years. Then I gave a few comments about my plans for the near future and said:
*That’s what I am going to do, but a much bigger question is: What are you going to do? There are many uncertainties, but you will certainly be fine, if you apply the truths we see here in God’s Word. -- So today let me expand on some Biblical truths I shared at our last deacon fellowship.
1. What should you do now? -- First, STRIVE for HARMONY.
*In vs. 1&2, Paul desperately wanted that church to strive for harmony, and he said:
1. Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.
2. I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.
*Euodia and Syntyche were having a disagreement, just like we have sometimes with our family, our friends, at school, at work, even at church.
*We don’t know what the argument was about. It wasn’t important enough for Paul to mention. (Have you ever gotten into arguments over nothing?)
*We also don’t know who was to blame.
-Both of these women were good, Godly women.
-Both of them were saved;
-Both of them had worked together with Paul to spread the Good News about Jesus. -- But now they were fussing, and fighting.
*Sometimes even the best of us don’t get along like we should, but God’s word says: “I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.”
-The KJV says “I beseech” or beg. The NIV says “I plead.” -- God’s Word says, “I implore, beseech, beg, plead with you to agree with each other in the Lord.”
*Bro. James Strittman is one of the most Godly men I have ever known. He and Mrs. Flora have faithfully served the Lord for close to 70 years.
*Several years ago, I visited with Bro. Strittman, while Mrs. Flora was in surgery.
-We talked about church, and he asked me about some of the churches around us that were struggling at the time.
*Then Bro. Strittman told me about a church he considered going to pastor one time. He said at first glance everything seemed fine. They had recently carpeted the whole church, and they had air conditioning, back in a day when most churches didn’t. But then Bro. Strittman looked a little deeper and found that no one had been saved in that church in over 2 years. That greatly concerned him. And over time it became clear that the people in that church were fussing with each other.
*Bro. Strittman said that on the day they voted to call him, the vote was 145 to 6.