By Todd Brady
Vice President for University Ministries, Union University
JACKSON — Driving back to Jackson from this year’s Summit, the annual meeting of the Tennessee Baptist Convention which took place in Hendersonville, I found myself more encouraged than ever about the future of the state denomination. Although it was a good meeting with good people who were about good work, I was most encouraged by the group of students from Union that accompanied us to the Convention.
This was their first time to attend such an event. While I had spent time with them on our campus in classrooms, hallways and the cafeteria, it was good to share about 24 hours together at the annual meeting of Tennessee Baptists.
Arriving with Joe Ball, Union’s director of discipleship and ministry, they got to the church Monday night (Nov. 13) in time to hear the evening preachers at the Pastors Conference. The next morning, they came back to witness the convention in session. From the opening gavel, they heard discussions, listened to motions, witnessed votes, heard reports, saw Tennessee Baptists conduct business throughout the day and worshiped along the way.
Tuesday afternoon, Jamie Mosley, Union alumnus and pastor of Redeemer Church in Hendersonville, hosted us along with two other pastors for a discussion about conviction and cooperation in the ministry. Justin Wainscott, pastor of First Baptist Church, Jackson, and Daryl Crouch, pastor of Green Hill Church, Mount Juliet, were humble and helpful, and I so appreciate their investment in our students. We enjoyed lunch and good conversation together. A special treat came when Jamie made available boxes of books from a retired minister’s library. You should have seen those guys scurrying like squirrels in the boxes. Heading back to the convention, I found myself grateful that the students were able to spend quality time with such good and godly pastors.
One of the students had just been ordained the night before at Brownsville Baptist Church in Brownsville. His desire to go into the pastorate is encouraging, indeed.
A couple of the other guys are also wanting to pastor. One wants to be a counselor.
Two sense that God may be calling them into international missions. It sure is good to see God’s work in their lives while they are on campus for a few years.
E.M. Bounds said “What the church needs today is not more machinery, not new organizations … and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use — men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men — men of prayer.”
Regardless of where God eventually takes these students — young men that I get to share life with at Union University — they provide me with reason to be optimistic about the future of church leadership.