From the 2017 Southern Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference, sermon notes from the Monday evening session are below.
Michael Allen, Uptown Baptist Church, Chicago IL
Philippians 3:17-21, The Glory of Followership
The Bible addresses followership about twice as often leadership. There should be a symbiotic relationship between leadership and followership.
Paul says, “Join with others to become like me. Practice my way of life.”
He means, “Scope out [follow] those other saints.” Whose way of life are you imitating? Who are you scoping out?
Paul isn’t talking about a program for your church or system to implement. He’s talking about following godly people. You have to take time to know what they know, read the books they read, see how they behave as employers and employees.
No one becomes a great leader without first becoming a great follower. Great leaders still follow. They continue learning, and if they are learning they are following someone.
Paul continues by introducing comparison and contrast.
Don’t follow false teachers because a false gospel takes away from the finished work of Christ.
False teachers have the wrong deity. They worship and promote a false god.
False teachers find a way to distance themselves from the cross. They try to explain it away. Why? Because it is foolish to those who are perishing. No one is good enough to please God, but that line of thinking isn’t accepted by them.
If our hope is on Christ, we will always be drawn to him. But if our hope is in us, we will be turned away from the Savior.
True followers of Christ has heavenly citizenship and eagerly await the Savior from there.
Bart Barber, FBC Farmersville, TX
The book of Philippians teaches us the value of partnerships in the gospel. They are worth protecting. You can lose the gospel itself, or you can lose partnership in the gospel if you lose the spirit of partnership.
Nearing the end of the book, Paul got around to naming names.
God created the body of Christ to expect that conflict would arise. But, God created the church with an army of peacemakers. They rush in when partnership in the gospel is in jeopardy.
Maybe the struggle or conflict in your church isn’t so much the presence of conflict as it is the absence of peacemakers.
There is a need today for reforming the office of deacons in many churches.
Paul spends only one sentence talking about the troublemakers and a large chunk instructing the peacemakers. And, we spend most of our time on the people causing the problems rather than training peacemakers who can help resolve problems in the church.
We must train up peacemakers. “I ask you, true partner, to help these women.” Help can mean help, place under arrest, or to get pregnant. In all of these circumstances someone else’s problem just became yours.
Being mannerly sometimes makes us not want to involve ourselves with other people’s business. But, peacemakers must get involved.
Emotions must be trained. Rejoice, don’t worry. Prepare your peacemakers to understand the it is hard and can be discouraging. But, God has given us defenses against emotions that make peacemaking so hard.
I wasn’t able to take note on Shane Hall’s closing sermon, but was able to watch it. If you can find it online, it’s well worth your time.