Recommendation

I am happy to recommend Robert Lewis to any pastor.  We have had Bro. Lewis for our Faith Promise Mission Sunday on two different occasions. His messages have been a tremendous blessing to our church family and he is an encouragement to this pastor personally.  If you have the opportunity to have Bro. Lewis at your church you WILL NOT be disappointed!
Rocky A. Harrill
Tulsa Baptist Temple
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More Kind Words

April 10, 2015

Robert Lewis is a diligent worker for the Lord and Missions – I can tell you without equivocation that he and his wife have been and continue to be great blessings to us.  If you are looking for a missions speaker, and evangelist, and encouraged… look no farther than Brother Robert Lewis

Dr. D. R. Baker

Harmony at Ponca City

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Welcome

Blog Welcome Page 2

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They Must Assist

Brother Lewis,
Enclosed is something we talked about when you were here in March at Northgate. It adds some further thought to what you said about pastors not preparing for “retirement” from churches they put so many years into. This is from Numbers 8:23-26 from the Bible Reader’s Companion:  “They must retire” (8:23-26). God wants us to make room for the next generation. But the call to retire here is not an invitation to become idle. The O.T. says specifically, “they may assist.” But then the passage adds, “but they themselves must not do the work.” How we struggle to hold on to power, long after it’s time for us to turn responsibility over to others. How hard it is to realize that the most important role for the spiritually mature is one of advising. It is more important to enable others to do God’s work than to do that work ourselves.”    (underlining mine)
Thank you for all you do in helping preachers like myself and churches like ours. God bless.

Pastor Roy Prince
northgate Baptist Church
McAlester, Oklahoma

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Missions Revival at Yakima Bible Baptist Church

March 25th through March 29 were the dates set for the annual missions conference at Yakima Bible Baptist Church, Yakima, Washington. There were several ministries and missionaries represented at the meeting, however, the main focus of the meeting was the preaching of The Word of God. Pastor Brown had arranged for Robert Lewis, Assistant Director of GIBMissions to be the keynote speaker each evening. Choir Director, Charles Shaw, prepared wonderful missionary specials for the choir and orchestra for each service.  One night of the conference, the Spanish choir and ensemble of stringed instruments from Templo Bautista, Union Gap, Washington, provided music. Templo Bautista is a mission form Yakima, BBC. This Spanish church is flourishing under the leadership of Pastor AntonioVenegas, former GIBM missionary to Mexico. During the conference, people were very responsive to the dynamic preaching each evening. On Friday evening, one young person made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ and six young people surrendered to be missionaries or whatever the Lord would direct them to do with their lives. The success of the meeting was a result of many people praying and preparing for it in advance. There was a very large funeral in the church on Saturday, so the International Banquet was moved to Sunday PM. The banquet was very well attended and again there was clear and powerful preaching from the Word of God. In spite of the crowded schedule and the extra efforts that were required of the staff and the church family, it was truly an exciting time. Pastor Brown said, “It doesn’t usually happen like this. This has been a real blessing for our church.”  It turned out to be a genuine mission’s revival.

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I Was GLAD

Psalm 122:1 A Song of degrees of David. I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.

There are many examples of the God’s people being glad on different occasions in the Bible. None of those occasions are tainted with self-serving circumstances imposed by self-willed people.  What we have to be glad about is of far greater impact than our health, our finances, our acceptance by others or our fear of failure.

Ps 16:8-9 I have set the LORD always before me: because [he is] at my right hand, I shall not be moved. 9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.

Pr 10:1 The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son [is] the heaviness of his mother.

Lu 1:11-19 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And when Zacharias saw [him], he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. 14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. 15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. 18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. 19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.

Lu 15:23-24 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill [it]; and let us eat, and be merry: 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

Lu 19:36-38 And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. 37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; 38 Saying, Blessed [be] the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.

Joh 20:19-20 Then the same day at evening, being the first [day] of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace [be] unto you. 20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them [his] hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.

Re 19:6-7 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. 7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

  1. I WAS GLAD BECAUSE OF WHO I MET THERE
  2. FAMILY
  3. FRIENDS
  4. JESUS
  5. THE LORD
  6. I WAS GLAD OF WHAT I HEARD THERE – The Bible; counsel; good news help!
  7. FORGIVESNESS
  8. HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
  9. HELP FOR MY SINFUL CONDUCT
  10. I WAS GLAD BECAUSE OF WHAT I DID THERE
  • Not glad to go to HOSPITAL (visited my own dad  in VA hospital  11 months every weekend)
  • Not glad to go to PRISON  to visit every week-end
  • Not glad to go to Institute of Mental Health
  1. We Sing at the house of God!
  2. We have Fellowship; food; fun while in attendance at the house of God!
  3. We learn to grow in grace while attending the house of God!

GLAD: (My own definition) You are “GLAD” when: “There is present within you such an inner joy that bursts into exuberance which does not permit your outward expression to have the appearance of sadness.”

  • You SMILE
  • You are in a mood to be KIND
  • You want to HELP somebody
  • You have no inclination to WHINE
  • You are not focused on your MISFORTUNE
  • It does not matter that you may have been OVERLOOKED, MISTREATED­­­­­, UNDERFED, or UNDERFUNDED

You have come to worship the one who saved your never dying soul and you are GLAD!  You have come to meet with HIM at HIS house and you have a clear understanding that what happens there is for HIS glory. He wants to meet with you and relieve you of the baggage you are loaded down with and give you JOY.

Ps 122:1 A Song of degrees of David. I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.

( I originally got this thought from a sermon preached by Evangelist Tommy Stone. I preached it in this form Sunday afternoon, September 3rd at Landmark Baptist Church, Red Oak, Texas)

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Deacons AND Trustees?

Deacons and trustees are often the same individuals. This is not necessarily a bad thing and in some cases is a very good thing.   It is perhaps overlooked by many that deacons and trustees have two very different roles. States require that an organization has trustees for the purposes of having a legal identity. They are in fact responsible for the actions of the organization. Usually there are three trustees, one being the Pastor/President; one being Secretary; and one being Treasurer.  It is their job to manage and protect the assets and resources of the church which is legally organized. They are accountable to the state to do this properly. This really has very little with the Biblical office of a Deacon. Deacons are chosen by the church to serve the congregation. Their main responsibility is to “free up” the pastor in order that he has adequate time for his ongoing study of God’s Word and prayer. Deacons must be Biblically qualified to hold this office. They are to be the primary helpers to the Pastor. This work may or may not include being a Trustee of the legal organization. It is primarily a spiritual office which is to focus on the well being of the membership, both spiritually and physically. The Pastor is not accountable to Deacons, but rather they are accountable to him. When deacons and trustees are one and the same, there can be some confusion as to who is leading whom. Trustees invariably function as managers. Deacons are servants. I believe it can create awkward circumstances when deacons and trustees are one and the same. To be sure it would be unwise to place a man in the position of a trustee who is not spiritual, nor a dedicated servant of Christ. Placing him in both positions can create confusion. Is he supposed to obey his pastor as a servant of the church? Or is he to manage the corporation as a trustee of the legal organization? Some men erroneously think that this includes managing their Pastor. Some men can handle both responsibilities in a Christ like manner, but I believe it places unnecessary stress on their relationship with one another when their responsibilities are combined. I think it wise to include as many good men in the functioning process of the church as possible. When the offices of a church, whether deacon or trustee, are held so close that a very small number of men participate in the process, it tends to alienate other gifted men who may also serve well in one of those positions. In a church where this is practiced you will often hear complaints like, “The Pastor is a dictator,” or “This is a dictatorship”.  A man may be suitable to be a trustee who is not qualified to be a deacon. Thought should be given to using him where he can be used in a productive way for the Lord. Churches are not dictatorships, but neither are they pure democracies.  In a democracy everyone has an equal say. In the church the Pastor is to be obeyed and followed as he is a representative of God. Even if he is corrupt, God alone is the one who has the authority to remove him. If he is corrupt, he should be exposed, but great care must be given not to enter into the areas of authority that belong to God alone. A man who is qualified to be a deacon, may or may not be a good choice as a trustee of the organization. Men who are scripturally qualified to serve the church as deacons have a much higher standard by which to be measured. They usually have pastoral hearts. Making them serve in two capacities can limit, and even frustrate the zeal they exhibit for ministry. Exercising talents in the areas of money management, property care, and legal work can be done by members who are spiritual, but not qualified to be deacons. Unless a church can come to some kind of inclusive operational considerations, it will tend to be managed by a very small group of controllers. The best solution is to have regular meetings with all of the male members of the church for prayer, planning, and fellowship. There will be a natural flow of leaders that surface from that group who my never become deacons, but who are certainly capable of being helpful leaders in the church. In any event, the pastor who wants to grow the church must be the Chairman of the board of Trustees and Chairman of the Deacons. If he is not, he just has a job. A legal church must have trustees. It may or may not have men who are qualified to function as Deacons. The church at Jerusalem was very large before any Deacons were chosen. It is a mistake to appoint men to be deacons who do not qualify according to the Bible. It would be better not to have any deacons at all rather than to designate men to positions which they cannot or will not fulfill.

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Request For Information

This is a sample of the questions that should be asked by a ministry candidate before he commits to accept the pastorate of a church. He needs to know as much about the church as the church knows about him if it is to be a “match.”

___________

Thank you for inviting me to submit a resume to be considered for the position of senior pastor at your church.  I am honored to be considered by you.  As you well know, not every church and pastor are legitimate matches.  Therefore, in order to help us get properly acquainted, I would appreciate the pulpit or pastoral search committee’s help by completing and returning to me the following information.  This will help us both in ascertaining our compatibility.  Please answer all questions as thoroughly as possible and with total frankness.  Some of the questions can be answered in the space provided, but some may require extra space or paper.

I. CHURCH 

1. Please describe any associations the church might have or keep with other churches or para-church organizations (i.e. fellowships, colleges, mission boards, camps, etc).

2. What event has shaped your church most in the last ten years?

3. How would you estimate the potential for reaching the unchurched in your community and surrounding area in the future?

4. What is the seating capacity’ of your auditorium?

5. When was the last time your church completed a building project?

6. How fast did the church pay off that debt?  What is the total amount of the church’s present indebtedness?

7. What is the church’s average weekly income?  How does that compare with a year ago?

8. What percentage of your church families would you estimate tithe their income to the Lord through the church?

9. What percentage of your church members would you estimate spend time daily (or at least very
consistently) in personal Bible reading (and/or study) and prayer?

10. Does the church have organized times of fellowship (for those in the church)?

11. Do the members get together for fellowship amongst themselves on their own?

12. What is the percentage make-up of your Sunday morning attendance?
_____Children
_____Youth
_____Young Adults
_____Adults
_____Middle-Aged
___Seniors

13.  What is the numerical make-up of your membership?
_____Children
_____Youth
_____Young Adults
_____Adults
_____Middle-Aged
_____Seniors

14.  What are the attendance patterns at meetings other than morning worship?

15. What is the pastoral history of your church?  Who were the pastors during the last 15-20 years?  What single sentence would you give typifying the ministry of each, and reason for their leaving?

16. Where does your church stand on the charismatic movement?

17. Where does your church stand on the tongues issue?

18. Where does the church stand on the issue of Calvinism?

19. Does your church have a particular stand/position regarding the King James Version of the Bible?  If so, please describe.

20. Does your church have a particular stand/position regarding the various modern versions of the Bible?

21. How would you typify the worship style of your congregation?  (Check ALL that apply.)
__Formal
__Orderly
__Free
__Informal
__Contemporary
__ Traditional
__Blended

22. What type of music is used in the church services and ministries (i.e. traditional, hymns, contemporary, southern gospel, etc)?

a. Congregational singing:
b. Choir:
c. Special music:
d. Youth ministries:
e. Children’s ministries:
f. Other:

23. Does the church have a written (or otherwise understood) policy regarding the type/style of music to be sung, played, etc?

24. What hymnal(s) does the church use?

25. What might be some touchy issues with people in the church… divorce, alcohol, tobacco, materialism, clothing, music, or others?

26. What kind of programs beyond worship for all ages does your church presently have in place?

27. Does the church have a strong missions’ effort?

28. Does the church employ a/the “Faith Promise” approach to supporting missionaries?

29. Describe how your pastoral selection process’ works.  Will you interview only one person at a time, taking that person all the way to a vote for acceptance or rejection before initiating another interview?  Or, will you interview a variety of candidates, hearing several before you decide which one to recommend?  Do you plan on a “trial sermon”?  Are you thinking of multiple interviews?  Please describe your process:

30. What style of leadership typifies the desire of your church?  (Place an x on one of the following.)  Board leads ____        Pastor leads ____

31. How many people are involved regularly in visitation or outreach? ______

32. In the past twelve months…
How many have been baptized into the church? ______
How many have been added via statement or letter? ______

33. In the previous twelve months…
How many were baptized into the church? ______
How many were added via statement or letter? _______

34. How would you typify the way your church treats visitors?
____Extraordinarily warm
____Friendly
____Reserved

35. How does the church follow up with those who visit?

36. Is the church organized as a not-for-profit corporation, or some other way (for tax purposes, such as “501.c.3”)?  Is the church officially chartered with your state?  Does the church have an official Statement of Faith, and Constitution and Bylaws?

 II. CHURCH AND COMMUNITY 

1. Describe your community in a short paragraph (population, prominent employers, general atmosphere and attitude, etc).

2. The church may do all of the following things, but all of them cannot take priority.  What is your ranking of the following seven emphases in priority order (#1 highest, #2 next, etc.):
____Missions
____Worship
____Fellowship
____Preaching
____Evangelism
____Serving
____Teaching

3.  Finish this sentence: “Our church is best known in this community for _______________.”

4. What do you believe to be the most pressing need in your community right now?

5. Describe the largest church in your community or surrounding area.  What is it like and how are you different and/or similar?

6. Over the last five years or so, when people have left your church, what did they say was the reason?

7. What do you think were the primary reasons?

8. What are the five biggest changes you would like to see happen in your church?

9. How and when was your church started?  By whom?

10. Who do you feel has been your most ideal pastor’?  Why?

III. PASTORAL AND LEADERSHIP 

1. What do you believe are the most important priorities for your new pastor (#1 most important, #2 next most important, etc.)?

____Time with family
____Prayer
____Visitation
____Preparation for preaching
____Counseling
____Administration
____ Community work / outreach

2.  What are your weekly time expectations for your new pastor?  (i.e. How many hours would you expect your pastor to spend each week in each of the following activities?)

____Time with family
____Visiting
____Counseling
____Prayer
____Preparation for Preaching
____Administration
____Community work / outreach

3.  What provisions do you make for the pastor’s personal and professional growth (e.g. continuing education, seminars, etc)?

4. How would you typify the prayer support for your present (or most recent) pastor?

5. Is the church prepared to support the pastor and his family financially?  Would the church’s support provide for related matters of pension, health care, life insurance etc?

6. What are the arrangements you make for a parsonage or housing allowance?

7. What is the make-up of your present staff, if you have such?  If not, do you plan for staff?

8. Some church “boards” (deacons, church vote, etc) expect to play an exceptionally strong role in the selection of assistant ministers and other staff.  Others expect the senior pastor to “hire the staff.”  How do you believe staff should be added to the church?

9. Please describe the present decision-making “process” of church leadership on business matters and other issues.  What role does the pastor specifically have, the deacons, church vote, etc?

10. What role does the church believe the pastor’s wife should have in the ministry?

11. What role does the church believe the pastor’s children should have in the ministry?

12. Over the past fifteen years which pastor’s spouse do you believe has functioned in a most ideal way?  Why?

IV. REFERENCES 

Please provide the following references for me (names and telephone numbers).

1. Your current or most recent pastor:

2. Immediately preceeding pastor:

3. Prior pastor:

4. Community person (someone familiar with your church, though not an attender):

5. A missionary, evangelist, or other church pastor who knows your church well (but is NOT a member of it):

6. Recent special speaker who visited your church:

7. Please give the name(s) of each person responsible for answering these questions (in any capacity) and how long each has been a member of the church.

V. CONCLUSION

1. To the best of your knowledge, have there ever been any lawsuits brought against the church?  If so please explain.

2. To the best of your knowledge, have there ever been any accusations of abuse or impropriety of any kind brought against the church, or any pastors/leaders/workers, etc. involved with the church?  If so, please explain.

3. Is there anything that was not asked here, but you feel should have been asked?  If so, what would that be?

4. Is there anything (not covered in these questions) that you feel I should know about the church?

5. If the church has an official Statement of Faith, and Constitution and Bylaws, please send a copy with this returned questionnaire.  (If already sent to me, please disregard this request.)

Thank you for completing and submitting this information.  Everything will be given prayerful and careful consideration before our meeting on____________________________.

Sincerely,

______________________________

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Applications, Questionnaires and Openness

When a pulpit committee offers a questionnaire to be filled out by a prospective candidate for the pastorate there are several things that should be considered.

  1. You are the one who presumes to have a calling from God
    1. You need to have been properly trained by a pastor
    2. You need to have been sent into the ministry
    3. You need to have a credible history of an authoritative ministry
  2. If you are an authentic man of God, You have a ministry to share
    1. The ministry is not a “job” to seek It is a service to offer
    2. The Lord is the one who places His men in His churches
    3. You must not become a hireling or you will not last in the ministry
  3. Be open and transparent with those who ask you questions if you want them to trust you
    1. They have a right to ask about your doctrine
    2. They have a right to ask about your family
    3. They have a right to ask about your morals
    4. They have a right to ask about your credit history
  4. Be prepared to ask the pulpit committee your own set of questions
    1. You are not a beggar looking for a handout
    2. What you believe and require is as important as what they believe and require
    3. This relationship is a commitment much like a marriage
  5. The pastor is to be the chairman of the Board
    1. He is to be chairman of the Trustees to have physical oversight
    2. He is to be chairman of the deacons to have spiritual oversight
    3. He is to “Take care of” the church of God
  6. Be willing to humble yourself in your service to the Lord
    1. There are many wolves in sheep’s clothing
    2. There are many phonies moving from church to church with no longevity; no productivity, and no consistency
    3. Credibility is the one thing you need and you cannot have without a good record
  7. Let God open the doors He wants you to go through
    1. If He does not open a door, do not force it
    2. If He does open a door then go through it
    3. Your ability to manipulate people, facts, and agendas will probably get in the way
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Lewis Letter – May 2013

LET-2013-05-01

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