Most of you know that Trinity is affiliated with both the Southern Baptist Convention as well as ARBCA (The Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America). Each year we have an annual meeting for all of the churches to come together in one place. I'm away at this meeting this week. This years theme is, "A Biblical View for a Balanced Church." A balanced church is: (1) A church where Christ is central and there is a passion for the glory of God in all things, and specifically in the area of church life, (2) A church where the Holy Spirit has made the church to be alive with joyful and serious personal godliness, fervent worship, energetic fellowship, with real life and spiritual vitality, and not by employing artificial measures to accomplish it, (3) A Church where the missionary vision is strong, where men are being raised up to answer the call, and who will go to evangelize sinners, plant churches, and train men to lead those churches. Whether here or there, churches should be forward thinking about strategies and plans to reach out and reproduce themselves.
I'm writing this message at the close of the assembly. The three keynote speakers this year were Sam Waldron, Jim Adams, and David Vaughn, a missionary from France. David Vaughn's message was particularly stirring as we consider the great commission of the church. He said this commission demands a clear vision, an element of dependence and an element of spirituality. In addition it demands evangelistic preaching from the pulpit but also congregational contact with the world. The church must have a worldwide outlook and orientation. Finally, he said that there must be a strong element of self-denial. In this he said the church needs so much more than a mind of glorifying God through our enjoyment of Him. The problem with the modern church is too much focus on self. He directed our attention to Calvin's section on the Christian life in the Institutes, Book III, Chapter 7. It is a life of self-denial. The life of the Christian is the cross now and reward later.
The conference was Christ centered and left all with a great burden to bear God's glory to the world.