CLARKS SUMMIT, Pa.—Over 90 pastors and ministry leaders from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania gathered for the 47th Baptist Bible Seminary Minister’s Enrichment Day on April 5. The event focuses on an issue the churches of America face and offers resources through keynote speakers and interactive workshop sessions.
Dr. Mike Stallard, seminary dean and professor of systematic theology, and Dr. Ken Davis, director of Project Jerusalem, addressed the need to faithfully exegete our culture and communicate Biblical truth without violating the Bible. Stallard is general editor of Dispensational Understanding of the New Covenant, and Davis is coauthor of The Y-B-H (Yes, But How?) Handbook of Church Planting.
The speakers and workshops went further into Dr. Ken Davis’s emphasis on “presenting the gospel in culturally relevant terms.” While it’s important for churches to be relevant to the culture they are in and have outreach into local communities, it’s important to find a balance between over-contextualization and under-contextualization.
Pastor Jack Harris appreciated “the emphasis upon relevance and confronting our culture rather than isolating ourselves and just sticking to teaching the Bible—now that’s the foundation, but we’ve got to understand the ones whom we are trying to teach the Bible.”
BBS alumnus Jim Barnes, pastor of First Baptist Church in Maine, New York, was challenged to make more time for his church to go into the community for outreach and relationship building. Pastor Barnes said, “If we build relationships, later down the road we will have better bridges to reach people with the gospel.”
Dr. Stallard and the seminary staff, who have experience in the pastoral and mission field, understand the challenges pastors face that go beyond teaching and preaching in the pulpit. Minister’s Enrichment Day is one of many ways BBS desires to minister to local churches and pastors.