Editor’s Note: Each of the speakers for this year’s SBC Pastor’s Conference in Phoenix, AZ was nominated by someone. I have asked each speaker’s nominator to answer a few questions about the person they nominated. Nathan Rose of Liberty Baptist Church in Liberty, MO was nominated by Darin Smith. Below are Darin’s responses to the questions I sent him.
How do you know Nathan?
Nathan and I met in the fall of 2006 in Greek class at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. We began to minister together on the streets of Westport (an art/bar section of Kansas City) doing street evangelism each week. Our relationship blossomed over the years in serving together on mission trips, as bi-vocational youth pastors, speaking at events together, and now serving as senior pastors within a few miles of each other.
Why did you nominate him?
Nathan is a “regular pastor.” He’s not someone you’re going to see in the limelight (by choice and calling). However, just because he is a “regular pastor” doesn’t mean God isn’t using him in extraordinary ways—He is!
Since taking over at his current church—Liberty Baptist Church—by God’s Spirit, strength, and grace, Nathan has led (is leading) his church into deeper biblical health. From this stems the belief that theology is strongest when it is closest to: a) the Scriptures, b) the local church, and c) suffering. And he realizes that ministry takes deep discernment through prayer and practice.
But, above all this, is the priority of preaching.
I nominated Nathan because he gets that great preaching isn’t hip style or profound intellect—but divine power validating the Gospel of the cross (1 Cor. 2:1-5). He understands and strongly believes that no church can go any greater than its pulpit ministry and presence. As the pulpit and preaching goes, so goes the church.
Nathan firmly believes and lives out these truths in his local church. The deeper the preacher takes his flock into the Word of God:
- The greater they will grow in worship of who God is and what He has done for us in Christ;
- The fiercer they will be in the pursuit of God’s holiness and the spiritual disciplines;
- The more sacrificial service they will be in the Lord’s work; and,
- The further hearts will kindle for the work of evangelism and the cause of worldwide missions.
He believes that preaching God’s Word is the primary way he shepherds and leads himself, his family, and his flock. Pastors like Nathan who preach God’s Word loyally will be called uninteresting merely by those looking for something other than the faithful preaching of God’s Word.
God has shown me through the ministry of Nathan Rose that the local church and the believer do not grow by daily helpings of “hard words,” but by being nourished & encouraged by the full counsel of God through preaching. This is, above all, why I nominated him.
Why will he serve us well in Phoenix?
As a “regular pastor,” Nathan wears a lot of hats.
He’s a busy family man and doctoral student, but also prioritizes and gives time each month to his church’s pastoral training center to prepare men for the pastoral ministry.
Nathan is the lead pastor of a local church with sermon prep, prayer time, and hospital visits, among other duties, but he also oversees the strategic implementation of helping struggling churches and church plants locally and nationally.
He serves on the ERLC leadership council, but his biggest desire is to take the Gospel to the nations (his church adopted an unreached people group a few years ago).
I could go on. But Nathan is well-rounded in his singular pursuit of God’s glory in the ministry. He’s in the trenches each day as a Christian father, husband, and pastor. He can identify with the “normal pastor” because he is one. Nathan understands that one can pastor big churches, write books & yet if we aren’t being shaped into Jesus’ image, we fail. Success is not the goal – Jesus is. And he gets that a good pastor is one who is intimately aware of how broken the church can be, and is still relentlessly optimistic about her future—because God is.
In short, Nathan is what we should strive to be as pastor or pray we see in our own—one that admits his need, seeks God’s help, celebrates his love, lives for his glory, studies his wisdom, works for his kingdom, and rests in his grace. Anything short of that is short of what God wants for us.