Scatter shooting while wondering who will get Dave Miller’s lime green suit when he passes on to his reward. At my age, happy hour is an afternoon nap. When I was a boy, learning to play baseball, my coach said repeatedly, “Mark, keep your eye on the ball.” Of course, that’s the key to hitting a baseball, but it’s also key for Southern Baptists. For us, the ball is missions. Missions is what motivated Baptists in the USA to form their first convention, the Triennial Convention, in 1814. The first thing the SBC did when it organized in 1845 was to establish the Foreign Mission Board and … [Read more...] about Scatter Shooting, Part Three
Scatter shooting while wondering if the Oak Ridge Boys are really from Oak Ridge. Over the years I’ve been asked if I believe all of the Bible is true. I believe all of the Bible is true except one verse—1 Timothy 1:15. In this verse Paul writes, “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am foremost” (ESV). I believe all that verse except the last part. Paul should have written, “of whom Mark Terry is foremost.” I believe those who preach regularly would do well to use the expository preaching approach. … [Read more...] about Scatter Shooting, Part Two
The late Blackie Sherrod was the sports editor for the Dallas Morning News for many years. Every Saturday, he would publish a column of his observations and reflections on the sports world during the past week. I don’t plan to publish my Scatter Shooting as often, but it provides me with the opportunity to share thoughts, opinions, and observations that do not merit 600 words in a post on Voices. Scatter shooting while wondering where Bart Barber gets his hair cut. It’s all about grace. I earned a PhD at Southwestern Seminary, served in the ministry for 50-plus years, and taught in … [Read more...] about Scatter Shooting
I taught missions in Bible college and seminary for forty years. As you can imagine, I taught the book of Acts many times. Every time I did, a student would ask, “Why don’t we see the events of Acts in our churches today?” I always answered the same way, “We don’t pray the way they prayed, and we’re not filled with the Spirit as they were. (“They” referring to the believers in Jerusalem.) Why did I answer in that way? Prayer Several passages in the early chapters of Acts tell how the believers in Jerusalem prayed together in groups: Acts 1:14--All these with one accord were devoting … [Read more...] about The Book of Acts Reprised?
This post is about revival meetings. For some, it will be a trip down memory lane, while for others it may be more like a church history lesson. When I was a boy in the 1950s, most churches had two or three revivals each year. They would hold a fall revival, a spring revival, and often a summer youth revival. The churches hoped to energize their members and evangelize the lost. Sometimes the churches would invite a full-time evangelist, and they would invite a music evangelist, also, if they could afford it. Other times, the pastor would invite another pastor to preach, and there were a lot of … [Read more...] about I Remember Revival Meetings
Some years ago, I served as the interim pastor of a county-seat First Baptist Church in Kentucky. One week I received a note from a woman who had visited our church. She told me that I was the only one who greeted her when she visited. Her note prompted two reactions in me. I was relieved that at least I had greeted her, but I felt dismayed that no one else had done so. In reaction, I shared this with the congregation both in a service and in the church newsletter. I encouraged them to greet all our church guests. Well, how well does your church do in welcoming guests? I discussed this with … [Read more...] about Is Your Church a Friendly Church?
Several days ago, Bart Barber, our current SBC president, declared that he would “defrock” (unordain) Johnny Hunt if he had the power to do so. His emphatic declaration seems to have prompted Baptist News Global to publish two articles on ordination, more specifically revoking ordination. The articles, written by Marv Knox, Curtis Freeman, and Mark Wingfield, are certainly thought-provoking. (They inspired me to write this post.) This post is not meant to be a poll on Johnny Hunt; rather, I want us to focus on revoking ordination. How is that done? What would justify revoking a pastor’s … [Read more...] about When and Why to Revoke Ordination
Recently, I retired for the third time. The first time I retired from the International Mission Board; the second time I retired from Mid-America Seminary, and the third time I retired from Central Baptist Church in Crandall, Texas, where I served as teaching pastor. The other day, I reflected on my years of ministry (53 years), and I asked myself if my ministry was successful. (At Least it was long!) Of course, that is for the Lord and others to say, but that reflection made me wonder—How do you define success in ministry? A missionary might focus on the number of folks baptized and churches … [Read more...] about How Do You Define Success in Ministry?
It doesn’t seem possible, but I enrolled at Southwestern Baptist Seminary fifty years ago. In August 1972 I drove to Fort Worth and began my seminary studies. I went to Southwestern because my pastor recommended it, and I’ve never regretted that decision. When I enrolled, I had two goals in mind—to qualify for missionary appointment by the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) and to learn to preach. My wife and I had written the FMB and informed them of our call to missionary service. The Personnel Department said, “Great, now go to seminary.” So, off we went to Fort … [Read more...] about Fort Worth Memoirs
A friend gave me a coffee table book about church signs. I thought I might share some that caught my attention. Inspirational For Hope—Worship with Us; We Have a Real One Be a Fountain, Not a Drain There’s a Mighty Go in Gospel The Mind Grows by Taking in, But the Heart Grows by Giving Out God Grades on the Cross, Not the Curve If God Had a Refrigerator, Your Picture Would Be on It Clever Come Inside for Free Faith Lift God Wants Full Custody, Not Just a Weekend Visit Psalms Read Here Visitors Welcome—Members Expected God: Let’s Meet at My House … [Read more...] about Considering Church Signs!