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. Spencer Plumlee of Riverview Baptist Church in Osage Beach, MO was nominated by John Bailey. Below is John’s responses to the questions I sent him.
How do you know Spencer?
I can remember a couple of years ago driving through the tiny towns near the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. My wife and I were looking for Riverview Baptist Church in Osage Beach. We were cautious but hopeful that this small church could be our new church home.
You see, we had just been called to a new ministry in the area. We left close friends and a sweet church family. Transitions are never easy. One of the biggest hurdles in moving to a new community is finding a church home. My usual prayer is this – please Lord help us find a church where I can be a friend to the Pastor. From the minute we heard Pastor Spencer I knew God had called us to this church. My wife and I have been members at Riverview for 2 years now.
Pastor Spencer and I share a lot in common. We both graduated from Southwestern Seminary and we both call Memphis, TN as our home town. I feel like I have known Pastor Spencer for my whole life.
Why did you nominate him?
I have been in SBC life for all of my ministry years. I had the opportunity to travel and hear communicators all over the country. So I know good preaching when I hear it.
It is a huge challenge to stand every week and communicate God’s truth. I never take it for granted. Some people think it is a simple thing to preach. Pastors have been doing it for centuries. From earliest civilizations people give speeches, the Greeks called it rhetoric. Their frame work was simple – know yourself, know your audience, know your content and use a breath mint. (Ethos, Pathos, Logos and Mentos) One of my first Pastors once told me, the preacher has four simple rules – stand up, speak up, shut up and sit down. Over the years I have come to a certain conviction about good preaching.
A gifted preacher must have two vital skills – the courage to share God’s truth boldly and the capacity to love God’s people authentically.
Pastor Spencer possess these skills in abundance. This is why I felt led to nominate him. Pastor Spencer preaches God’s truth and refuses to make accommodations to culture. God’s truth is his passion. Pastor Spencer takes the time to prepare and digest God’s word. When he preaches God’s word it comes from hard work and insightful observations from God. Not only does he bring God’s word boldly he also loves God’s people authentically. Our little church is blessed with multi generations and ethnicities. I can sense how much my Pastor loves his church. He preaches with his heart. He engages people out of love. In the two years I have been at Riverview, I have not heard a bad sermon. Pastor Spencer is a treasure.
Why will he serve well in Phoenix?
The George Barna Group recently reported in a 2017 research project that only one in seven pastors leading congregations is below the age of 40. In recent years, one of our favorite past times is spent checking out preachers by counting the number of petals on the tulip they hold. I know many SBC pastors who express concern about what does the future hold for the SBC. Well I am excited to know that many of these faithful hard working SBC leaders will be encouraged. Pastor Spencer is under 40 and he loves the Southern Baptist Convention. Everyone who hears him preach in Phoenix will walk away saying, Dr. Plumblee knows how to handle God’s word. Our convention will be in good hands with young pastors like him.