SBC DIGEST: Pastor shares Christ with demonstrators; Worship leaders discuss pandemic's effects on ministry

Pastor shares Christ with demonstrators

By KNCSB Staff

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (BP) -- Downtown North Platte, Neb., was the scene of a Black Lives Matter demonstration Sunday afternoon, May 31.

The demonstration occurred in the area where Two Rivers Fellowship meets in a historic building.

Pastor Doug Lee received a call about a family needing food, so he went downtown to the church building around 2 p.m. to get food from the food pantry. Lee described what happened:

"On my way to our building I saw a growing crowd of Black Lives Matter demonstrators gathering in the parking lot and along the sidewalk behind our building.

"Coming out of the building I encountered young adult protesters. I asked if they were protesting the incident in Minnesota. They said yes.

"I asked if they were from North Platte and they were. I then asked where they went to church, and they said they don't go to church."

"I said, 'I read from different sources that George Floyd was a follower of Christ. Did you know that?' They said they didn't know that.

"Then I pointed to our building with the big sign 'Two Rivers Fellowship' and said, 'I am their pastor.' This gave me opportunities to share with groups of two to four at a time the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

"Throughout my time among the demonstrators I visited with the chief of police and the sheriff, encouraging them for their good job in handling the demonstrators."

Some of those Lee talked with expressed an interest in meeting for further conversation. Please pray for seeds of the Gospel that were shared to develop into professions of faith.

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Worship leaders discuss ministry during pandemic, strategies for reopening

By Katie Coleman

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) -- The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary's School of Church Music and Worship brought together more than 400 worship leaders from across the nation in a May 29 webinar to hear faculty and state worship leaders discuss strategies for reopening in-person worship and related concerns.

As churches begin to consider when and how they will welcome people back to their church facilities in the coming weeks, music ministers face a lot of questions and concerns regarding how they lead their people in worship. The "Worship Ministry in a Pandemic" webinar featured four Southwestern Seminary faculty and 10 state convention worship leaders and consultants offering leadership perspectives.

Joseph R. Crider, dean of the School of Church Music and Worship, acknowledged that the sudden disruption to normal rhythms and the need to quickly adapt has challenged music ministers. But, Crider added, they must remember the One who will carry them through this season.

"Brothers and sisters, I just want to say for those of you who are tired, weary, and worn out and ready for this to be over, you are in good company," Crider said. "We have a loving, triune God who gets it, who gets our weariness. We have One in heaven who is not only an almighty Savior, but a most understanding and a feeling friend. We can trust Him with every aspect of our lives with an unhesitating confidence."

Discussing how health and safety restrictions and guidelines will continue to alter how churches worship together, David Manner, associate executive director for the Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists, said the need to worship from home has impacted his view of corporate worship, reminding him of essentials: the value of intergenerational worship, simplified but meaningful worship, and less contrived music.

"We were forced to worship intergenerationally at home," Manner said. "We did it because we cared more about taking care of our families than we did about guarding preferences. So every generation was willing to sacrifice something during this season for the good of all."

In addition to the webinar, the School of Church Music and Worship has gathered various resources on its Artistic Theologian website.

To view the entire webinar, see here.

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