By Marilyn Stewart, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary communications
PHOENIX (BP) – Ryan Rice, pastor of Connect Church of Algiers in New Orleans, told attendees of the 2017 Southern Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference Monday, June 12 that continuing on in obedience to Christ is a call all pastors must heed today.
Drawing from Philippians 2:12-18, Rice said pastors must “live lives poured out for Jesus.”
Acknowledging that ministry is difficult, Rice encouraged listeners not to give up but to press forward in “practical obedience” to God’s calling by staying focused on Christ.
“Keep plowing in the lane God has set you in,” Rice said during his message. “Keep following wherever He has placed you. You can continue on if your eyes are set on Jesus.”
Pointing to verses 14-16, Rice said believers are called to a “shining obedience,” whereby a dark world can see Christ in their lives. Rice reminded listeners God sees and rewards faithfulness.
“Your identity is found in Christ, not in what you do for Christ,” Rice said.
Believers are called to “joyful obedience,” Rice said. He encouraged pastors to serve joyfully, as Christ served, and to remember Jesus endured the cross.
Rice concluded by challenging listeners to follow Christ’s example and “run to the cross every morning” and “pour out your life for the Gospel.”
The Pastors’ Conference, which kicked off Sunday (June 11) at the Phoenix Convention Center, encouraged and edified pastors via messages from the book of Philippians.
With the theme “Above Every Name,” the Sunday evening and Monday morning sessions focused on issues such as our dependence on Christ, hope and joy through adversity, finding identity in Christ, obedience, Christian unity, and beholding Christ’s name and example.
Leading worship throughout the Pastors’ Conference were Keith and Kristyn Getty.