After the first day of the IBSA Pastors’ Conference concluded Nov. 6 in Maryville, leaders in their 20s and 30s gathered for what has become an annual conversation about issues pertinent to their lives and ministries.
Around Buffalo wings, toasted ravioli, and St. Louis’ very own Fitz’s sodas, the group heard a panel discussion on effective leadership.
“Prayer is central to the Christian life,” said panelist Noah Oldham, pastor of August Gate in St. Louis. “It is powerful, it brings peace, and it provides contentment.” When things aren’t going well, Oldham said, it is because of his lack of prayer. Furthermore, he said, if Jesus prayed, so should his disciples.
IBSA President and Chicagoland pastor Adron Robinson cautioned leaders about crossing the threshold of trying to be Jesus. “It’s an error we can make when people come to us for guidance,” he said.
Oldham echoed Robinson’s statement. “Don’t try to prove yourself or others in your sermons either,” he said. “Rather, focus on bringing people to Christ.”
Rayden Hollis, pastor of Red Hill Church in Edwardsville, encouraged leaders not to be afraid of the culture they minister to when it comes to the spiritually lost. “Your methods should work with the culture you’re working with,” he said. He furthered encouraged the leaders to remember the words of Christ to love the sinner, not the sin.
Robinson ended the session by emphasizing the need to preach the whole gospel instead of cherry-picking Bible passages. “If a leader doesn’t preach the whole gospel, people will miss valuable truths important towards spiritual growth,” he said. “So, preach the gospel. Because it has the power to change.”