Episode 072

Community Outreach, War Crimes, & Great Commission Revolution 

Apr 12, 2022

A Florida church is hoping some good can rise from the ashes of its ruined sanctuary. President Biden and the U.S. House of Representatives are persuaded Russian President Vladimir Putin and his military have committed war crimes in Ukraine. And in a First-Person piece on Baptist Press, Texas Pastor Jared Wellman calls on churches to reconsider how they define or measure success.

Transcript

A Florida church is hoping some good can rise from the ashes of its ruined sanctuary – including mental health assistance for the community and even help for the woman who confessed to setting the building on fire.

The sanctuary of Main Street Baptist Church in Bartow, Florida was destroyed in a massive fire in early March. The historic building was built in 1947.

“Exactly three years ago from the day of the fire, I preached a sermon talking about adversity,” said Pastor Adam Mayfield. A phrase from that sermon is still on the church’s sign. It says, “God is still God and God is still good.”

The church is well known for their care for the city’s homeless population. Mayfield says the community has rallied to their side during their time of loss. 

President Biden and the U.S. House of Representatives are persuaded Russian President Vladimir Putin and his military have committed war crimes in Ukraine.

If those assessments prove correct, justice requires accountability for the perpetrators, a Southern Baptist ethics leader said.

The war crimes designations by United States officials intensified after photos recently came to light of hundreds of bodies of Ukrainian civilians who apparently had been executed by Russian soldiers prior to the troops’ withdrawal from Bucha, a town outside Kyiv. Though Russia denied the allegations, witnesses also reported torture and rapes by Russian troops, according to news reports.

“If such an intentional violation of humanitarian laws occurred, it is the very definition of a war crime,” Leatherwood said in written comments. “The commanders, generals and leaders who called for such actions to be taken need to be held accountable. Justice demands it.”

Good News for Today is sponsored by The Voice of the Martyrs

Good News for Today is made possible through our friends at The Voice of the Martyrs, a nonprofit organization that serves persecuted Christians around the world. Founded in 1967 by Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, VOM is dedicated to inspiring believers to deepen their commitment to Christ and to fulfill His Great Commission — no matter the cost. Find out more and sign up for their free monthly magazine at vom.org/goodnews.

In a First-Person piece on Baptist Press, Texas Pastor Jared Wellman calls on churches to reconsider how they define or measure success.

Wellman writes, “…the Great Commission says nothing about church size or about how many people are in a room for an hour on Sunday morning (which, by the way, is an incredibly anemic way of understanding Jesus’ master plan for building His kingdom). Instead, the Great Commission has to do with making disciples.”

Wellman admits that numbers may be helpful in measuring some things in a local church, ultimately, he says churches must be reminded the goals of the Great Commission are going, baptizing and teaching.

He says, “If we focused less on how many we were running on a Sunday and more on “disciples making disciples making disciples,” then we could see an incredible work of the Lord that would transform our churches.”

Find more stories at BaptistPress.com.

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