Originally published at Western Recorder – www.westernrecorder.org
Louisville—“Your task is to be clear on the gospel. All the spiritual disciplines are outworks of the gospel, as is all the training you’re going to receive. That is of first importance,” Donald Whitney, professor of biblical spirituality and associate dean of the School of Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the featured speaker for Super Saturday 2015 in Louisville, challenged attendees.
“Super Saturday is our flagship, comprehensive training event,” explained Steve Rice, Church Consulting and Revitalization team leader for the Kentucky Baptist Convention. “The goal of the training is to ensure Christians are disciplined in whatever they are doing in the same way that athletes are disciplined in their training, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:25,” Rice said.
Super Saturday 2015 was held in four locations throughout the state during the months of August and September
Whitney delivered the opening session’s message in Louisville, focusing on the importance of understanding and articulating the gospel.
“Even among our best and most dedicated people, there is a lot of uncertainty and lack of clarity about the gospel,” Whitney said. “That is why we began with it this morning. We can have our training all day long. It’s going to be excellent. But apart from the foundation of the gospel, we’re building our foundation on sand.
“Of first importance, Paul said, is clarity on the gospel,” Whitney said. He then explained the gospel message and challenged attenders to be able to do the same clearly.
The featured session was based on Whitney’s book, “Praying the Bible.”
“Our problem in prayer is we tend to say the same old things about the same old things,” Whitney said. He continued, “Let the words of Scripture become the words of your prayers.”
Whitney suggested some practical ways to pray through Scripture and to teach Sunday School classes or small groups how to use the Bible to pray.
To drive home his method, he asked those in attendance to pick a psalm and begin to pray through it for seven minutes. The attendees then were asked what their results were, and the overwhelming response was because it was something different, they were no longer “bored” while praying.
“Jesus prayed the psalms. The early church prayed the psalms. Great Christians like George Mueller prayed the psalms. Why not you?” Whitney urged.
His sessions were accompanied by breakout sessions taught by Kentucky Baptists throughout the day. Topics ranged from Sunday School directors to transition and conflict management.
Lisa Moody’s session on women’s ministry defined apologetics as “giving a defense for what you believe.”
“You can spend a lot of time studying God’s word, but until you let it change your life, it’s wasted time,” Moody said.
She covered the basics of the Christian faith and contrasted it with other religions. For further reading, she suggested “Defending the faith” and “Why do you believe that?” by Mary Jo Sharp.
Another session highlighted the Kentucky Baptist website “Tell your story.” In the session, Andy McDonald, affinity evangelism strategist with the KBC Evangelism and Church Planting team, walked attenders through the website and the importance of “telling your story.”
“All of our featured speakers have been excellent. They’re very different, very diverse,” Rice said. “Beyond the featured speakers we’ve had a plethora of conference speakers and teachers covering virtually every aspect of church life and training those leaders.
“We’re hearing good feedback, and it has been helpful,” he noted. “That’s certainly our goal, to help those who serve in the local church.” (WR)