Hello, my name is Kendall Adams and I am the pastor of Burlington Baptist Church. In what follows, I give a brief description of my conversion, call to pastorate and the calling of the local church.
I did not grow up in church and I cannot recall ever hearing the Gospel until the age of twenty-four. I was engaged to be married and figured that I would attend a church since that is where most people get married. After visiting an evangelical church one Sunday, a couple from that church came by my parents' house to visit with me and share the Gospel. Two nights later, at midnight, I knelt down beside my bed and was converted. The Lord set me free from the tyranny of sin and I have enjoyed freedom in Christ ever since. I continued attending the church that had initially visited me and was baptized there. After my conversion to Christ, I decided that I could not get married and remained single until about a year later when I met my wife-to-be at church. I cannot thank God enough, who called me out of darkness into His marvelous light, that I might proclaim His greatness.
CALL TO PASTORATE
I felt the call to ministry a little over a year after my conversion. I kept this to myself because I wanted to make sure it was not just my new conversion experience that was directing me. Then, some men and women from the church I attended confirmed that call into ministry by telling me that they thought I was gifted in that area. I left my job and hometown and spent the next seven years in college and seminary preparing for the ministry. During those years of preparation, I pastored, taught children and adult Sunday School, and was involved in leading an outreach ministry. I have not doubted that I am doing what God has called me to do.
I believe the New Testament is the source and authority for how I understand the role of a pastor/teacher. In Ephesians 4:11 it states that Christ gave some to be pastor/teachers. It should be noted that all believers are given a spiritual gift(s) at the time of conversion (Eph. 1:7-12; I Cor. 12:1-31; Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Peter 4:10-11). One of those gifts is that of pastor/teacher. To have the gift from God to be a shepherd carries with it vital duties. One's chief duty is to teach. Paul teaches that spiritual gifts were given "for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ. Until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ" (Eph. 4:11-12). All believers are to mature in their knowledge of God and His Word (1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18). As the minister equips believers, they in turn are to do the work of service. This work of service could include teaching Sunday School, witnessing, discipling, and meeting other needs within the church. It is God's goal for the church to have unity and for believers to reach maturity in their faith. The doctrine found in Scripture, and taught by the pastor/teacher, matures a person, which in turn creates unity among those of like faith. "As a result," Paul says, "are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming, but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is head even Christ" (Eph 4:14).
CALLING TO THE LOCAL CHURCH (Not exhaustive)
The purpose of the church is to carry out the commandments of the NT to preach the gospel of reconciliation (Luke 24:47-48; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:18-21). As believers we should be going out into our work places, neighborhoods and streets to share the gospel. Believers should be active in witnessing to others (Matt. 24:13; Mark 13:10; Rom. 1:16; 11:28; 1 Cor. 1:17; 4:15; 9:23; 8:18; Gal. 2:5, 14; Phil. 1: 5, 7, 12, 16, 27; 4:3, 15; 1 Thess. 2:4; 2 Tim. 1:8).
Along with the call to proclaim the gospel is the call to baptize those who make a profession of faith in Christ (Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:38; 10:44-48). Baptism does not save a person, but rather is a proclamation of identification of a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus. The NT teaches that there is salvation apart from baptism (Luke 13:3, 5; 15:7; John 3:16-18; 5:24; Acts 16:30-31; Rom. 10:8-10; I John 5:10-12). Yet it is plain and simple that believers should be obedient to Christ's command to be baptized (Matt. 28:19). The word "baptize" literally means "to immerse". All of the NT references to baptism involve immersion (John 3:23; Mark 1:10; Acts 8:36-39).
Another function of the church is the edification and nurturing of believers. God has given every believer a gift to bring edification to the church (1 Cor. 1:12; Rom. 12:4-8; 1 Pet. 4:10-11). More specifically God has placed elders (pastors/teachers) in the church for shepherding and teaching sound doctrine (Eph. 4:11-14; I Tim 3:2; 4:6; 5:17; Titus 1:7-9). Deacons also are a special office and serve the local body (Phil 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:8-13).
I believe all believers play a part in fulfilling the great commission to make disciples (Matt. 28:19-20). In a unique way a pastor can cultivate relationships specifically with those in the local church that need to be discipled themselves who in return disciple others. Paul told Timothy that, "And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of may witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also" (2 Tim. 2:2). I will seek in my ministry to have an eye for those who have a desire to be personally discipled and who will then in return disciple others.
If you attend our church and have questions, please get with me after a service, or you can email or call the church.
My blog is: http://alwaysreformingtoscripture.blogspot.com/