A NEW VISION FOR THE JOURNEY

One day in Kingsville I was discussing with a staff member how much I had been inspired by Darrell Robinson during his years in Pasadena.  This staff member’s father had been a leader in the First Baptist Church in Pasadena and had inside knowledge of the work there.  We talked about the vision statement of that church.  At that time Darrell had moved to Mobile Alabama to lead the great Dauphin Way Baptist Church.  We got in touch with him and asked his permission to use his vision statement at Kingsville.  He joyfully affirmed this desire of ours.  PEOPLE SHARING JESUS intersected my life and ministry.  When I moved to Georgetown in 1995, I brought this vision with me and even enhanced its application to the work in Georgetown.  Darrell himself has been a guest in both Kingsville and Georgetown and is in contact with me from time to time.  He is still serving the Lord.  Particularly, he is doing the Lord’s work in Brazil by leading Total Church Life conferences which include the principles contained in our vision statement that he inspired.

In 1986 in Kingsville, Texas at the First Baptist Church, we introduced through a series of sermons that the church was to be identified by the words “People Sharing Jesus.”  This meant both sharing Jesus with our community and with each other.  It combined evangelism and ministry in a phrase that lifted up the name of Jesus.  We wanted to be known in our community because of Jesus and not because of the name of our church.  Three statements followed by a fourth statement of need completed our vision statement.  We were to be “Exalting the Lord, Equipping the Laity, and Evangelizing the Lost, because People Need the Lord.”  Exalting the lord called for great worship experiences that made much of the name of Jesus and the work he has done on our behalf.  Equipping the laity constituted our pledge to train our people how to minister in the name of Jesus.  Evangelizing the lost made clear that we would not wait at the building for lost people to attend.  We would go out into the community and into the world and tell them about Jesus.  People need the Lord was a statement of fact and a constant reminder of God’s love for a lost and dying world and would conclude our vision statement.  This last statement was my idea that I had added to Darrell’s original work.  We also had two songs that we taught our people that they were expected to sing without needing to see the words.  They were to memorize them and be able to break spontaneously into these songs with or without a musical accompanist.  The Songs were PEOPLE SHARING JESUS and PEOPLE NEED THE LORD.  We sing those at Crestview today and new people continually learn the words and join in the singing.  When they do they are being stirred by a vision that has been a part of my journey for more than twenty five years.  A shared vision that has been given by God helps to shape a church.  Those who visit FBC in Kingsville still tell me that the ongoing impact of our decade there continues through the compelling vision that the Lord gave to us.  God used Darrell Robinson in my life to bring clarity to the work of the local church, and he did so in our second year in Kingsville.

Dan Wooldridge

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