Cherokee Baptist Association - Centre, Alabama
Cherokee Baptist Association
Saturday, February 16, 2019

From The Director's Heart

            Wendell Dutton - Association Missionary

                              Partnership Principle:  
              "We work best when we work together
                and we do best what we do together."


February 2019

   Things are off and running with a very busy year ahead of us.  I am extremely excited and encouraged about this year as I look forward to what God wants to do and will do through our lives and churches.               
   For the past few years, our focus has been on revival and revitalization for our churches.  Revival and revitalization go hand in hand and we desperately need it to happen in our churches because, “We need healthy churches to reach a sin sick world.”  Simply put, we need churches that are  spiritually healthy — reaching people with the Gospel, making disciples, and developing the next generation of leaders.  I am encouraged by what I’m seeing in several of our churches as they are making an intentional effort, taking the necessary steps in order to be spiritually healthy churches.  While there are a number of steps that could be suggested in order to move our churches to the goal of spiritual health, I just want to touch on the three that I believe are most vital:  

1) Strong pastoral leadership.  As pastors, it may be that we need to re-focus on what God has called us to. The pastor’s priority should be on preaching the Gospel,   providing clear visionary leadership and have a willingness to make changes and withstand the criticism that will come. This will only happen through an intense prayer life and complete dependence on God.   
2) Churches must be in unity in purpose and passion.  While we will never agree on everything, there must be a willingness to love each other in all things. When this happens, we can fulfill the purpose. Above everything, we must love the Lord Jesus Christ in a way that the world will never doubt our passion for Him.   

3) We must recover the primacy of personal evangelism.  Intentional personal evangelism has always been a defining mark of our Southern Baptist mission.   It is imperative as never before to pray for the lost, share Christ with the lost, and live with Christlike character before the lost.  

If we will take these three steps, I believe we will experience a move of God that will bring revival and revitalization to our churches.         
   I look forward to serving you and serving with you to do great things for His Glory in 2019.                         
                              Bro. Wendell           
                              II Corinthians 3:18

December 1, 2018

   One of my favorite authors is Dr. O. S. Hawkins, president of Guidestone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.  Dr. Hawkins is best known for his series of best-selling “Code” books which are spiritually insightful and will bless the reader.  I want to share some brief insights from one of his installments, “The Christmas Code:” 

"For centuries Christians all over the world have celebrated the Advent season leading up to Christmas.  Advent means arrival, appearing, coming and anticipates the coming of Christ to Bethlehem's stable.  In the midst of all the busyness of this season, the celebrations, the shopping, the lights, the decorations, the parties, and all the other tinsel, trappings, and trimmings, Advent offers a time of spiritual preparation.  It provides a time of reflecting on the true joy, peace, hope, and love that the coming of the Christ child makes possible for each and every one of us."   
   My prayer is, that as we celebrate the birth of Christ, we would remember that Christmas is all about Christ, and primarily, Christ alone. He stands at the center of human history and He should stand at the center of our lives every day.
   So, as we look back and celebrate His first Advent, may we also look forward with earnest anticipation to His Second Advent, His glorious appearing (Titus 2:13, Hebrews 9:28). Let us hear again the words of the old Christmas hymn written about His First Advent that points us to His Second Advent:   “O come, O come, Emmanuel and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lowly exile here until the Son of God appear.  Rejoice!  Rejoice!   Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.”
   May you experience the best, brightest, and most blessed Christmas and a very Happy New Year!                                     
                                                               Bro. Wendell
                                                               Isaiah 9:6-7