The rapid pace of life is no longer friendly to moments. Moments can be significant, historical, or brief. In a recent post, I shared 30 Lessons I Have Learned in Leadership Through Leading the Same Organization for 30 Years.
In this article, I shared two lessons about moments:
- Enjoy the special moments.
- Walk slowly through the crowd.
When I presented these lessons at The Summit, I talked about how I wish I had known how to enjoy the special moments of life and ministry more. It is something I intentionally work on, and was privileged to learn the principles personally from men like J.B. Hunt and Jerry Falwell, Sr.
This Brief Season Was Filled With Great Moments
My church just celebrated my 30th anniversary of serving as Senior Pastor. This past Thursday afternoon, our entire staff team surprised me with a very special and touching reception for Jeana and me. It was filled with testimonies from some of our staff team from all walks of life.
- How they raised their children by the way we raised our two boys.
- How their lives were shaped from their youngest years to today by what we have taught them.
- How God used our preaching of the Word of God to transform their entire lives and career trajectory.
- How they wanted Jeana and me to sit back and experience the moments of this past weekend and not rush past them.
Then, yesterday morning, my son, Dr. Nick Floyd, preached on legacy. He was outstanding! Our Communications Team put together a powerful video of encouragement. I spoke only briefly at the end of the services.
Last night, as a complete surprise, many of our former preacher guys and staff guys came from across America to be with us. They, along with our Leadership Team and a few other dear church leaders, witnessed the power of ministry multiplication through the years. There were others who were not able to attend. We had video messages from former staff members and church members, from Ryan Blackwell who pastors First Baptist in San Francisco, to our dear friends, Coach Gus and Kristi Malzahn, Head Football Coach, Auburn University. There is nothing like the gospel traveling on the tracks of a relationship. As we drove away, I told Jeana I was exhausted! It was emotional, encouraging, celebrative, and even compelling to continue forward in this journey. We laughed, cried, prayed, and fellowshipped. Oh, my cup is overflowing!
Some of My Favorite Moments
I will not go deep and long into some of my favorite moments, but I will mention a few in order to celebrate the work of the Lord among His people:
My first Sunday as Senior Pastor, October 26, 1986, when from a small gymnasium, the Word of God was proclaimed as the church welcomed this very young pastor and family.
The first Sunday in our Worship Center in the First Baptist Church of Springdale on February 14, 1988. The day was historic in many ways, including then Governor Bill Clinton congratulating the church in this accomplishment. More importantly, when looking back, it literally changed the entire trajectory and influence of our church to this very day.
On Sunday, January 21, 1990, I opened God’s book and informed my beloved church that their young, precious pastor’s wife and my life partner, Jeana, was diagnosed with breast cancer. With tears and emotion, they embraced us, loved us, prayed for us over the next 12-18 months filled with surgeries, tough chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and trips to Houston’s M.D. Anderson Hospital. Through this experience and challenging time, it was when I truly became their pastor not only in the title I received in 1986, but in life in 1990.
On Sunday, June 4, 1995, after I had just completed my first forty-day fast, I shared what God had done in me and was doing in me. God moved in, and when He came to church that day with us, He brought real revival, yes, church revival. The schedule went out the window that day, leading to a two-hour plus morning worship service with at least 3,000 present. 70-80% returned on Sunday night, leading to a service lasting for four hours. This day changed our church because God had changed their pastor, me, for forty ongoing days during a time of fasting.
In June of 1996, I was asked to preach the convention message to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. In those years, thousands attended and the convention message was one of the major highlights. I sensed God wanted me to give a public invitation, which was unprecedented, and literally hundreds responded with a brokenness before God most of us had never witnessed or experienced. Just this past week, on October 21, 2016, this was shared in the SBC This Week podcast in their moments in SBC History (You can find it at about 30 minutes into the podcast). It was humbling to listen as they discussed a Baptist Press Article released October 21, 1996 regarding my sermon.
Learning leadership and leading in the Southern Baptist world in 1996: In 1996, I was acting as a member of the 7-member Program and Structure Subcommittee of the Southern Baptist Convention, which reduced our nineteen SBC entities to eleven entities and the Executive Committee. Simultaneously, I was serving as Chairman of the SBC Executive Committee and was elected to be the President of the SBC Pastors’ Conference, preparing for 1997 Southern Baptist Convention in Dallas, Texas. None of this was sought after, but for some unique reason in this time in my life, God called me to do these things simultaneously, teaching me so much about leadership within and outside of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Saturday, October 4, 1997, I preached to 1.3 million men at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. as part of a ministry movement of men called Promise Keepers. After preparing with forty days of fasting and prayer for my 9-minute message, I preached what I believed was God’s vision for America.
More to Come
When you pastor and lead a church over a long period of time, there will come a time when you do not know when you begin and the church ends or when the church begins and you end. This is what happens with a relationship. Never forget this: The Gospel travels on the tracks of a relationship. This is what pastors do.
More on this subject in Moments, Part 2.
Now is the Time to Lead,
Ronnie W. Floyd
Senior Pastor, Cross Church
To request an interview with Dr. Ronnie Floyd
contact Gayla Oldham at (479) 751-4523 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.