Archive for January, 2016

The Pastor and His Marriage

HoldingHandsJeana and I have been married for thirty-nine years. After we’d been married for eighteen years and Jeana would mention to my Mom some crazy thing I had done, she would say, “You have now had him longer than me. I am no longer responsible!”

After being married to one another this long, we have learned so much about each other and marriage. And still the learning continues. Perhaps what I share today will be an encouragement for your marriage.

1. Walk closely with the Lord individually and together.

One of the things that always encourages me is knowing that when I walk down the stairs from my office in the early morning, my wife is up having her time with God. She does not live on my walk and I do not live on hers. We walk with the Lord individually. We each take it seriously.

Yet, we walk side-by-side with the Lord. We talk about spiritual and ministry things regularly. We pray together nightly. We know it is critical for us to do life and ministry together.

2. Do ministry individually and together.

Jeana has consistently been involved in the ministry of the church. For years, she served in the worship ministry. She has also served by leading a cancer support group and has done weekly jail ministry. Now, she leads a Bible Study in our neighborhood, which gives her unique influence with women in our community. And she has always assisted as needed in the women’s ministry of our church.

Jeana has accompanied me on many ministry endeavors. I am a pastor who does not do ministry alone. Jeana is with me. We have done ministry of all kinds together through the years from mission trips to funerals to weddings to so much more.

3. Live life together.

Jeana and I have noticed something in the lives of many ministers and their wives. Many of them live life alone. The wife goes one way and the minister goes another. I do not get this and quite honestly, it is very unhealthy.

Since 1985, Jeana and I have spent Fridays together. Can you believe that? It is rare we are not together on this day. We live life together during the week and on the weekends. Yes, when the children were home, our lives were focused on them, but we still did life together.

Live life together. Ministry is hard enough. You do not need to fly solo. Marriage is hard enough. You certainly do not need to fly solo. This is not good for either of you or your marriage. Find a regular time to spend with your spouse. You will not regret it.

4. Honor God’s calling upon your life together.

Have you considered recently that you have been called to do ministry by God Himself? If you sensed God’s leadership to marry your spouse, and I assume you did, you must believe that God has called you to walk in ministry together.

Therefore, honor God’s calling upon your life together. Do not take it for granted.

You have a holy calling upon your lives, both husband and wife. You have not been called to business, entertainment, or politics, but the ministry of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is holy. This is your calling. Live worthy of this call to ministry. Honor God’s calling upon your life together.

Follow Him wherever He leads you to go. He has a great plan for each of you individually and as a couple. Surrender your marriage to Him now in a new and fresh way. He has wonderful things in store for your life and ministry together.

Now is the Time to Lead,

Ronnie W. Floyd

From the New York Times: Race, History and Baptist Reconciliation

A few months ago, my friend Dr. Jerry Young and I hosted A National Conversation on Racial Unity in Jackson, Mississippi. Dr. Young and I both believe that it is time for the racial crisis in America to end, and wrote an article together stating such. We also recently had the opportunity to sit down with the New York Times and discuss our efforts to bring reconciliation within our churches. An excerpt is below. You can read it in its entirety here.

Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times

WITH the protests in Ferguson, Mo., the Black Lives Matter movement and the massacre of black churchgoers in Charleston, S.C., on their minds, the presidents of the nation’s two major Baptist groups — one predominantly white, one predominantly black — decided it was time for a bold gesture. The Southern Baptist Convention, founded by slaveholders and their supporters before the Civil War, is now the nation’s second-largest Christian denomination after the Roman Catholic Church. Black Baptists formed their own churches and in 1880 founded what eventually became the National Baptist Convention, U.S.A.

Late last year, the leaders each invited 10 of their pastors to join in a public conversation on racial reconciliation in Jackson, Miss. The Rev. Dr. Ronnie Floyd, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, and the Rev. Dr. Jerry Young, president of the National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., visited The New York Times recently to discuss the Jackson meeting, and the goals behind it. An edited version of their conversation follows.

Q. What was it like being in that room?

YOUNG For me personally, it was almost euphoric. Literally to be in that room dealing with that particular issue in light of my own personal history and the history of Mississippi, and Southern Baptist history. That moment was filled with hope and a tremendous sense of possibility.

Q.You’ve told me that you were born on a plantation in the Mississippi Delta and grew up experiencing racism. Did you tell the Southern Baptists about those experiences?

YOUNG In the little town I grew up in, Lamont, just north of Greenville, there were three stores, and I remember distinctly once, we went into one store and there was an elderly man there. They had a cooler where you got the sodas and took them to the counter. The man went and picked up a Coke and went to the counter, and the person behind the counter refused to sell him the Coke because it was a white man’s drink. He had to put it back in the cooler.