GALVESTON–Dr. Delbert Mack, Sr., pastor of Cathedral of Faith Baptist Church in Beaumont, encouraged listeners not to be limited by what they see, but to have vision for what could be during the worship rally for African American Fellowship on Sunday night. The rally was held on Nov. 14 in advance of the 2021 Annual Meeting.
The pandemic forced churches and pastors to think differently about how to carry out their mission and bring the gospel to more people, Mack said.
“Ministry is always fluid,” he said. “There’s always something different and unique taking place. You have to learn how to adapt to it. When you look at the life of Jesus, you see a man whose ministry is always in motion.”
Mack set the scene in Luke 5: a crowd has been following Jesus, hanging onto his every word and pressing into him on the shore of the lake at Gennesaret. In the distance are two empty boats. Nearby, fishermen clean empty nets at the end of an exhausting night of fishing with nothing to show for it.
“This doesn’t look like a fruitful place to do ministry,” Mack said. “As preachers, teachers, church workers we come to the conclusion that we don’t have the right location, we don’t have the right kind of people, we don’t have enough help. We can look and survey the scene, and we see all of the things that are wrong.
“If you’re going to be effective for the Lord, you’ve got to learn to minister wherever you are.”
This is the difference between sight and vision, he said. By the side of the lake, Jesus saw what could be. The lake could be his stage. The boats could be his pulpit. The fishermen could be his disciples. The needy crowd could be his congregation.
“Many times we often talk about, ‘I just tell it like it is.’ There’s nothing wrong with telling it like it is, as long as you see how it can be,” Mack said. “Sometimes you’ve got to see something different.”
Despite all that’s happening in our world, he said, or perhaps because of it, people are sensing their spiritual emptiness. People have a longing inside that only God can satisfy.
“That’s why in the church we want to make sure people never leave like they came,” he said. “It’s fine to tell them about three steps for this or for that, but in the end, you need to make sure before they leave to feed them the word of God.”
After meeting the spiritual needs of the crowd, Jesus turns his attention to the fishermen.
“We’ve got to always keep the order right,” he said. “We have to always make sure you focus on God’s business first and then God will deal with yours afterwards.”
Jesus asks the fisherman to push out into deep water. Simon doubts, but obeys. Soon, their nets are full to the breaking point with fish.
“Whatever you need, God has it in great supply,” Mack said. “There’s nothing he’s unable to do.”
Finally Jesus invites the fisherman to follow him, to find a higher calling in life.
“[Jesus said,] I know every day was about getting up and coming to the lake and trying to catch a few fish to feed your family, but I have a higher purpose for your life,” Mack said. “Your life is not just about material things. Your life is not just about your place on the boat. It’s about your place in the Kingdom of God.”
West Point Missionary Baptist Church in Galveston hosted the rally. Dr. Patrick Bradley, minister of Worship & Creative Arts at Westside Baptist Church in Lewisville, led the worship music.