For the final Timothy Series of the academic year, the Henry Center welcomed Reverend Isaac Smith, District Super-intendent of the Northwest District in The Wesleyan Church.
A “pastor of pastors,” Rev. Smith’s pastoral background includes pastoring a church plant, small bi-vocational churches, and a large growing congregation, and he is now leveraging his diverse skills and leadership experience in overseeing over 70 churches and mobilizing church planters in nine states. With his passionate and conversational style, Rev. Smith blessed us with his presence, both in delivering a timely message about the heart of God and, in the luncheon following, sharing advice and wisdom gleaned from his many years of pastoral and administrative service.
God’s Mission Statement
Rev. Smith’s passion for reaching the lost was evident first in his chapel address, where he described God’s mission in sending his Son to save sinners. He urged students and faculty to create a personal mission statement that reflected God’s. Entitled, “God’s Mission Statement,” Isaac Smith’s sermons can be summarized as follows:
While most corporations and organizations have a mission statement that defines who they are and what they do, few individuals, not to mention followers of Christ, have a mission statement for their lives … this despite the fact that our God has one.“You have nothing to do but to save souls.” John Wesley Rev. Isaac Smith challenges individual believers to develop a personal mission statement congruent with God’s, which Smith finds in Paul’s “trustworthy saying deserving of full acceptance” (1 Tim 1:15) that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. As we evaluate our desires and the ways we are uniquely gifted in developing our mission statement, we must make sure that it lines up with God’s mission statement by prioritizing Christ and the salvation of souls, heeding the urgent words of John Wesley: “You have nothing to do but to save souls.”
If you missed the sermon and might be interested in listening, check back on our resource page in a couple weeks.
Smith on Calling, Pastoral Ministry, and Leadership
Following chapel, Rev. Smith shared personally from his life and ministry during the Luncheon and Q&A discussion. The conversation was rich, engaging, and diverse, ranging from the changing shape of ministry in the Dakota’s due to a quickly emerging oil industry (and the corresponding explosive economic and population growth) to historically unprecedented growth among the Native American population.
Rev. Smith also shared about his calling to ministry growing up in a ministry family as well as his early experience in planting a church, as well as his eventual call to his current role as District Superintendent. Smith discussed the benefits (and challenges) of being under denominational oversight for prospective pastors, and he shared about the need for stronger interpersonal skills among the emerging generation of ministers.
His wealth of knowledge and experience accumulated from years of ministry and leadership were an enormous blessing to the Trinity community, as was his desire to see people come to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.
If you’d like to hear from Rev. Smith, there’s still time. Join us for his second Timothy Series address tomorrow (Thursday, March 20) at 11:00 in chapel and the free luncheon following in Hinkson Hall, where the discussion wil continue.