Kevin W. Bounds

Pastor and Writer

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I am privileged. Privileged not in the sense of arrogance but honored by God’s grace to shepherd the flock, which gathers at West Green Baptist Church. This congregation rests in the heart of my hometown community, and its people have a heart for Christ. This passion manifests itself by the people’s interest in the lives of other; both within the walls and without. You don’t have to attend our services to be loved by our fellowship.

West Green Baptist is a traditional Baptist church. Some wanna-be church growth gurus probably shuttered at that last statement. For many, words like “traditional” are synonyms for stagnation and complacency. (To be honest, I used to think along these lines, but I have been pleasantly surprised at West Green.) I would like to go on the record saying; IT IS A MYTH THE TRADITIONAL CHURCH CANNOT GROW!

Of course, if a church decides to remain traditional simply for the fact of resisting change then cue the funeral taps because death is on the way. Yes, change is inevitable. But we don’t have to throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater. A church solidly grounded in historical tradition can still reach forward into the future harvest and be effective.

So, how are we to decide what needs to change in a traditional church (or any church for that matter)? I would like to restate three simple guidelines. Use these guidelines to consider your methods of ecclesiology

  1. Love God – How do we show our love for God? By keeping His commandments (John 14:15). We are commanded to love and worship God with every fiber of our being (Matt 24:36-40). Are we in a worship rut? Are we going through the motions during worship gatherings or are you inspired to offer God our very best? Also, Christ commissioned the church to go into all the world and make disciples (Matt 28:19-20). Are we doing church with making disciples in mind or are we merely satisfying saints?
  2. Love People – Of course, there is some overlap from the first principle because you cannot love God if you do not love people. Paul writes, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor” (NASB Rom 12:10). This love should cover all those in fellowship and those outside of the walls of the church too. The church is not about our preferences in worship as much as it is our service to God and others!
  3. Rinse and Repeat – What I mean is everything thing done, whether in the traditional vein or contemporary stream, should be washed thoroughly with the previous two commandments from Scripture. Once our motivations for ministry are washed by the water of the Word of God, then we need to only repeat what stands the test!

In conclusion, I know this information is not new, but that doesn’t negate its value. That is a great deal like many of the old faithful traditions many have left behind. Please do not hear me as stating one style of worship is better than the other because both have their benefits. In a nutshell, what I am trying to say is that as long as it is true worship (Jn 4:24), then God will bless our ministries. High church, low church, contemporary, or traditional are various flavors we offer up to God in worship. Be who God has wired you to be. Love God, Love people, and rinse and repeat!

 

Sincerely,

A Young Man in an Old Church

While sipping my morning cup of Joe, I happened to come across a podcast link in my inbox from ThomRainer.com. For those of you who may be living under a rock, Thom S. Rainer is a church leadership and growth guru. He has authored several books on the issues facing the American church.

The podcast which attracted my attention was titled Nine Changes Churches Must Make Or Die. Although this is not an exhaustive list, I can testify of the list’s veracity (especially in the Bible Belt). The twenty or so minute long episode is well worth the listen.

So, why am I typing this post out? Well, #1 smacked the old melon hard. Rainer states, “Churches must stop bemoaning the death of cultural Christianity.” With a quick Google search, one can find that to bemoan is to express discontent or sorrow over something. How many times have I heard that “the world/church sure has changed since I was coming up.” Honestly, things have changed, but my question is what are we going to do about it? Are we to only bellyache about a bygone era?  Are we to simply fade away into irrelevance? God forbid!

Could it be the church’s influence is waning because of our whining? Jesus never said, “Go into all the world and whine about our circumstances.” NO! He said, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation” Mark 16:15 (ESV). Yes, evangelism may have been easier in the “good ole days,” but difficulty does not diminish our obligation to proclaim the Good News.

What do I suggest? I recommend the church to stop pining away in sorrow and preach the Gospel! Yes, I know it’s easy to focus our attention of the negative or things we do not have. However, if we simply remind ourselves of what we do possess! Quit bemoaning bygone eras of “easy evangelism,” roll up our sleeves, and put our hand to the plow. Finish the task, no matter how hard the soil!

Over two thousand years ago, You faced the horrors of the cross. The cruel tortures of that wicked tree reveal the severity of sin, my sin. You cried out, “My God! My God! Why have You forsaken me!” It was through this forsakenness that we experience the embrace of Abba’s arms. Restored. Restless and rebellious subjects reconciled to a Regal King.

Wrecked with agonizing pain so that others could experience peace. By the crimson flow of Calvary, the filthy stains of sin wash away from our souls. Incarnate Deity dying removing sin’s strong hand. Worthy is the Lamb slain over two millennia ago! Praise ushers forth from grateful hearts on this most wondrous Good Friday for we know the rest of the story!


Was this post a blessing? Please like, comment, and share so it may bless others! 

As I was reading my morning devotional, I found this quote to be quite remarkable. I wanted to pass it along to you. Hopefully, it will encourage you to pray for others as it did me. God bless!

“Christ did not seek to enjoy the Father’s love for Himself; He passed it all on to us. All true seeking of God and His love for ourselves will be inseparably linked with the thought and the love of our brethren in prayer for them.” – Andrew Murray

If this quote was a blessing to you, please let me know by liking, commenting, or sharing. What quote did you find noteworthy in your recent devotions? I would love to hear from you!


Andrew Murray, Waiting on God, (London: Nisbet & Co., 1895), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “Day 6 For All Saints.”

[2]  I trust in you, my God! Do not let me be disgraced, or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat. [3]  No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced, but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others. [4]  Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow. [5]  Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you. Psalm 25:2-5 (NLT)

My eyes opened, and my heart was engulfed with the sense of “newness” this morning. Sipping my coffee and writing in my prayer journal, I realized it was the first day of April. The thought of a fresh month full of blank pages to write a new story and to seek the glory of God has arrived.

In my journal, I penned the following words, “Today begins a new month, and I desire to dedicate this month to seeking a closer walk with You [God].” After spending some time in prayer, I turned to my devotions from Andrew Murray’s Waiting on God and found some very encouraging words about seeking God. Concerning Psalm 25, Murray writes,

The psalm has at all times been a very peculiar one, because of its reiterated expression of the felt need of the Divine teaching, and of the childlike confidence that that teaching would be given. Study the psalm until your heart is filled with the two thoughts—the absolute need, the absolute certainty of divine guidance.

We, as believers, have a promise that IF we’re looking for Him, God will be found! So, the month of April is, for me, a time to seek a more intimate relation with my God.  HE has promised to reveal the way!

Would you like to join me on this April journey? You can and ain’t fooling either! Take this month to move closer to God. He is waiting. Please feel free to like, share, and comment.

“Hello, my name is Kevin Bounds, and I will be your substitute teacher today.”

Okay, to be honest, I never thought my vocal chords would ever vibrate to the rhythm of those words! However, God has a funny way of surprising us, doesn’t He? Today, I experienced one of those “I never thought I would have this experience” moments.

After receiving a call from Citizens Christian Academy, I wondered what a pastor with a Bible and theology degree would have to offer a High School literature class. Also, what would the student be like? (Oh, no! Would I reap the fruit from seeds sown in my past for being a torment to subs in my formative years?)

To my surprise, I quickly learned the 11th-grade class was reading one of my favorite novels, which I read in Mr. Starbuck’s English class years ago. A book about Greasers, Socs, switchblades, and Corvairs. Yes, it was S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders. In fact, this brush with High School literature makes me what to reread Ponyboy’s story.

Next, in the 9th-grade class, we looked at Ralph Waldo Emerson and transcendentalist literature. Yes! Of course, I know I am running the risk of revealing my inner nerd, but I thoroughly enjoyed this topic! Although this was a literature class, I got to share a bit of Emerson’s theological presuppositions that informed his writing.

All in all, it was a great experience. The kids in my class were well behaved and respectful. I realized, people had instilled in these teens good Christian morals, character, and the importance of pursuing a solid education. Honestly, I am looking forward to returning tomorrow.

Have you ever had an “I never thought I would have this experience” moment? I would love to hear it. Or maybe you’re a proud CCA Alumni or parent, please feel free to comment below and share.

 

“Because of His Mercy” by Kevin W. Bounds  – Romans 12:1-2 (March 19, 2017)

This sermon originated from the pulpit of West Green Baptist Church in West Green, Georgia where Kevin Bounds serves as Senior Pastor. Did you enjoy the message? Let us know in the comment section below. Also, please feel free to like and share with friends and family.

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