Men’s Prayer Breakfast at GLBBC (08-28-10) began, of course, with breakfast. Our church’s master chef, Jeremiah Rodell, and his band of merry men, created a scrumptious meal of sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, and an out-of-this world potato casserole (secret recipe – hashed brown potatoes, sour cream, cheddar cheese, green peppers, onions, and garlic).Breakfast was followed by enthusiastic, singing of hymns: “Are You Washed in the Blood”, “There is a Fountain”, “Saved by the Blood”, and “Nothing but the Blood”. We were then blessed by the opening prayer by Pastor Zac Dressner (Southeast Bible Baptist Church, Penfield) and welcomed by our very own Pastor Vince Giardino. Eleven visiting pastors and missionaries introduced themselves and were rewarded with gas cards for their efforts to travel to Gospel Light. Pastor Giardino, as promised, also awarded a gift (Cheesecake Factory gift card) to the person who brought the most gifts, which turned out to be Pastor Strobel. The music special for the morning was done by Michael Giardino, who sang while playing piano the song, “His Life for Mine”.Pastor Giardino then stepped forward to introduce our guest preacher, Pastor Scott Strobel of First Bible Baptist Church in Lockport, NY. Having a “treasured” friendship that reaches back to the mid 80’s, Pastor G. said Pastor Strobel has been a “wise counselor” over the years. “I would highly recommend that you have wise counsel”, our pastor stated.
Pastor Strobel began his charge by reading from Rev 3:7-13 as a way to bring up his topic on pillars. He talked about pillars and columns in the architectural sense, describing various types in the ancient Greek and Roman cultures. Gal 2:9 was used to show how the bible sometimes refers to people as pillars, in this case, James, Peter, and John. In similar fashion, in II Chron 3:17 pillars are given men’s names, “Jachin” (meaning “he will establish”) and Boaz (meaning “in him is strength”).
All this preaching on pillars was to make the case that “pastors need men in church as pillars.” “Pillars come in all shapes and sizes, so do men”, Pastor Strobel quipped. Thus, if you are to be a much needed pillar for your church, he presented several essential characteristics:
1.) First of all, you need to be saved. He recommended that you search your heart if you have any doubts.
2.) You need to be submitted to Jesus Christ, as Christ is the head of the church.
3.) We need to be anointed pillars; we need the power of God. He stated that to “be filled with the Holy Spirit” is a command of God. Evidence of this is “singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” and “giving thanks to God” always (Col 3:16-17).
4.) Pillars are at the house of God. “A church needs pillars to hold it up… to support it”, Pastor Strobel said. The support he described included giving to, praying for, and participating in the church. “Saying ‘amen’ to your pastor (during his sermon) is like saying ‘sic ’em’ to a hound dog”, he joked.
5.) “Pillars are straight”, Pastor Strobel said to an amused congregation. Clarifying “straight”, he spoke of righteous living and going “to war with your secret sins”, which are “robbing you of your blessings.” He warned that “wrong living leads to wrong doctrine” and backed it up with Gal 15:19, where heresy is show to be a work of the flesh.
6.) Finally, pillars are always there. By this, he meant “folks you can count on” to be there in the house of God every time you come. A pastor is looking for someone like-minded (Phil 2:20). “A pastor needs a band of men whose hearts God has touched”, he said.Pastor Strobel ended in prayer, asking God to give each church “men who will be pillars” and to “make us to be men you want us to be.” The invitation to come forward was given by Pastor Giardino and many came to the alter in prayer. Prayer requests were taken from each of the pastors and missionaries present and prayers were made for those requests by Pastor Joe Camilleri (Victory Baptist, Rochester) and Pastor Dave Underwood (Waterloo Baptist).