Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Hank's For the Future Included Me

January 1967. I was a 16 year old junior at Versailles High School in Missouri. The first Super Bowl was being played between the Green Bay Packers and my (then) favorite team, the Kansas City Chiefs. I had just started dating a girl who would become my first love. Farming was in my blood and my view did not extend beyond Morgan County, Missouri.

Meanwhile in Lubbock, Texas, Hank Scott was working to start a new church. I’d never heard of Lubbock or Hank Scott.

April 1967.  Now I was in love with my first crush and wondering how I could afford to get married right out of high school. On my radar was attending a trade school to learn electronics while farming with my father. My view did not extend much beyond Morgan County.

Meanwhile in Lubbock, Texas, Bacon Heights Baptist Church was newly organized. Hank taught that the church didn’t exist to serve the members; the members existed to serve the church. He taught the church to look to the future. He challenged the members to double-tithe so they could build for the future. I’d still never heard of Lubbock, Hank Scott, or Bacon Heights Baptist Church.

January 1968. The “love of my life” didn’t want a future that included me. Our breakup was painful—for me. She immediately began dating one of my close friends. My future still included farming and possibly trade school. I’d still not heard of Lubbock and Hank Scott and….

January 28, 1968. A team of students from Southwest Baptist College held a weekend youth led revival in my home church. My world was rocked as God called me into full-time vocational ministry. Suddenly my vision was lifted beyond Morgan County and farming.

Meanwhile in Lubbock, Hank was busy growing a church and advancing the Kingdom of God. I’d still not heard of….

February 2017. The 50th anniversary of the Super Bowl has been observed and Bacon Heights is also approaching a 50th anniversary. Just as Hank was working on a building program in 1967 so are we again considering construction. By now I’ve been in Lubbock 23 years, a member of BHBC for 12 and a staff member for 11. Thank God Hank Scott had a vision 50 years ago and built for the future.

As I’ve been reflecting on our church and its history, I’ve been wondering what teenager somewhere in the United States, who lacks knowledge of Lubbock and Bacon Heights, will be impacted by our church? Little did I realize 50 years ago how much this church would mean to my family and this “re-formed farmer.”  You see, when Judy and I joined as members in January 2005, I was suffering from PMSD (post ministry stress disorder). I’d been beat up and was burned out.  I’d been out of ministry for a year and had no plans to return. But Bacon Heights loved me back into ministry.  In 1967 Hank Scott had never heard of Jim Gerlt, but he built for the future and that included me.

None can foresee all the people who will be impacted by what we do today; only God. (As the old adage goes, “any fool can count the seeds in an apple but only God can count the apples in a seed.”) Judy and I are “all in” for the construction project because we’ve reaped the benefits of forward thinking people who built then for now. Please prayerfully consider how you will partner with us to build For the Future.