One Magazine Publishes Special Issue for Pastors
by Mark Headrick (First, Henderson)
In October, a new Free Will Baptist publication arrived in pastors’ mailboxes across the denomination. Pulpit Magazine (stylized PULP1T) made its debut thanks to a grant from the Free Will Baptist Foundation. With articles like, “Red, Yellow, Black & White: A Christian Examination of Racism,” “For the Sake of the Gospel: Leaving Prejudice at the Cross,” and “Willis Bryant Was Cherokee: Overcoming Racism to Bring the Gospel to Southwest Oklahoma,” it is clear Pulpit has no intention of tiptoeing around the issues.
I interviewed Editor Eric Thomsen about the magazine and its bold content.
What was the inspiration behind the creation of Pulpit Magazine?
I have long been burdened with the need to provide a free, top-quality magazine for Free Will Baptist pastors. Pastoring is never an easy job, and the complex issues raised constantly by our postmodern culture make it even more challenging.
In recent days, the denomination has expressed concern about church revitalization. I am convinced one of the keys to revitalization is encouraging and inspiring pastors who have become weighed down, even paralyzed at times, by the cares and concerns of ministry. I see this magazine as an excellent vehicle to encourage, support, and equip pastors. Our congregations will benefit as the direct result of a refreshed and inspired pastor armed with new ideas and vision. And the health of our pastors and local churches will determine the health of our denomination.
This publication was made possible through a grant from the Free Will Baptist Foundation. Did the grant cover just this first issue, or the entire run?
I am grateful to the Foundation for the grant that made the first issue possible. For now, PULP1T truly will be periodical—once, perhaps twice a year, depending on funding. I would like to see the frequency increase, however.
Kudos on the subject matter. As a pastor who has taken much heat for speaking out against racism, I am thankful to hear what I have been preaching coming from other denominational leaders. What made you decide to tackle this issue right out of the gate?
The subject has been in the works since Tom McCullough spoke on racism at the 2015 national convention. His humble call to acknowledge, confront, and lay aside racism for the sake of the gospel struck a chord deep within me. While Free Will Baptists have a rich history of standing up for the rights of the oppressed, it is crucial that each new generation continue to look within, to ruthlessly root out any vestige of prejudice that would hinder the work of the gospel. Before I ever requested a grant to fund the first issue of PULP1T, I had identified this subject as the topic for the first issue. Interestingly, my deadline for writers fell the week after the horrific events in Charlottesville thrust the subject of race back into the national headlines. As usual, God’s timing is impeccable.
At any point in the process, was there any hesitation to devote this issue to racism?
None. I submit humbly that Scripture speaks clearly regarding racism. It’s sin. It should have no place in the heart and life of any believer. Yet, as fallen beings, we all need to be reminded on a regular basis—as Tom McCullough said so eloquently—“God cares nothing about the color of a man’s skin but about the condition of his heart.” I am grateful for writers, pastors, and church members who share the truths of God’s Word openly, fairly, and without apology, even when the subject is controversial. When dark topics are brought from the shadows into the light and discussed openly, God can heal the festering wounds of sin.
If any Texas pastors did not receive their first issue, how can they get one?
PULP1T magazine is free for any pastor or church leader who would like to receive it. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Executive Office at 877-767-7659 to be added to the mailing list. An online edition will be added to onemagazine.com and fwbpastor.com, so articles can be shared beyond the borders of the denomination.
Much thanks to Eric for his hard work and expertise, as well as his bold vision, and his heart for pastors and the denomination. Be sure to request your copy or look online at the other fine articles dealing with Free Will Baptist history, theology, and pastoral health. Drop Eric a note and let him know your thoughts.