I am really proud of the people of First Baptist Church of Birch Tree.

In case you don’t know the church well, we are a small, rural church not unlike a lot of Baptist churches scattered across the fruited plains. We are not terribly innovative. We are not following any sort of growth model or marketing plan, but there a few things we do well.

Our semi-annual fishing tournament is a good example. We just finished hosting it this year so I can give you a run-down of the event. 58 kids, plus their parents, grandparents etc. came out to fish for a couple of hours. Judges weigh each fish – any fish- that might get caught and in the end there is a nice trophy for the highest total weight caught, the biggest fish, and the most fish caught. Don’t worry, fish lovers, all the fish are quickly set back to swim and eat and meet us again next year. Every kid got a T-shirt, and everyone got a really good hotdog and hamburger lunch. Its all free. We don’t set out a donation bucket and we don’t ask for or expect a dime. It is our gift to the community. It looked like everyone had a great time.

That’s not all. Throughout all of this, there are the people of First Baptist talking and laughing with the participants. I see church members getting muddy as they try to detangle lines from trees, and one get more than muddy trying to remove a stubborn hook from a stubborn fish.

That’s still not the best part. This is going to sound bad, but for me, the best part is, I don’t do anything. Well, that’s not entirely true. I MC the event, I helped weigh a few fish, and I talked with everyone I came across, but I really have very few official responsibilities at this event. Not that I don’t mind work. I’m usually pretty busy. The thing is, this event was never my vision. God gave this vision to Jeff Brake and Jeff has done a fantastic job casting (no pun intended) it to the church. They rally around him and before I know it, the whole thing is organized, publicized and running like a well-oiled machine. Go, First Baptist, Go!

My only real responsibility at the event is to share the gospel during the awards time. Between you and me, that is really, really easy to do after so much love is shown by the church. Keep it up, everybody!

Caleb and the 2lb Bass

My son caught this monster bass just before time was up! What a day!