By Shannon Baker, BCM/D National Correspondent
ORLANDO—Preaching through the New Testament book of James, Dr. David Uth of First Church Orlando, challenged his congregation to live out the type of faith modeled in the Bible. To give opportunity to such faith, he invited people who had needs to step forward.
After learning individuals’ needs, one by one, he introduced them and shared their needs—ranging from needs for food to feed their families, transportation, minor medical concerns and clothes—and invited other members to come forward to meet those needs.
Over 1,000 people came forward, many weeping as they walked down the aisle, to provide families with food, cars, and money for medical bills.
“It is the number one thing that people have talked about in our church—and in our community,” said Uth, who has served at the church since 2005. He said that the morning’s exhibition of faith with works has really helped his church live out God’s Word.
For Uth, one of the speakers for Connect 2010, the annual meeting of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware, to be held Nov. 14-16 at the Sheraton Towson at 903 Dulaney Valley Road in Towson, Md., it was another demonstration of his passion for people.
“I know it sounds trite—a little slick from over usage—but it’s true. I am passionate for people,” he shared, expressing his belief that God created a perfect ten when He created people, gifted them, called them and placed in them a passion to serve.
“The problem is that we have listened to the world, and the enemy has done much to destroy” God’s perfect ten, he said, adding, “I love helping people find God’s love and helping them see what He has for their lives. That jazzes me more than anything.”
He pointed to his favorite story about the Italian Renaissance painter and sculptor Michelangelo. When asked how he could take a rock and transform it into an angel, the artist responded that he wanted to set the angel he saw imprisoned in the rock free so that others could see what he could see.
“In a similar way, my goal is to set people who are imprisoned free so that they can be who God sees them to be,” Uth said.
To that end, in addition to speaking at the annual meeting, Uth will join Don Whitney, associate professor of biblical spirituality at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, to teach about “The Care of a Minister’s Heart” during a ministers’ brunch Monday at 9:45 a.m.
Uth brings his experience as senior pastor of a mission-minded, 15,000-member church with a $17-plus million annual budget and a myriad of ministries, including its television program, “Passionate Living.”
In November, he will share about what he sees as the greatest danger facing ministers today: “The Holy Becomes Common.”
“We can start thinking, we’ve done this so many times, and we lose the wonder and awe of ministry,” he explained, concerned that the more “professional” churches become, the greater the danger. Consequently, he will teach pastors how to guard against these dangers and how to keep their passion for the people and for God alive.
“Your people won’t know [if you’ve lost your passion] at first, but unless you do something, they will know,” he said.
To register for the ministers’ brunch or to learn more about all the speakers, visit online at http://am.bcmd.org.