News Articles

Stay focused on the obligation of service, Nashville mayor tells LifeWay employees

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Stay focused on your biblical obligation to serve others, Mayor Bill Purcell of Nashville, Tenn., challenged employees of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Speaking to Nashville-based employees during a special hour-long customer service program Oct. 13, Purcell said the story in Ezekiel 34 begins, “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel.”

Purcell observed that the narrative in which the shepherds fed themselves instead of their flocks is “a special story for a mayor” and equally applicable to LifeWay employees.

“God tells us we are to serve everyone,” Purcell said, referring to Mark 10:45, the program theme in which Christ said he did not come to be served but to serve.

“It is, I think, a message easy to lose. It’s easy to lose sight of the flock. It’s easy to lose sight of our obligation to serve,” he said.

Purcell said LifeWay has been “a critical part of this city, of its history and of its future. I do think LifeWay’s success, the growth, the stability, as well as the foundation on which you stand, is a recognition that you have, throughout this more than a century, understood this concept of service and understood this concept of responding.

“I do believe with that clearly in our minds, if we’ll stay focused and remember who it is, in the end, that needs us — if we’ll remember what that means for our lives and our future and the life to come — I am confident we will be able to say just the opposite of what was said in Ezekiel. We’ll be able to say ‘Prophesy for the shepherds, prophesy for the servants,’ because we are doing what God wants us to do.”

On stage with Purcell was a desk, representative of one he used on lawns in neighborhoods during his 1999 mayoral campaign.

“I spent time trying to convey to the people of Nashville that I really wanted to be out there with them,” he said, “not someone inside of a courthouse, inside of a stone building, inside of a fortress. I tried to get them to think about what it would be like if the mayor were out there with them.”
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at www.sbcbaptistpress.org. Photo title: MAYOR PURCELL.

    About the Author

  • Charles Willis