You Are Complete in Jesus Christ

You Are Complete in Jesus Christ
Pastor Kevin White Speaks at Golden Gate Seminary 
October 2, 2008

 “We can sit in our ministry and think ‘if only I had…..’ but you need to realize that we have everything God wants us to have at this time and moment to be successful in our ministry,” said Dr. Kevin White as he quoted from Colossians 2 v. 9: “you are complete in Christ Jesus.” He was addressing students, faculty and staff of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary as the third speaker of four in the “Leading Pastors of the West” chapel series. 

Kevin White has led First Baptist Church of Longview, Washington since 1994. During his leadership the church has grown and in May 2008 completed a seven million dollar relocation project. He has a B.S. in Business and graduated with an M.Div. from Golden Gate Seminary Pacific Northwest Campus in 1998, where he received the President’s Award for Excellence in Leadership. White served 2001-2003 as President of the NWBC, and currently serves as trustee for LifeWay. Born in Turlock, California, he has lived his entire life in the west, beginning his ministry as a pastor’s son working in rural missions. Prior to moving to Washington and answering his call to ministry, he worked in a gold mine in Nevada. White served as a bi-vocational church planter, starting churches on the Duck Valley Indian reservation and in Fernley, Nevada. 

“The majority of churches in the US are not mega churches,” White said, speaking directly to the Seminary students. “They’re small churches in small towns. We tend to slip into the thought that our church would be better (and bigger) if only we had a better sound system, better music, or better people. If we had Jesus plus this better thing.” It is Jesus plus nothing, White emphasized. “You are complete in Christ Jesus and if you depend on these other things for a successful ministry, you will fail.” 

White reminded his listeners, “Your calling is a holy calling from the divine God and that is sufficient.” Referring to Col 1 v. 9, he noted that Paul prayed for three things: spiritual understanding, spiritual strength and spiritual patience. “These are things that God wants you to have, not the latest trend or program.” 

Paul mentioned “filled with understanding” seven different times in this chapter, noted White, emphasizing this doesn’t refer to a contemporary theory of a second blessing. “You need to get out of the way and look at God’s will in your life. ‘Filled’ means ‘controlled by’ and this means controlled by God, not controlling your own life,” he said.
White quoted v.11 “May you be strengthened with all power according to his glorious might,” and explained, “This is spiritual strength, God’s spiritual power and understanding.”
Referring to ‘great endurance and patience,’ White reiterated “your sufficiency must be in Jesus Christ.” 

White challenged his listeners in conclusion by telling them, “I believe God is looking for a Noah, a Jeremiah, a Jonah, a Paul. Are you willing to proclaim the Gospel if no one is listening?” He advised, “Don’t measure your success by how many come to listen, but your strength is God’s strength.”