Elder Interview: Kent Forkner

“Who are the Elders of SSBC?”  I can’t say I’ve never heard that question before.  Our church is at the size where getting to know our Elders is not always easy.  Yet God has called these men to be our shepherds (1 Peter 5:2), teachers (Acts 6:4), and examples (1 Peter 5:3).  We should know them!  Being a Pastor at SSBC gives me the privilege of rubbing shoulders with these godly men on a regular basis.  They are wise leaders and enjoyable to be around.  More importantly, they love the Lord, love their families, and love our church.  To help us get to know them better, I plan on asking each eight questions and posting their answers here.  Enjoy.  And please pray for these men and their families.

Past interviews:               Eric Mello                   Tim Ells                   Jim Kleberg

ForknersWhen Jeni and I arrived on the South Shore for the first time, Kent and Lisa Forkner hosted a welcome gathering.  We enjoyed their hospitality and generosity.  I’ve seen this kindness extend to a multitude of others at SSBC, as they have hosted Elder meetings, home gatherings for visitors, ministry team meetings etc.  Lisa even served on the Connections ministry core team during its early days.  Serving with Kent on the Elder board has been a privilege.  He is thoughtful, organized, and winsome in his leadership.  Here’s a little more about Kent and his family…

1.       How long have you and Lisa attended SSBC?  What drew you to SSBC?

My wife and I along with our three (now) teenage children live in Hingham and have been attending South Shore Baptist since 2003.  While my wife is originally from the south shore and grew up attending SSBC, I’m from the midwest. We met at Wheaton College (IL), married in 1993, and moved to the Boston area from Chicago in 1994.  In 2003, while attending Park Street Church in Boston, we felt called to attend a more local church in which our family could more regularly partake in our church community together.  SSBC was an obvious choice for us since Lisa had a long family legacy there and had grown up in the church, and because we knew that the preaching there was centered on God’s Word.

2.       What is your favorite part about serving as an Elder at SSBC?

My favorite part of serving as an elder is the privilege of regularly praying for our members.

3.       When was a time that God undoubtedly showed His faithfulness to you and/or your family?

During most of 2009 I was unemployed.  God gave me encouragement through a unique set of responsibilities for that time period: I was able to serve extensively on the Building Committee for South Shore Baptist’s new building project.  I know that God finely orchestrated that opportunity for me for that specific time and those specific circumstances.  Looking back I’m so thankful for that time and hope I can encourage others to use the seasons God gives them to find unique ways to further his Kingdom.  I am truly grateful for that God-given sabbatical and his faithfulness to me.

4.       What are three Christian books that have significantly influenced your life?

Mere Christianity (C.S. Lewis) is a basic book on Christianity, good for any Christian or seeker. It challenged me to take a deep look at the sin of pride.  The Rest of God (Mark Buchanan) helped me to find ways to step away from the busyness of everyday life and rest in him. The Meaning of Marriage (Tim Keller) is one of the best books on marriage that I’ve ever read and is really encouraging me as a husband.

5.       What is God currently teaching you?

God is teaching me to pay attention to my attitudes.  I’ve been reading through sections of the Old Testament for the last year and He’s used that to show me how important my attitudes are to living out my faith.  Specifically, if I don’t treat those closest to me well and examine my attitudes toward them, then I’m not letting God sanctify my heart.

6.       What is one thing about yourself that most people don’t know?

I come from a very musical family and played piano, cello, and even sang in a men’s glee club in college.

7.       What do you like to do for fun?

I love to play golf and if I can’t do that, then fishing isn’t a bad way to spend an afternoon.

8.       How can the SSBC congregation encourage and serve the Elders?

Pray for us, and extend us grace when we need it!  We covet your prayers as we seek to humbly lead the church.  This includes our shepherding of members as well as decision making broadly for our church. It’s an honor to serve and we thank you, in advance, for those prayers.