“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.
Rick Goodenough was the first South Shore Baptist voice I ever heard. He served on the search committee that brought me on board and conducted my first interview. He spoke passionately about SSBC’s caring people, faithful gospel preaching, servant leadership, vibrant worship, and commitment to missions & outreach. He clearly loved this church family. Since that first phone interaction, I’ve served alongside Rick on a number of ministry teams, including Connections, Membership, and the Elder board. The more I get to know him, the more I encounter a man who deeply loves God and desires to serve His people. Here’s a little more about Rick…
1. How long have you and your spouse attended SSBC? What drew you to SSBC?
My family has been attending SSBC for 18 years. We were relocating to the area and in looking for a home, and drove by SSBC several times and decided to visit. We were excited to observe true worship as people were clearly singing from the heart and the preaching was Biblical and gospel focused.
2. What is your favorite part about serving as an Elder at SSBC?
So hard to pick a favorite part, but I really enjoy the privilege of praying for members needs and encouraging and building up the body of Christ in whatever ways I can.
3. When was a time that God undoubtedly showed His faithfulness to you and/or your family?
God has shown His mercy and grace toward Sheila and I many, many times throughout our lives. The most blessed that we have been with God’s innumerable and generous provisions was when our son Grant, took on his own faith relationship with the Lord and committed his life to Christ.
4. What are three Christian books that have significantly influenced your life?
The Bible is at the bedrock level of influence and I have benefitted by so many Christian books that it is hard to name the other two.
A biography on Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Spurgeon: A New Biography by Arnold Dallimore, was a wonderful read on how the Spirit of God used Spurgeon’s faithfulness in gospel preaching to build up the church which in turn raised up faithful women and men to build and serve in a wide ranging set of ministries to the glory of God.
I also resonated with a little book Reverberation: How God’s Word Brings Light, Freedom, and Action to His People by Jonathan Leeman. The message is one of letting God’s word permeate one’s life more robustly through praying his word, singing his word, hearing his word, speaking his word, etc. Just a great set of insights on how we might be in much deeper communion with our Lord through integrating his word into our lives in ways we may not have contemplated.
And then there is The Trellis and the Vine by Tony Payne and Collin Marshall, and so many books that have left an impact.
5. What is God currently teaching you?
God is teaching me greater patience, and a deeper love for mankind through a softened heart that strives to exhibit Christ’s mercy and grace toward others as he has shown toward me. He has also convicted me to stay the course and to continue following the path of John the Baptist when he says, “He must become greater; I must become less,” John referring to his ministry, and me referring to giving over my self-serving ways to his ways of giving grace and mercy to others.
6. What is one thing about yourself that most people don’t know?
Lots of stories, but most do not know that I got to fly a Mig L-29 Soviet jet over Chesapeake Bay. I actually had command for about two minutes, a scary thought. And the pilot did his own air show as he executed barrel rolls , reverse flips and other ridiculous maneuvers that got me into his 7g club…nearly passed out on that.
7. What do you like to do for fun?
I enjoy backpacking, gardening and long walks on the beach.
8. How can the SSBC congregation encourage and serve the Elders?
I continue to be encouraged and built up when I see God’s people fellowshipping and building up and encouraging each other, the body of Christ. I love it when folks see a need and just step up and meet the need, even without being asked. Things as little as picking up a piece of paper on the floor, or joining in on a work day to pick weeds seem insignificant, but all add together to building up the body of Christ.
I am encouraged that we are a praying church and that the culture is becoming one where folks are open to express their concerns to fellow believers and with hand on shoulder pray together for God to bless.
I am encouraged that our focus as a church is on engaging our families, neighbors and our communities with the gospel, and would be particularly encouraged if our new members class continued to be overflowing with folks who put on faith in Christ through the efforts of each of us and of course by the working of the Holy Spirit in their hearts.