Dickard Urges Prayer and Biblical Focus in NGU Messages
Tigerville, SC (February 6, 2023) With a challenge for ministry students to “fulfill your ministry,” and a reminder to the entire campus community that prayer is vital to seeing the power of God at work in individual lives, North Greenville University graduate Dr. Daniel Dickard returned to the university to speak at two events last week.
The 2012 NGU graduate who was recently called as senior pastor of Shandon Baptist Church in Columbia, SC, spoke to supporters and recipients of the Christian Ministry Scholarship Fund on Jan. 31 before preaching at the university’s chapel service Feb. 1. At both gatherings, he stressed the importance of prayer.
“God has given us a great spiritual system to connect with Him. It’s called prayer, but for many of us, its disconnected,” he said during the chapel address. “Jesus believed in prayer. Do you?”
Referencing Jesus’ proverb related to prayer from Luke 11:5-13, he noted the contrast between a neighbor unwilling to meet an urgent request and God’s desire to answer persistent requests.
“Pray with persistence and pray with boldness and tenacity over time,” Dickard said as he cited the “Model Prayer” recorded earlier in Luke 11.
“In every major spiritual movement in history there are three common factors: prayer, humility and brokenness,” he said. “One of the things I love is the prayer here is not self-center. It’s God-centered.”
In his remarks at the Christian Ministry Scholarship Fund dinner, Dickard challenged students preparing for careers in various fields of full-time ministry to follow the instructions the Apostle Paul gave to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4.
“You never move on from the gospel,” he said. “The power of proclaiming the scriptures is not based on the function of what we’re doing, but the content of what we preach. You can find a better preacher, but you can’t find a better gospel.”
He urged the ministry students to fulfill the work God gives them, rooted in God’s word and prayer.
“Your job is to pray diligently, to be a proclaimer of the Word, to be faithful to the Word,” Dickard said. “You grow in depth with God and allow God to grow the breadth of your ministry.”
Dickard is president of the 2023 Southern Baptist Convention Pastors Conference, a two-day gathering prior to the SBC Annual Meeting designed to encourage and challenge those in ministry. The conference, with the theme “Character Matters in Ministry: Beatitudes of a Pastor,” will be in New Orleans, LA, June 11-12.
After graduating from NGU, Dickard completed master’s and Ph.D. degrees at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX. He served as dean of students and taught as a preaching instructor at the seminary before becoming pastor of Friendly Avenue Baptist Church in Greensboro, NC, in 2018.
NGU’s Christian Ministry Scholarship Fund was launched in 1997 to provide scholarship support for students preparing for full-time ministry roles. Dickard, a past scholarship recipient, expressed appreciation to members at the dinner.
“I’m here to say ‘thanks,’ because North Greenville, you taught me to love the Word of God. You showed me how to love the God of the Word. You loved me as I was, but you invested in me for who I could become,” he said.
CMSF members meet at NGU three times per year and seek to encourage students in a variety of ways. Contributions for CMSF scholarship have created an endowed fund of more than $5 million. For more information, visit ngu.edu/admissions/financial-aid/undergraduate/private-scholarships/christian-ministry-scholarship/. The January 31 CMSF dinner was hosted at Fairview Baptist Church in Greer.
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