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Seven Questions with Scott Bird

Scott Bird
Director of Missions, Central Valley Baptist Association
If you’ve seen Scott Bird, you know Scott Bird. At a towering 6ft 5 inches tall, this church planter, pastor, aviator, master chef, husband, and father of 3 serves as the Director of Missions for the Central Valley Association. Southern Cooking is on his current list of “good reads” because his parents instilled a love of cooking in him that rings true to this day...a skill that benefits a busy household where his wife has taken the reins on homeschooling 3 growing boys. If you clean, Scott will cook! With a love of flying, Scott was recently promoted to Deputy Commander of Cadets, giving leadership over an auxiliary youth program of the Air Force (where he also serves as an unofficial chaplain). You might remember his name as one of our key leaders connecting California Southern Baptists to the ministry work happening in Ukraine.

1. Q: What book(s) are you currently reading?

Sometimes a book is just good to read. I recently finished “A Tale of Two Cities.” I read it about once a year. It’s such a good story. I’m also reading “Worldly Saints: The Puritans as They Really Were,” by Leland Ryken. It’s a great book and I find it to be fair in its depiction of the Puritans; you know, the good and the bad. It records the life of Christians before any of the complications of the modern world. It’s refocusing my thinking about the Christian lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be fun, it can be joyful. If we work at it a little bit, it’s a life that can be ours.

2. Q: In-N-Out or Chick-fil-A?

I worked at In-N-Out for 6 years, and now my oldest son works there. So, my legal counsel says I have to say In-N-Out.

3. Q: What biblical character (other than Jesus) would you want to meet, and why?

Barnabas - He saved the Early Church through a ministry of reconciliation and encouragement, financial gifts, and, hey! He discipled the convert, Saul, by inviting him to join him in teaching the new believers in Antioch. He was “a good man,” “full of faith,” “who brought a great number of people to the Lord.” (Acts 11:24) that’s why! Who wouldn’t want that to be said about them? If you are the company you keep. then Barnabas is the man I’d want to keep company with.

4. Q: What has been an evangelistic tactic that has worked best for you?

I’m old enough to say, I’ve done it all; Evangelism Explosion and all. There are so many programs and yet we say we are floundering in evangelism. Early in my ministry, I was working with Jeff Belcher back in Kansas City. One day, we were going door-to-door and he said to me, “I want you to watch something.” He asked the person at the door, “How can we pray for you?” Now, everyone will answer that question. He would then pivot to a new question. “How would you describe your relationship to God?” And again, almost everyone would answer saying, “well it could be better,” and then we would go from there.... “well, Jesus taught us,”... or... “scripture says,”....It’s the most fluid, most disarming way to get into a spiritual conversation that I have found.

5. Q: What is your favorite bible verse or what is a bible verse you are currently meditating over?

John 14:26 – When I graduated from seminary, I was working under John Macarthur. Then the financial crisis hit and I was let go. I prayed, “Lord I want to be a pastor and have a pastor’s heart.” I moved to Paris, Tennessee to join a biblical counseling ministry. I was looking for a Paul and Timothy relationship with my mentor. I would go into counseling sessions and he taught me to evaluate: 3 things I did right, 3 things I did wrong, and 3 things I would do differently. One day, I had a terrible session. It was the absolute worst. It didn’t do anyone any good. My mentor told me it was a catastrophe and he said, “Don’t come back until you have memorized John 14:26.” I went home and memorized it. I tattooed it on my heart. I came back the next day and recited the verse to him and he said, “The only thing that makes you useful in ministry is that you listen to Jesus and tell people what HE wants them to know. If you can’t do that, you’ll hurt people... including yourself.” Now I do ministry with that verse in mind and it has changed everything. That verse unlocked pastoral ministry power for me.

6. Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?

Believe in sovereignty and then act like it.

7. Q: When you think through all the names of Christ, what name resonates with you right now, and why?

Jesus. I have formal theological seminary training and I studied all the systems of theology, and the data, and the church history, and all the other facts about our faith, ... but those things don’t make a living, vital, thriving relationship with God. I don’t want to make my faith about knowing the artifacts. I want to know the person. Without Him we wouldn’t have hope or faith or joy. I want to go to The Source and be enamored with Him. Theology without Jesus is just a class. And maybe it’s a little bit selfish, but Ephesians says that in Him we’ve been blessed with all spiritual things in the heavenly places. We need to go live in the fullness of Him. That’s only achievable through a relationship with Jesus -not the theology of Jesus.
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