Monthly Archives: May 2014

Recommendations for the Next President of the International Mission Board

   Perhaps the most important decision that will be made in the Southern Baptist Convention for years to come is the choice of the next president of the IMB.  I say that, not because he will be so critical to the success of the IMB (generally speaking, we need less of man and more of God in our workings anyway), but because a poor choice would be disastrous for the convention. 

   So, here is my advice- offered freely, and worth about what you are paying- to the next IMB president. 

I would like you to focus on 3 things and start one massive new project.

1.  Focus on making the IMB effective.  You should be a big picture guy.  Help the organization reach the unreached and unengaged groups while mobilizing areas where the harvest is ripe.  Keep our focus on disciple-making.  Help us focus on starting churches that can be led by nationals.  Draw our attention to evangelism that moves towards discipleship.  You don’t have to be chase fads- we’d rather you not.  But do consider innovations that Continue reading

The Picture of a Know-it-All

Great thoughts from a great wife!

wateringcanblog

It never fails.  When I prepare a lesson to teach my sixth graders on Sunday mornings, I ALWAYS LEARN SOMETHING.

It’s funny to me that these eleven and twelve-year olds, many that have grown up going to church, think they “already know it all” when it comes to the Bible.

Of course they don’t, but because they’ve grown up hearing the stories of the Bible, they figure there’s not much more in there that they need to know.  (Thank goodness I get to them before they reach Jr. High age!) ;o)  I actually LOVE this age, in part, because they are hungry for the answers to the questions “WHY IS THAT IN THE BIBLE?” and “SO WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH ME?!”

View original post 763 more words

Northern Southern Baptists

I am a Northern Southern Baptist (NSB). That makes me sound “directionally challenged” I know. But I was born this way.
I grew up here in Illinois as a Southern Baptist. My grandfather and father were saved (they recognized they were sinners, repented and placed their faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection and were forgiven by Him) back in the 1930’s in a Southern Baptist church here in Illinois. So, they became NSBs. Did you know there were NSBs that long ago? I was raised in Illinois where my father was a bi-vocational pastor. Hence, I was an NSB.
After 14 years in the beautiful land of Texas where I attended seminary and was a pastor, I came back to Illinois to pastor 19 years ago. I am an NSB.
There are three things I want you- especially the larger Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) world- to know about NSBs.
1. There are more of us than you might know. My state convention is called the Illinois Baptist State Association and we have about 1,000 churches. Many of them are small, and that is a lot less than southern states with much smaller populations, but there are more of us than you might have known. Many NSB churches started as “southern clubs” as southerners moved to the north for jobs. However, they were usually very serious about the gospel and found themselves reaching folks who weren’t from the south. Some transitioned into NSB churches with the strong theology of the SBC, but culturally connected with their neighbors in the north. If they remained southern in mindset they tended to decline as the inflow of southern transplants slowed. If they became NSBs, they often did very well.
There are some strong NSB churches. The church Continue reading

My Second Favorite Missionaries

   It will be hard for anyone to replace my favorite missionaries.  My son-in-law, daughter and grand baby (with another on the way) are serving with the International Mission Board in Madagascar.  But let me tell you about my second favorite missionaries.

   James and Sonya Herron serve with the IMB in Uganda.  They were “normal” members of our church (can anyone be called normal with me as their pastor?) who began going on mission trips to Uganda with our church.  Then, they started leading mission groups from our church.  Then, Continue reading