A friend of mine advises pessimism so that life is full of pleasant surprises. (Doesn’t that sort of defeat the point?) But I can’t help myself. I am hopelessly hopeful. (And I like a good oxymoron on occasion.)
When it comes to the Southern Baptist Convention we can certainly point to difficult challenges- and I have. But, there are many reasons to be “hopelessly hopeful” about our convention and I want to name a few just to put our future into perspective.
1. The emphasis on
Revival and Spiritual Awakening. The Lord is our hope, not our programs or plans or our past. God, as I understand, is quite capable of doing great things. Quite capable. Our denomination’s current emphasis on revival is a good thing.
2. The sacrifices of our younger ministers. I was recently in the company of a large group of (mostly) young missionaries. They were in a hard place, doing hard work. They willingly left comfort, family and security to follow the Lord’s leading to a hard field of ministry. That says something good about this generation.
3. Biblical truth shines even brighter in a darker world. Do you see what I did there? I turned the negative news about our culture’s slide from truth into a positive recognition of our opportunity to be a bright light in that culture. Perhaps many in our culture will become disillusioned with the darkness. Our denomination is tied to the truth of the bible and is, therefore, well positioned to shine that light of truth. Light shines brightly in the darkness.
4. The work of our compassion ministries. Things like Baptist Disaster Relief are really amazing parts of our convention. If you see a disaster, you will soon see a large group of Baptist Disaster Relief teams converging on the need. They will serve, care and, wherever possible, share. Pretty fantastic.
There are more reasons for hope than that, but this is a least a starting point. Just a thought to add to our thinking about the future of the SBC.