The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) faces some challenges. We have slowly declined in recent years. We have less members and attenders. The decline in evangelistic effectiveness is especially troubling. But there is opportunity.
Our fellowship has not always been stellar. We can be cantankerous towards each other and our disagreements are not always handled as agreeably as they should be. Sometimes we find ourselves unnecessarily snarky. But there is opportunity.
We have vacancies at the leadership of two major agencies– the International Mission Board and the Executive Committee. These are critical roles and there are no perfect people to lead them. But there is opportunity.
God provides opportunities for us in difficult times. Perhaps this is a time of great opportunity for the SBC. Maybe the Lord has great things in store for us as we consider our future.
What if our decline in attendance and baptisms leads us to less pride in our abilities and more dependence upon the Lord? What if it leads us to greater passion for lost people and a renewed emphasis upon obeying the Lord in sharing the gospel with others? Might not God pour out his blessings on a group of people who depend upon him deeply and care about others more compassionately?
And what if our animosities could be seen as a poor witness and feeble testimony? What if we decided to express sincere disagreements with kindness and understanding instead of rancor and derision? Might not this be a beacon of hope to what seems to be a hopelessly divided nation? Might not our love for each other be evidence of the Lord’s work to heal our broken condition? Might not the Lord pour out his blessings on a group that disagrees respectfully and loves unconditionally?
And what if our open leadership positions remind us that we are dependent upon God and not on man? What if we recognize that there are no perfect men– but we do have a perfect Savior who accomplishes his work through frail, fallen humanity? What if those chosen to lead in these areas are prayed for, encouraged and supported as none before? Might not God pour out his blessings on a group that seeks such blessing?
This is a time of great opportunity for the Southern Baptist Convention. I’m praying God uses us to do great things for his glory and honor in the days ahead. Will you join me in that prayer?