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 Continue reading
Posted in baptist, Christian unity, evangelism, friendship, humility, International Mission Board, southern baptist convention, southern baptist convention, Uncategorized
Tagged Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, International Mission Board, SBC, southern baptist convention
We need heroes. Of course, the true hero of our story should always be the Lord Jesus. No earthly hero can do what he did or give what he gave. But there is something to be said for the example of a fellow sinner who has followed the Lord in a way we can emulate.
Paul said, “Imitate me, as I also imitate Christ.” I Cor. 11:1 He served the church of Corinth as an example of a sinner following the Savior. He was a model, an example- a hero if you will- for other Christians to follow. He reminded them to follow him only as he followed Jesus. But he showed them how it was done in the real world by a real sinner who was following a real Savior.
Career missionaries serve as models for Christians back home. They might not like the tag “hero” but Continue reading
The president of the International Mission Board (IMB) is, I believe, the most important post in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). With news that David Platt is stepping down, the SBC will be looking for the next person to fill that critical role. More than anything we need to pray for wisdom and to find God’s man for this time. With that said, here are my thoughts on the kind of person we need to lead us.
We need a unifier. Perhaps no agency has the potential to unite the SBC as does the IMB. The mission of reaching the world for Christ requires and ignites unity. We can unite around this mission whether young or old, traditionalist or Calvinist, Alabama or Illinois fan. (There are only 10 of us Illinois fans in the SBC but I just like to put our name in there with Bama!)
The mission is not all that unites us. We are also united by Continue reading
Posted in baptist, Christianity, International Mission Board, missionaries, missions, sbc, southern baptist convention, southern baptist convention, Uncategorized
Tagged Christian, Christianity, Evangelism, International Mission Board, missions, southern baptist convention
One of the the things I want to do in my time of service with the Southern Baptist Convention is to encourage greater support for the cooperative program (CP). Oddly enough, more attention than ever has been paid to the CP through some recent dust ups with churches and the ERLC- one of our SBC agencies. Perhaps the CP is being rediscovered.
Every church in the SBC can decide how much- if any- they give to missions through the cooperative program. Every state convention can decide how much they forward on to national agencies. Every convention can debate the percentages that each agency should receive. But, I contend, the CP remains a marvel of opportunity. Here are some of the blessings of this method of mission giving.
First, the CP has been remarkably Continue reading
Posted in baptist, cooperative program, giving, International Mission Board, sbc, southern baptist convention, southern baptist convention, Uncategorized
Tagged Christianity, church, cooperative program, SBC, southern baptist convention
I want to encourage the members and churches of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) to be involved in missions. Not only do I encourage cooperative missions and support of the Cooperative Program (see my last post), I encourage every church and every member to be directly involved in missions. Here are two ways to do that.
1. Get involved by encouraging our International Mission Board (IMB) missionaries. Never have they needed encouragement as they do now. With hundreds of our most experienced missionaries leaving the field, those who remain need Continue reading
Posted in baptist, International Mission Board, missions, southern baptist convention, Uncategorized
Tagged Baptist, Christianity, church, IMB, International Mission Board, missions, Religion and Spirituality, southern baptist convention
A series of seven blogs on the Southern Baptist Convention? I’m not sure many will read one and I’m doing seven? Well, hope springs eternal in the blogger’s heart. These are seven areas or people that I think need some special attention and encouragement in the years ahead- seven areas that I want to encourage especially.
#1. I want to encourage Cooperative Mission and support for the Cooperative Program.
I love missions of all sort. I’m not against societal missions in any way. But I do think our denomination’s method of cooperative missions with the International Mission Board has a special brilliance. Missionary Continue reading
Posted in baptist, cooperative program, encouragement, International Mission Board, southern baptist convention, Uncategorized
Tagged Baptist, Christianity, IMB, International Mission Board, missions, Religion and Spirituality, SBC, southern baptist convention
The question is phrased differently but often asked. Why international missions? Why not focus on the needs here? Aren’t there enough spiritual needs in America to focus upon? Why care about those so far away? Couldn’t we better spend our money here?
Here are some of my answers to “why missions?”
1. Missions is biblical. The bible talks frequently about the gospel being for all nations. Everyone needs the Lord, not just those who speak English or live nearby. Frankly, Continue reading
Posted in Church, International Mission Board, missions, Uncategorized
Tagged Christian, Christianity, Evangelism, God, International Mission Board, Jesus, missions, Religion and Spirituality
With the downsizing of the International Mission Board by up to 800 people, many long time missionaries will be looking for ministry opportunities in the States. While they will be leaving the mission field (after some difficult and painful decisions) they still want to serve the cause of Christ in ministry. Might Southern Baptist Churches strongly consider them when looking for pastors and church staff members? Might they give them preference just as some businesses give preference to military veterans?
Here are three reasons to consider hiring a missionary as a pastor or church staff member.
1. They are willing to Continue reading
Posted in baptist, Church, International Mission Board, missions, Uncategorized
Tagged Baptist, church, church staff, IMB, International Mission Board, ministry, missionaries, missionary, missions, pastor, pastor search committee, pastorate, southern baptist convention
My wife and I recently spent a couple of weeks in Madagascar with our son-in-law, daughter and two grandbabies who serve as career missionaries with the International Mission Board. Here are some lessons learned while there.
1. We should be very grateful for American plumbing. It is a good thing. Perhaps you haven’t thanked the Lord for those many blessings that other places don’t take for granted. The Western world has unbelievable riches compared to much of our world. With those blessings come some responsibilities.
2. Missions is hard. After the idealism wears off there is the reality of difficult language study- or in the case of my family, sort of two languages to learn with the dialect of their people group. There is the reality of bad smells and undependable electricity and strange food and customs. It is hard.
3. The call matters. If you become a career missionary to see the world and have fun and take some neat pictures you will undoubtedly Continue reading
Posted in baptist, International Mission Board, missions, Uncategorized
Tagged Baptist, Christianity, IMB, International Mission Board, local church, missions, Religion and Spirituality, SBC, southern baptist convention
Some time ago I gave some unsolicited advice to the International Mission Board of the SBC as they sought a new president to replace Tom Elliff. David Platt was recently elected. I want to note the areas where the IMB followed (if inadvertently) my advice and where they didn’t. Some quick notes-
-Failure to follow my advice is not necessarily failure. I’ve been wrong many times about many things. Sometimes the wisest course is to reject my advice. (More often than I would like to admit!)
-Disagreements do not stop in any way my prayers for, and support of, Dr. Platt. He is our President and I hope he succeeds fabulously. I want the IMB to be more effective for the cause of Christ than ever before.
With that, I give my original recommendations (in bold) and my thoughts on how that stacks up against their choice of David Platt.
1. Don’t worry much about who recommends them. We don’t need any kingmakers because we don’t have any kings. (Further free advice extends to my recommendation that you read that last sentence again.) Continue reading
Posted in baptist, Christianity, International Mission Board, missions, southern baptist convention, Uncategorized
Tagged Baptist, Christian, Christianity, God, IMB, International Mission Board, missions, Religion and Spirituality, SBC, southern baptist convention