Tag Archives: SBC

Encouraging the Southern Baptist Convention, part 1

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

Whither the Cooperative Program?

Whither? At least I didn’t say “ye olde Cooperative Program”. But sometimes it feels as though the Cooperative Program, the primary means by which Southern Baptists have funded their missionary and educational responsibilities for decades, has been relegated to an unnecessary relic of the past. Is that a good thing?
The percentage given by the average SBC church to the Cooperative Program (CP) has dropped over the years to just over 5%. Is that a good thing?
Some churches have, instead, adopted a more societal approach to missions. They tend to do direct mission work (or support those who do) instead of the more cooperative work of the CP.
There are several reasons given for this. “There Continue reading

What Pastors Need

The world of pastors and other vocational ministers is a different world. It can be wonderful, fulfilling, frustrating and discouraging all in the same day. It is fantastic because we get to work with people and it can be challenging because… well, because we get to work with people.
The majority of ministers do it because they believe God has called them to this important task. They want to make a difference in this world and in eternity. They care about people and love the message of the gospel. Their motivation, if they are what they need to be, is to honor the Lord, teach His word and help others to join them in following Jesus.
But, like all people, they have needs. Let me mention four things pastors need from their churches.
1. They need Continue reading

The Positive Future of the Southern Baptist Convention

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 Continue reading

The Future of the Southern Baptist Convention

I’m neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet. That’s a bad start for confidence in my predictive powers. But let me speculate on the future of the Southern Baptist Convention with whom I have been associated my entire life.

In many ways I am describing what is more than what will be. Perhaps this is more of where we are than where we are headed. While it seems likely we will have more of what we currently have, God can change things dramatically. Perhaps we will have a great revival. Perhaps we will have ruin. But here is where it seems we are and where we are headed. (Keep in mind the “neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet” part.)

1. We will be less Continue reading

What I Learned about Missionaries

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

Scorecard on my unsolicited advice for the International Mission Board

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