Revelation 7:9 describes a beautiful picture of heaven in which a multitude of individuals from every nation, tribe, people and language are worshipping around the throne of God.
Have you ever stopped to ponder this picture and wonder what it might be like to have this scene lived out in our churches? Imagine if we could all get a glimpse of what heaven will be like while we are here on earth with people from various nations and languages worshipping together.
Mark Hearn is a pastor whose church reflects this reality. Mark serves as senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Duluth, Ga., in the suburbs of Atlanta. Duluth is one of the most diverse communities in the United States, and during his tenure as pastor, Hearn has led his congregations to embrace and reach the community around them. His church’s journey has been featured by major news outlets and chronicled in his book, Technicolor: Inspiring Your Church to Embrace Multicultural Ministry.
He and other leaders from Hearn’s church will be with us in August to encourage, inspire and equip pastors and leaders in our state to embrace multicultural ministry. He will be one of the keynote speakers for our first ever “Strengthen the Church” Conference scheduled for Tues., Aug. 13 at Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Durham.
Joining Hearn will be Walter Strickland, assistant professor of theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he also leads the institution’s Kingdom Diversity Initiative. Strickland is no stranger to North Carolina Baptists as he has contributed to Baptist life in our state and across the Southern Baptist Convention in a variety of leadership roles. He has recently spoken at some of our statewide events on the subject of culture and contextual awareness in disciple-making.
The two men will also be among the more than 30 breakout session presenters representing state convention staff members, pastors, church leaders and representatives from parachurch organizations from North Carolina and beyond.
I hope you will make plans to attend this new and important event. The population of North Carolina is certainly changing. In His sovereignty, God is bringing the nations to our state. We have a tremendous opportunity to reach those He is bringing here with the gospel and help them reach their families and homelands for Christ. And as we reach them, may our churches and congregations reflect on earth as it will be in heaven.
You can learn more and register for the Strengthen the Church Conference at strengthenthechurch.org.