J.D. Greear believes something big is happening in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), and he is calling for a “Day of Prayer and Fasting” on Monday, Oct. 8.
Chuck Kelley, president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, announced his upcoming retirement today (Oct. 2), bringing the total number of national Southern Baptist entities in search of new executives up to five.
Other SBC organizations in leadership transition include the International Mission Board, the SBC Executive Committee, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and LifeWay Christian Resources.
In a letter to the executive directors of state conventions, Greear said the moment seems “unprecedented,” and asked for help in calling Southern Baptists to pray for the active search committees.
“I believe God is up to something that – if we are humble and faithful – can prepare us for greater days of effectiveness for the Great Commission,” he said. Greear serves as SBC president and pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
Milton Hollifield Jr., executive director-treasurer for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, expressed support for the prayer emphasis.
“I wholeheartedly support SBC President J.D. Greear’s call to all Southern Baptists to pray and fast on Monday, Oct. 8 for all of the leadership decisions that need to be made within our denomination,” Hollifield said. “I can’t remember a time in Southern Baptist life when there has been this many top leadership transitions taking place across our SBC entities at the same time.
“I hope Southern Baptists in North Carolina and beyond will join me in this concerted prayer effort for God to raise up godly leaders who will help guide key areas of our convention for years to come.”
Greear urged prayer for each individual search team on these topics:
• “For wisdom for the search committee in assessing what is needed most for effective ministry in the 21st century;
• “For boldness for the search committee in asking the difficult questions;
• “For loving-kindness for the search committee as they interact with one another;
• “For favor, that God’s face would shine upon us as a people – not for our sake, but that Jesus’ name would be known to the ends of the earth.”