Kentucky pastor Jared Moore, as one of three pastors to be nominated for SBC president in June, responded to six questions Baptist Press posed to each candidate.
Moore’s nomination was announced May 7. Bennie Smith, a deacon at New Salem Baptist Church in Hustonville, Ky., where Moore is pastor, will nominate him. Paul Sanchez, pastor of Willow Baptist Church in Brooksville, Ky., was originally announced as the nominator but said he will not be making the nomination.
Moore has led New Salem for the past four years, serving previously as a pastor and youth pastor in Tennessee.
Moore is the current second vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention. He has served as a teaching assistant at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and an online adjunct professor at Mid-Continent University in Mayfield, Ky.
Moore is a regular contributor to the SBC Voices website and is the author of “10 Sacred Cows in Christianity that Need to Be Tipped” and “The Harry Potter Bible Study: Enjoying God Through the Final Four Harry Potter Movies.”
Moore holds a bachelor of arts from Trinity College of the Bible, a master of arts in religion from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and a master of divinity from Southern Seminary. He is a doctor of philosophy student at Southern majoring in systematic theology.
The new SBC president will succeed New Orleans pastor Fred Luter of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, who became the first-ever African American to lead the SBC when he was elected in 2012.
A Q&A with one of the other nominees, Arkansas pastor Ronnie Floyd, also appears in today’s Baptist Press edition. A Q&A with Maryland pastor Dennis Manpoong Kim, whose nomination was announced May 20, will appear in a future BP posting. Baptist Press requested each nominee to respond within 150 words to each question and edited extended responses.
Jared Moore’s answers to BP questions
BP: What influence on the Southern Baptist Convention do you pray to have during the two consecutive one-year terms that an SBC president typically serves?
MOORE: I hope to encourage all Southern Baptists to continue laboring for God’s glory, especially those who serve in difficult areas for ministry. I hope to encourage young leaders and leaders of small churches to be more involved in the ministries of the Cooperative Program and in the annual convention. If I am elected, I plan to invite many small church leaders to serve on the committees I appoint. Large church leaders will be invited as well, but there will be many new faces. Not only must the SBC president encourage all Southern Baptists, he must seek to involve all Southern Baptists in the decision-making process. There is much untapped potential in Southern Baptist churches and I hope to invite faithful Southern Baptists to serve who have not served before. The appointments will represent the diversity of the SBC by being multi-generational and multi-ethnic, while also pulling from small and large churches in rural and urban areas.
BP: If elected as SBC president, in what ways do you envision calling Southern Baptists forward in seeking to fulfill the Great Commission?
MOORE: My goal is to call all Southern Baptists to faithfulness to God as revealed in His Word. We must be satisfied in God while having a healthy dissatisfaction with our tangible results. To the preacher, to the Sunday School teacher, to the missionary, if you preach or teach and no one repents, don’t you give up. You remain faithful, you continue preaching and teaching and you pray until God raises the dead. Of course, we must examine our ministry, look for other avenues to share the gospel and seek to be more effective in our gospel presentation but always remember that we cannot raise the dead. Another voice must be heard along with our voices. Pray, preach and teach until our hearers hear His voice.
BP: Describe ways you have led your church to be involved in Great Commission outreach through Southern Baptist cooperative missions and the Cooperative Program.
MOORE: New Salem Baptist Church (NSBC) participated in Find It Here two years in a row through the Lincoln County Baptist Association (LCBA) and the Kentucky Baptist Convention (KBC). We went door to door in our community handing out copies of the Gospel of John, sharing the gospel and inviting people to Easter Sunday worship. In 2011, NSBC hosted a disaster relief training day for those interested in serving on the chainsaw teams. When the tornado hit in West Liberty, Ky., in 2013, the KBC connected us to a Southern Baptist church there. We took a group up for a weekend mission trip to help with homes for families who had lost their homes. We worked with one of the family members on his house and were able to share Christ with him. For the second year in a row, NSBC is heading to Pawnee, Okla., in July to serve with other Southern Baptist churches at a day camp for local children at Camp Crossway. The children who repent and believe will be left in the care of local Southern Baptist churches for discipleship. A few months ago, NSBC hosted the LCBA’s semi-annual meeting. Southern Baptist churches of Lincoln County came together to eat, fellowship and encourage one another in our efforts to continue making disciples. Also, a few weeks ago, NSBC participated in the LCBA’s “Great Awakening Revival” joint effort of Southern Baptist churches in the County. We long for revival!
BP: In what ways do you see the SBC president coming alongside leaders of the International Mission Board, North American Mission Board, LifeWay Christian Resources, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, GuideStone Financial Resources and the convention’s six seminaries to undergird and encourage their respective ministries?
MOORE: The leaders of our entities have an enormous responsibility. My hope is to encourage their endeavors to be good stewards of Southern Baptist resources for fulfilling the Great Commission. The reality, however, is that most of these entities cannot fulfill their responsibilities to Southern Baptists if Southern Baptists do not give through the Cooperative Program. New Salem Baptist Church believes in the Cooperative Program. We give 16 percent of our undesignated receipts through the Cooperative Program. I hope to encourage Southern Baptist churches to continue giving and to increase their giving. Giving through the Cooperative Program is still the best way to fulfill the Great Commission. Southern Baptists should come alongside our entities and their leaders for the sake of making disciples worldwide. Let’s unite to make our entities all that they can be!
BP: If elected as SBC president, how do you foresee speaking to the next generation of Southern Baptist leaders to be involved in expanding the convention’s Great Commission work?
MOORE: We can do far more together than we can if we are divided. All generations of Southern Baptists should support the Cooperative Program for at least four reasons: 1) The “all nations” Great Commission (IMB). 2) The church planting disciple-making biblical model (NAMB). 3) confessionally biblical training (BF&M) by top Christian scholars and seasoned pastors (SBTS, NOBTS, SWBTS, SEBTS, MBTS and GGBTS). 4) The confessionally Southern Baptist representation in the marketplace of ideas (ERLC). The ministries funded through the Cooperative Program are not perfect but they are still the best way to support worldwide disciple-making. If you see issues with the Cooperative Program or her ministries, get involved in the local, state and national associations and convention(s) to help make our ministries and entities all they can be. Help us constantly ask and answer the question, “Are we using God’s resources in the best possible way to fulfill His Great Commission for His glory?” Let us sweat and bleed together until all nations praise His name!
BP: What do you see as the key moral issues of our day and how can the SBC president represent Southern Baptists as America increasingly moves away from Judeo-Christian values?
MOORE: Abortion is the greatest moral issue facing not only our country but all of humanity and arguably the greatest evil our country has ever participated in. Over 50,000,000 innocent human beings have been murdered since 1973. As Christians, Southern Baptists must love our unborn neighbors. We must also help parents see that they have other options besides taking innocent life. Currently, biblical marriage is being attacked on all sides. Christians should continue to unashamedly say what the Bible says and vote in accord with their consciences as informed by God through Scripture. The only definition of marriage recognized by Jesus Christ – one man and one woman in a loving relationship covenanted together for life (Mark 10:6-9) – should be the only definition recognized by Southern Baptists. I believe the SBC president should represent Southern Baptists by saying what the BF&M and Scripture clearly say. Some moral issues are clearer than others. The Scriptures, however, are our ultimate authority – timeless truths that are inerrant and always relevant and sufficient for human flourishing regardless of how much times passes or how far a culture gets away from the Word of God. Southern Baptists, however, must realize that our neighbors will not be transformed by government or civil laws. Our neighbors need the gospel! The moral issues in this country are a direct result of a denial of the supremacy of Christ. Only through calling sinners to repent and believe will hearts be changed, and only then will America change.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Compiled by Baptist Press chief national correspondent David Roach. Jared Moore is on the Web at jaredmoore.exaltchrist.com.)