WAKE FOREST — Pastors should surround
themselves with the best team possible, Southern Baptist Convention President
Johnny Hunt told Southeastern Seminary students March 25.
“You will learn in
leadership that it’s just not what you have been empowered and enabled and
gifted to do, it’s having the capacity to bring better people around you that
will really help you be the leader God called you to be,” said Hunt, pastor of
First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Ga., and a Southeastern graduate.
Hunt also shared the recent
news that he is cancer free, after just learning surgery for prostate cancer in
January was a success.
While the average pastor is
sound theologically, Hunt said he has learned during his 34 years as a pastor
that they are “in trouble relationally” and in their stewardship. That’s why he
works with pastors.
Preaching out of James 1,
Hunt emphasized that “not everyone that hears God’s word welcomes it. Our best
people oftentimes don’t welcome it.”
Only converted after his
brother’s death and resurrection, Hunt called James a practical preacher.
God used James to tell the
people “God will use these trials to make you a better believer,” Hunt said.
The trials one faces can
prove faith, but “life at best is short so make it count,” Hunt said.
A problem people have is not
dealing with evil or sin. He urged students to “keep a short list and confess
it and stay clean before God.”
Only a “steady diet of the
Word of God” will save someone from reproach, Hunt said.
“God’s not looking for
somebody as smart as Him, God’s looking for somebody that’s just so in love
with Him and so overwhelmed with who He is that knows if anything’s ever to
happen He’ll have to do it,” he said.
People are looking for
someone who is different.
“They don’t want somebody to
crawl down in the pit with them, they want somebody by the grace of God that
has a solid foundation to reach down and lift them up for the glory of Jesus,”
The very things James
challenged the people on in the first century, “is still the greatest sin of
the 21st century; it’s still moral impurity,” Hunt said.
He shared a phrase he uses
to remind himself of his place: “God keep me close and clean. If I stay close
to Jesus and clean before Almighty God, He’ll bless my marriage, he’ll bless my
Southeastern is in the
process of endowing the Johnny Hunt Chair of Expository Preaching. The goal of
$1 million is within $115,000.
The night before his chapel
sermon, Hunt arrived in Wake Forest. He pointed out the Johnny Hunt House and
mentioned the Jan Hunt room in the president’s quarters.
“We’re trying to pay for
this chair,” Hunt said. “This chair costs more than the house and that room and
Danny Akin, Southeastern’s
president, said the process has taken about eight years, but that they’ve “made
massive progress” recently.
The endowment will free up $50,000 annually for
other expenses at the school. Greg Heisler, associate professor of preaching
and speech at Southeastern, will receive the honor of occupying the chair when
it is fully endowed.