It has been about a month
now since the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) met in Orlando. I, like many of
you, have spent time reflecting on the meeting. One of the things that always
excites me about the SBC is the Crossover event held prior to the meeting.
year about 1,200 volunteers poured into Orlando to participate in this
evangelism outreach, and as a result, 1,505 people received Jesus Christ as
their personal Lord and Savior. Reports of lives changed with the gospel —
nothing should delight us more than that.
This year recorded the
highest SBC attendance since the 2006 meeting in Greensboro. About 11,070
messengers attended this year, up from last year’s 8,790. Included in this
year’s messenger count were many more younger pastors and leaders than in
recent years. One younger pastor is Eric Moffett of First Baptist Church in
Sparkman, Ark. Moffett, who is only 26 years old, was named the new SBC second
Some people say it’s the
younger generation that needs to step up and do more to support the Cooperative
Program. Eric is proof that we should not be so quick to stereotype younger
pastors. Eric is a supporter of the Cooperative Program, so much so that First
Baptist received the M.E. Dodd Award for significant achievement in Cooperative
Program missions support.
The Cooperative Program was
a much talked about topic during the SBC. The Cooperative Program is getting
more attention here lately than it has in a long time. I believe, as I told our
Board of Directors not long ago, that the Cooperative Program is the
centerpiece for how we do missions. I agree with my friend Dr. John Sullivan in
Florida who calls the Cooperative Program “God given and mission driven.”
I hope that as a result of
what took place in Orlando more churches will discuss the importance of the
Cooperative Program and the vital role it plays as we seek to fulfill the Great
Commission. The report from the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force helped
us all start thinking more about what must change in order to get the gospel to
those who have never heard. I pray that their report will challenge each of us
to consider what must change in our own hearts in order for us to be most
effective as ambassadors for Jesus Christ.
SBC messengers clearly
showed their support of the GCR Task Force recommendations. This means we are
entering a new beginning as the SBC. Time will tell how committed we really are
to fulfilling the Great Commission. I pray we will prove faithful to sharing
the gospel and to supporting the Cooperative Program.
The future of the SBC is
dependent upon a fresh movement of the Holy Spirit in revival. Please join me
in praying for God to do a mighty work in our hearts.
“And we are his witnesses of
these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that
obey him.” Acts 5:32