SPRINGDALE, Ark. (BP) — The future of Southern Baptist Convention is on my heart this week. Perhaps now, days away from the conclusion of my two-year presidency, my feelings may lean toward being a little nostalgic.
What will our future look like? If Jesus tarries His coming, how long will our convention of churches last? Only God knows the answer to these and more questions when we think about our future together.
Who do we want to be in the future?
This should be a concern for all of us, and we should never minimize this issue: Who do we want to be in the future?
I recently heard a major political leader say that during the decision-making process, he keeps in mind that “Every step is a forward-moving step.”
The same is true for the future of our Southern Baptist Convention. Every step we make needs to move us forward. Nothing moves fast in a major government or a convention of churches. Checks and balances are provided at many levels. At times these may appear to bind us, but in reality, they protect us in the long term.
I want to suggest some steps that will always keep us moving forward. Perhaps these steps could be more properly called axioms, which are principles or self-evident truths that are widely accepted among us. Who do we want to be in the future?
1. A Bible-believing Southern Baptist Convention
While this may currently be part of our identity, the reality is that the culture mocks the authority of the Bible in 2016 and beyond.
Our pastors and churches are navigating in a world unlike anything we have experienced before. Our leadership with our laypeople and one another is critical in this hour. Whatever step we take in our decision-making, we must always do so believing the Bible is infallible, trustworthy, sufficient and inerrant, progressing toward the goal set before us.
2. A Gospel-advancing Southern Baptist Convention
In this diverse, complex season in American life and in the evangelical world, there really is only one passion that keeps us tied together:
Advancing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the entire nation and world.
Our pastors, churches and convention leaders must dig deep and find a way to experience a rebirth of sharing the Gospel personally and a renewal of our priority to evangelize the towns and cities of America and simultaneously extend the Gospel globally.
We cannot retreat from this calling, but must renew our commitment to such a point that we act upon it urgently, personally, collectively, cooperatively and aggressively.
Read more at FLOYD: The SBC and our future.