A reporter recently asked me a very thought provoking question: If you had two more years as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, what would you do? I was not intimidated by the question; in fact, I have thought about it since the beginning of the year.
Every president in the past and every president in the future must lead the convention in the direction he believes God has put on his heart. Yet, he must also ensure it coincides with what the Lord is doing among the people and is done in the Lord’s timing. Additionally, the president must be more than prepared because the Lord may open unique doors for him during his term.
A personal moment
I have no idea how past presidents felt as they concluded their journey in this leadership responsibility. I am sure the emotions are plentiful. I am often asked, “Won’t you be glad to see this conclude?” I can honestly say that while I am humbled deeply and grateful to God for it, I have loved it all and will miss it.
I entered this year with these emotions and the vision of the needs that are so great before us. Therefore, I want to speak to two of our major needs today.
Because these are such major needs in Southern Baptist life, I have already been addressing them both. Yet, as we draw closer to this journey’s end, I feel the need to continually speak to their importance.
Prioritizing evangelism again
I will speak to some of this in my presidential address at our upcoming Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting. I have already been speaking about this subject in writing and in leadership. A couple of months after being elected in 2014, I began conducting conference calls with large groups of leaders, challenging ministers to lead the way in seeing a change in our present negative trajectory.
Prioritizing evangelism again in our lives and churches is imperative. We need to emphasize personal evangelism as well as church evangelism.