This was my second Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) annual meeting to attend. I was so glad our church sent eleven messengers to Dallas to attend the SBC. I am honored to be a Southern Baptist, pastor a Southern Baptist Church, and very encouraged by what I saw from this year’s annual meeting.
Here are a few observations of the 2018 SBC annual meeting:
- The New SBC President Will Be Good For The SBC.
Pastor J.D. Greear will be in my prayers. I am praying for a renewed excitement and unified convention in the days to come. I am also hopeful with all that God is doing in the SBC.
- Vice President Mike Pence Spoke On The Last Day.
Honestly, I am torn on how I feel about this. On one hand, it was an honor to know that VP Pence; who is a strong Christian, would take the time out of his busy schedule to come and speak to Southern Baptists. On the other hand, his thirty-minute speech sounded a bit like a political speech. Because of that, I would have much rather heard a good sermon preached from God’s Word. But, what do I know?
- The North American Mission Board And Kevin Ezell Are Great!
I went to the NAMB luncheon and enjoyed it from start to finish! I truly believe the NAMB is one of the finest organizations we have in the SBC. Church planting is strong in North America, baptisms are increasing in church plants, and the survival rate of churches planted since 2011 have an 84% survival rate.
- Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Is Positioned To Move Forward In Health.
I am a graduate of Southwestern and I love that seminary. I enjoyed talking with many of the professors at their booth, and I will be praying for healing and vision. Dr. D Jeffrey Bingham is the interim president of Southwestern, and he is the right man for such a time as this. He gave one of the best seminary reports and it was exactly what everyone needed to hear. He was filled with the Holy Spirit, saturated with God’s Word, humble, focused, and very wise.
- David Platt Will Be Missed In The International Mission Board.
The report he gave from the IMB was powerful! There is a Spirit-filled movement of God in our mission efforts around the world. I found myself on the edge of my seat ready to jump up and praise God for what our missionaries are doing and how they are reaching people from every nation for Jesus Christ! His speech ended with a powerful story of a Muslim couple receiving Christ brought joyful tears to my eyes. You can read about it HERE.
- The Discipleship Report And Evangelism Report Were Stirring.
Robby Gallaty shared with us a website that he and his team developed to give us more insight and resources on making disciples. I was challenged by a quote from Robby: “Baptism isn’t the finish line. It’s the starting line.” We must take the time to make disciples that make disciples that make disciples. And from Adam, “All of us must evangelize!” Yes and Amen! You can read more HERE.
- The ERLC And LifeWay Will Join Together For A Study Of Abuse.
This was encouraging to hear that Dr. Moore and Dr. Rainer will work together to give us a report to help churches see ways to be more intentional and effective in protecting women.
- It Was Great To See Old Friends And Make New Friends.
This year’s SBC annual meeting was fun! I love getting to talk, pray, and laugh with other pastors and I look forward to seeing what God will do through our ministries.
I believe our best days are ahead in the SBC! I look forward to the day when we will see more people come to a personal faith in Jesus Christ, an increase in the number of baptisms, a passion for making disciples that make disciples, and a day when every established church takes steps of faith to plant more churches. I continue to pray for our seminaries, our international missionaries, and our convention as a whole. I also look forward to #SBC19!