Thank you for electing me as your SBTC president for 2018. I am humbled that our Lord would allow me to serve you in this capacity. And I consider it an honor to be able to represent the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, our leadership, staff, and churches, as the Lord gives me opportunities.
One of the marks of a wise leader is that he readily admits the job is too great for one man, so he seeks the Lord’s help. Shortly after Solomon became Israel’s leader, God appeared to him and offered him a virtual “blank check,” saying, “Ask what I shall give you” (1 Kings 3:5). What would you have asked God to give you? What would I have asked God to give me? Solomon knew the difficulty of the task of leadership, so he asked God for wisdom – “Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern your great people” (1 Kings 3:9). I need wisdom! And I pray that God would allow me to be wise in serving you. But I also invite you to pray for me—that our Lord would grant me wisdom to know how to serve you, Dr. Jim Richards, the SBTC staff, and the SBTC churches well. This task is beyond my ability to fulfill in my own strength, so I ask for your prayers.
And you can rest assured that I will also ask for your help. You see, a wise leader not only seeks God’s help, he also seeks the help of others. All of us stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. And I thank God that the SBTC has been in God’s hands and under faithful leadership for its first 20 years. I am confident that our next 20 years together, should the Lord tarry, will be even better than we can imagine if we continue to build on the work that our faithful brothers and sisters have done before us. We are not innovators; we are stewards of the resource that is the SBTC—its people and its churches. So, together we can continue to build upon the good work already being done. I need you! So, I ask you for your help. Be ready!
Finally, I want to ask you not just to help me, but to help each other. We need each other! Together, WE are the SBTC—young and old, rural and urban, male and female, small church and mega church, Traditional and Calvinist, church planter and established pastor, Anglo and African-American, Hispanic and Asian, rich and poor! We can do more together than we can apart. Together, we can see the Cooperative Program reach new heights. Together, we can plant more churches in the ever-increasing population centers of our state. Together, we can revitalize more plateaued or dying churches. Together, we can share the good news with more of the millions of Texans who do not profess faith in Christ. Together, we can do more! Will you pray for me? Will you help me? Will you join me?