25 years of answered prayer with Chris Osborne & Nathan Lino

In November, the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention will mark 25 years of answered prayer at its Annual Meeting at Cross City Church in Euless. Each month leading up to the meeting, the Texan will feature a brief conversation with past SBTC presidents about how they have seen God answer their prayers for the convention over the past quarter century and how they are praying God will bless the convention moving forward. This month, we feature past SBTC presidents Chris Osborne (2003-2005) and Nathan Lino (2015-2017).

Chris Osborne

What were some of your earliest prayers for the SBTC?

I thoroughly enjoyed my time as president and there was one particular thing I prayed about. We were committed, and still are, to the idea of the inerrancy of Scripture and its vast importance in the lives of the churches. My prayer was that as we stood strongly in this vein, that we not become a people who moved from that into silly legalism. I did not want us to become, as Jesus said, people who “strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.”

What is your prayer for the next 25 years of the convention?

It is still my prayer for us that we remain solid on the Bible without going beyond its teaching into areas that will bind us to wrong-headed ideas. I loved and still love this convention and have the highest hopes for it in the future.

Nathan Lino

What were some of your earliest prayers for the SBTC? 

I prayed for our state convention plant to make it—for God to give Dr. [Jim] Richards [the SBTC’s first executive director] wisdom and perseverance, our convention money, and spiritual protection from the enemy. Our convention started with a convention planter literally running the convention from the front seat of his car. I prayed the new plant would become a convention that made it long term. 

How have you seen God answer your prayers regarding the convention? 

As some church plants become far more than we could ever dream or imagine, so did the convention that Dr. Richards planted. That we are a convention of 2,700 churches with a budget of $28 million facilitating the scope and scale of ministry we see today is a miracle of Jesus Christ. 

During your service as president, how were you praying for the convention? 

My big prayer during my presidency was to see a wave of under-40s pastors actively engage our convention. 

What is your prayer for the next 25 years of the SBTC? 

I pray that seeking the manifest presence of the Lord is a primary priority of our convention. Our churches are in need of revival and our state is in need of spiritual awakening. Our secular culture is turning on the Lord and the mission of the church in ways that are catching us unprepared. The only hope of the church in fulfilling our mission during the next 25 years is that we are filled with the manifest presence of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

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