Greetings from Orlando! Actually, I am still in Grapevine while writing this column but I wanted you to know that your prayers are needed for the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Orlando, Fla., June 15-16. There are several seminal events about to transpire:
?A new SBC president will be elected. There are currently four announced candidates. We have the luxury of knowing that all of them believe in the inerrancy of the Word of God. We have come a long way in 20 years. You can cast your ballot without being concerned that Southern Baptists will be taken down the wrong path as far as the nature of Scripture is concerned. The candidates differ on their vision for the SBC’s future. Carefully study their comments and prayerfully vote for the one of your convictions.
?The SBC Executive Committee search committee has announced Frank Page as their selection. While the SBC messengers do not vote on his election (only the Executive Committee), a new day will begin after the vote. Morris Chapman has served for 17 years. There will be a new person at the helm in the fall. Pray for God’s direction.
?With vacancies in the executive offices of the International Mission Board and the North American Mission Board, the boards’ search committees have not announced any candidates. It is very unlikely this will happen in Orlando. This could be the gathering when the persons who will direct our missions efforts surface in the hearts of the search committees. Pray for God’s leadership in the search.
?Finally, the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force report is on the program for Tuesday afternoon (June 15). It is unfortunate that some have made the report more about personalities and style than the facts. Individual Southern Baptists and the churches of the SBC are in desperate need of spiritual renewal. This has to be done in the heart. The report challenges all of us toward a deeper devotion to the Lord Jesus.
Structural recommendations of the GCRTF are not criticisms of good plans and godly leaders. The desire of the Task Force is to show the difference between good and better. It is better to penetrate lostness in the underserved regions of North America and the unreached peoples of the world than to concentrate our resources in the more served areas. Southern Baptists are being called to sacrifice for the gospel. We must prioritize our limited resources in such a way as to have the greatest impact in penetrating lostness. More personnel and funding must go to the least reached places. This will result in a Great Commission Resurgence.
My prayer is that we will pay any price, go any place, and do any service to accomplish the Great Commission as a convention of churches. By the grace of God this is my personal pledge to you.