Of all that will happen over the next few days, there are many uncertainties. Who will be elected president? What resolutions will be passed? What kinds of motions will be made from the floor? What will our entity heads be asked when they open the floor for questions? How will the various secular and religious media sources cover the meeting? Will we do anything foolish that makes us look bad in front of a watching world? Will the issues and elections I care most about be decided in the way I desire?
All of these questions are currently unanswerable and will have to play out over the course of the next few days. As we wait for the meeting to take place, here are a couple things I want to appeal to you who are messengers.
First, pray. I mean it. I know there have been calls from a variety of sources calling for prayer for our convention – for healing, for repentance, for revival and spiritual renewal, for renewed passion a new empowering for evangelism and mission, for the various leaders and entities. What I’d ask is that you pray for you. Ask the Lord for wisdom for the decisions that will be made. Whoever your preferred candidate, ask the Lord is this the person He wants you to support. Whatever your planned actions regarding decisions you know are coming, ask the Lord is this what you’d have me to do. For the unforeseen things we might have to decide, ask the Lord for his guidance in making those decisions. Don’t base decisions on your feelings or preferences, truly ask the Lord to lead you. Stop now and voice such a prayer to the Lord.
Again, I mean it.
Lord, I pray that you give me wisdom over the next few days as I serve as a messenger. Lord, I pray that you guide my steps. I pray that you confirm that the person I’m voting for it the right one. I pray that your will be done in each decision we make. Amen
Second, choose to stay engaged. If your candidate does not win or your issue is decided in a way you don’t like, if you leave the annual meeting discouraged… Don’t disengage in SBC life. More than likely, in a body this size, there will be decisions made or candidates elected that were not your preference. But that’s the thing about unity in the body of Christ – unity is a choice. I said in a previous post that
God has made us with different preferences, different values, different gifts, different temperaments, different ways of thinking, different passions, different personalities and He’s put us together in the body of Christ [and] God has put us together in churches that have chosen to partner together in this glorious cooperative work of fulfilling the Great Commission.
The only way that we can choose unity is to stay engaged. Part of living out the Great Commandment in our SBC family is to make the choice to stay connected, stay engaged, continue to strive together for the things we care most about – to make loving one another more important than getting our own way – to make the gospel the thing that binds us together despite our different personalities, positions, and points of view – to make the proclamation of the gospel the purpose that brings us together.
Chances are that there will be something that happens this week that you don’t like. You might even find yourself asking the question whether its worth it to stay engaged. I submit that it is indeed worth it!
Lord, I thank you for the unity we have around the gospel of Jesus Christ. Help me to choose to be in unity with my brothers and sisters with whom I share a common mission and a common hope in Christ. Lord, help me to walk alongside brothers and sisters, some of whom think differently than I do. Help me to truly love and walk in unity with my Baptist family in all its diversity. Lord, use us, send us, be glorified in us as together we follow you.
I’ve already been here for a couple days and had multiple opportunities to fellowship and worship with brothers and sisters across the spectrum of SBC Life. I love this Convention and right now I am hopeful. I am praying. I am committed to walking with you as we serve the Lord together.