I am sitting right now in our beautiful Welcome Center at Highland Lakes Camp anticipating what God is going to do this week in the hearts and lives of ten SCBI pastors. Understand that we have been doing this pastors retreat called The High Impact Leader Lab (HILL) for the past five years. This is the sixth year, and at its completion we will have 85 pastors who are on this pastoral leadership journey together, climbing “The HILL.”

Have you heard about “Who’s Your One?” Almost two years ago, your SCBI team was in staff meetings where we talked about the future of our convention of churches. What are the needs? How can we serve your church? We felt the Lord leading us to a number of priorities during those meetings, but one of the top priorities was the need for evangelism. Baptisms are down, many churches never baptize anyone and we need to help change the direction in this area. Evangelism became our emphasis for 2019. This past fall we began to hear about plans from the North American Mission Board to emphasize evangelism in 2019 with an emphasis called “Who’s Your One?” Dr. Johnny Hunt is leading this emphasis. What a coincidence huh? I believe it is the hand of our God directing us back to the main reason we exist as churches. Jesus said it best in Luke 19:10, “I came to seek and to save that which is lost.”

The exciting thing is almost every week I am hearing stories from pastors all over our state telling about people in their ministry coming to Christ as Savior and following Him in baptism. Halleluiah! I received an email last week from a pastor telling me about how this emphasis is having an impact on his congregation. If you have not engaged yet in “Who’s Your One,” then go to http://whosyourone.com/ and get more information. Call or email Dr. Rick Hillard (rhillard@scbi.org) and he will walk you through how to use this tool and even to develop an overall church strategy for evangelism.

Be in prayer for your SCBI staff team and Executive Board as we deal with matters related to the sexual abuse issues in our world. Bob Weeks (bweeks@scbi.org) held a one-day conference on how to protect your church and leaders from the tragedy of sexual abuse in the church.

We are continually working on ways to help you in your ministry. You are not alone in what you do. My prayer for you is that you will not grow weary in well doing. Contact your SCBI staff team if you need pulpit supply, interim help, search committee training or if you just need a safe person to talk to about what is happening in your ministry. Know that for the last year, we have been taking ten names of pastors around our state to pray for them and the work that they do. If you have not received contact from our SCBI staff this past year, let me know (smcneil@scbi.org). Chances are we may not have up to date contact information. Our database (like yours) is only as accurate as the information that we receive. Please help us by updating us with your church / pastor / staff leadership information. Send that information to Michelle Hillard at mhillard@scbi.org.

There is so much more that I could tell you about, but for today, I am out of space. Until next time, rejoice in what God is doing all around us.

  • Churches are helping other churches,
  • churches are seeing people baptized,
  • churches and associations are working to revitalize other churches,
  • we are planting new churches,
  • our cooperative program giving is good (could always be better, right?),
  • we have a strong partnership with the Baptist Convention of Ecuador,
  • we have mission teams leaving home to go to the uttermost parts of the earth,
  • young people will begin to arrive at Highland Lakes over the next ten weeks and many will have life changing experiences with Jesus and
  • every week, we have 445 gospel outposts, presenting the message of Jesus,
  • the hope we have in Him and the love of Christ expressed through His body. Paul expressed my feelings today, in 2 Cor 3:12, “therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness.” May people in our communities here about the hope of Jesus through bold followers who proclaim Him with their lives, their lips, in our small groups / Sunday Schools / VBS and through our pulpits.

Until next time

Steve McNeil