Great words, often quoted from the prophet Jeremiah, “11 ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NASB)
The Lord has a great way of speaking to us. He often uses people to get His point across. I have not been one who quotes the above verse, or for that matter even paid much attention to it until a person told me what the verse meant to her. Of course, it is even more impactful when it’s your daughter. I began to notice that she would often refer to that verse and then one day in her home, I noticed it on her wall in a piece of art. I asked her more about it and she said, that the verse really gave her a sense of confidence about what she believed God wants to do with her life and how that gives her a sense of hope for her future.
I like that thought, don’t you? Because I believe it to be true for each of us and true of us as a convention of churches with a common vision, mission, values and purpose.
I began serving you as the convention Executive Director in March of 2017. I began to pray and seek God in His word about where we as a convention of churches are heading. The Lord began to show me some truths about us. So I began some discussions in our staff meetings and during that time the Lord confirmed those feelings and leadings that the Lord was giving me.
There were two primary themes that the Lord was revealing. Unity and Evangelism. We are living in a unique time in our lifetime. Not unique to history, but unique to us. I believe our churches should be seeking to take His gospel of peace and hope to this very hopeless Covid ridden culture we are living in. “I came to seek and to save that which is lost” Luke 19:11.
Without my knowledge, about 2 months later, our convention president JD Grear announced an emphasis he called “Baptism Sunday” to encourage us all to share the gospel and see people baptized. Then later that year, Johnny Hunt and NAMB came out with “Who’s Your One.” Interesting “coincidence” right?
The second theme was unity. Many of you have heard me talk about and write about how God has been using John 17 in my life. I believe again that this is a timely word for us all. As Baptists, we dive in headfirst into local church autonomy. We are going to do what GOD tells us to do. Amen to that I say. But, Jesus also tells us in John 17, that “we are to be one, so that the world may know that the Father sent the Son.”