I’ve just finished two weeks now as your Executive Director, and here’s some of what I’ve seen:
I’ve seen a desire for unity.
From the way I was welcomed by so many pastors and leaders reaching out after the announcement of my hiring, I recognized those as first steps toward wanting to be a convention united together, helping and praying for one another.
The way I’ve seen interaction with one another and support of one another are desires for unity. Our convention must be marked by a passion for truth and a commitment to speak charitably. I’m thankful I’ve seen that.
I’ve seen a desire for cooperation.
It’s easily seen through our churches giving to the Cooperative Program (and what a blessing that our CP giving is $177,000 above our year-to-date goal through September!). But I’ve also seen a desire for cooperation when talking with different leaders. Though they lead different ministries and cooperation can be complex at times, I’ve seen a desire to work together.
Two currently non-SBC churches in Indiana connected with me to talk about the possibility of joining the SBC in part because they know the resources available to them through our convention. That’s a cooperative spirit–we know we can do more together than individually.
I’ve seen a desire to serve.
I am really enjoying getting to know the SCBI staff. These are men and women with servant hearts who care deeply about our churches. I reminded them in our first meeting together that we are here for our churches.
Someone recently congratulated me on my new position saying “You’ll be the leader of SBC churches in Indiana.” I quickly responded by telling them I am not the leader of SCBI churches; I am the lead supporter. Every one of our churches is autonomous and has its own leaders. Our convention comes alongside your churches to help you take the next steps for what God is already doing. The SCBI does not have a pre-programmed package for our churches. As we develop a new strategy to serve our churches, we will maintain systems we can employ when our churches need, but we will also be able to connect churches to other churches and resources as we all work together to the Great Commission carried out.
We will accomplish much for the Kingdom of God as we serve in unity with a cooperative spirit. I’m humbled to be your lead supporter in the work.
For Jesus, Indiana, and You!
Dr. Ryan Strother