Thursday, June 25, 2009

SBC 2009 Annual Meeting

This week I attended my first Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting. Reflecting on the sermons, the motions, the resolutions and the great fellowship, I must say it was a very solid experience. Here's why:

* The focus of the meeting was the Great Commission. After all, the SBC was organized for the purpose of missions. It is very encouraging to hear that this emphasis is still in the forefront of SBC life and even getting a closer examination in the coming months.

* Several of the sermons were preached with a genuine passion and excitement for missions and evangelism. It is very stirring to hear preachers, young and old, getting fired up about reaching lost people with the only message that could ever bring hope and change.

* I heard about real Southern Baptists who have risked it all for the cause of Christ. The Lord is at work among many 'pockets of lostness' (new IMB catch-phrase) around the globe. I want to be a part of that.

* There were over 9000 baptists in one room singing about the grace and faithfulness of our Sovereign God. While I'm not overly enthusiastic about smoke machines and light shows, I can overlook that sort of thing and focus on praise and worship of the One who is worthy.

* I had the chance to visit with several long-time friends and discuss theology, ministry and the good old days. While it is often said that pastors usually have very few friends, I am blessed with quite a few. For this I am thankful.

* Fifteen minutes of Dennis Swanberg, followed by Mike Huckabee - enough said.

Sure, there were a few 'out of order' motions by those who would rather focus on things other than Christ and the Great Commission. And, there were more people swarming bowls of mints and grabbing free pens than voting for 1st Vice President. And I paid over $8 for a not-so-healthy Expo Center lunch that gave me heartburn. I decided to dismiss that sort of thing as trivial and zero in on the more important aspects of this annual event.

I've only been a Southern Baptist for about 7 years. Now that I have attended my first real denominational gathering, I am very encouraged. The Lord is at work in the SBC.

[the church pictured above is one attended by Lottie Moon while she was ministering in China]

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