This is the fourth and final in this series of posts all on the same topic - the bad news that came to Southern Baptists last week. I am a Southern Baptist who is proud of my denomination. I am proud of our stance on scripture and our history as the only denomination to come back from liberalism. (Just think how far our decline would be if we had progressed in denying the Scriptures.) I actually enjoy the convention itself. The business and the preaching is enjoyable to me. I want to see the convention grow, but I only have control over one Southern Baptist - myself. Likewise, I only have influence in one Southern Baptist Church - LaGrange Park.
So today I am sharing with you a portion of my newsletter article I wrote for May 2009.
Last May I reported to you that the Southern Baptist Convention baptized fewer people for the third straight year, that number is now 4 straight years and for the second year in a row we saw a decline in overall membership. I would like to offer you a challenge. Let's not let LaGrange Park be a part of this trend. We are already well on our way to baptizing more people than we did last year, but it will still be a difficult task. We can, however, accomplish this goal, which is certainly God's will, if we make sharing our faith with our friends, coworkers, schoolmates and family a priority.
This is my prayer:
Father, would you give our church a burning desire to share our faith? Convict us of the need to live differently from the world (Rom 12:2), to tell others why we have the hope that we have (1 Pet 3:15), and to be winsome and encouraging to the lost world around us. Burden us the way you burdened Jeremiah (Jer 20:9) because we know that there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:11) Thank you for the gift that is salvation, and let us not take it for granted.