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Southeastern

Jeff Iorg

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FIRST-PERSON: Protective services

Shadow Christians are people who work in dimly lit margins, in the shadows created by the spotlight shining on others. They are believers who serve quietly, often anonymously, doing the work that keeps churches, organizations, families, and communities functioning. Shadow Christians make an impact even when no one knows their names.

FIRST-PERSON: Cooperation results from being cooperative

For most Southern Baptists, the phrase Cooperative Program is a denominational code for money.  There is nothing really wrong with that since it does describe the major funding process for our work.  But the Cooperative Program is much more.  It describes people working together, believing they can do much more in partnership than as individuals.

FIRST-PERSON: The Cooperative Part

ONTARIO, Calif (BP) – When Southern Baptists use the words “Cooperative Program,” they often focus on the financial aspects of what that phrase means.

FIRST-PERSON: Myths about California

ONTARIO, Calif. (BP) – As I travel to speak in the Midwest and South, when Southern Baptists learn I am from California, the reactions are predictable, frustrating, and sometimes amusing. The most common response is “I’m sorry for you” – as if living in California is akin to a spiritual prison sentence. Other responses are often phrased as questions, “Why would you want to live in that awful place?” or “How do you put up with California crazies?” are good examples.

Dejen de robarle a mi suegra

ONTARIO, Calif. (BP) – Mi suegra es una fiel bautista del sur de 88 años que vive de unos ingresos fijos en un modesto centro de jubilados. Ama al Señor, su iglesia y a los bautistas del sur. Toda la vida ha sido defensora del Programa Cooperativo y entiende que, como miembro contribuyente de una iglesia bautista del sur, es una financiadora principal del Seminario Gateway. Ella refleja esa comprensión cuando a menudo pregunta: “¿Cómo va mi seminario?”

FIRST-PERSON: Stop stealing from my mother-in-law

ONTARIO, Calif. (BP) – My mother-in-law is an 88-year old loyal Southern Baptist who lives on a fixed income in a modest retirement center. She loves the Lord, her church and Southern Baptists. She has been a lifelong advocate of the Cooperative Program and understands, as a contributing member of a Southern Baptist church, she is a primary funder of Gateway Seminary. She reflects that understanding when she often asks, “How is my seminary doing?”

FIRST-PERSON: Thank you, veterans

ONTARIO, Calif. (BP) – One of the most emotionally moving experiences of my life was touring Omaha Beach and other locations related to the Normandy landings during World War II. Two particular moments left a life-changing impact on my understanding of the mentality and quality of American military leaders and soldiers.

FIRST-PERSON: Embarrassment about being a Christian

ONTARIO, Calif. (BP) – Southern Baptist churches, based on our baptism reports, are less and less effective at sharing the Gospel in such a way people receive it and become Christians. The reasons for this vary from church to church, but there are some common problems which span geography, culture and ministry style. A very personal problem limiting evangelistic effectiveness is embarrassment about being a Christian.

FIRST-PERSON: New commitment to a proven channel

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (BP) – A few weeks ago, I began writing about changing the channel of our denominational conversation. We are preoccupied with so many pressing issues – political, social, moral, ethical and denominational – that demand attention. It’s hard to ignore the clamor and focus on goals related to our core mission, but we must do so!

FIRST-PERSON: Calling future leaders

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (BP) – Christian leaders face a significant challenge of staying focused on our core mission of making disciples. Doing this requires evangelizing the lost, stabilizing new converts, developing stronger believers, and ultimately producing new leaders for our movement. There are so many other distracting agendas – political, social, moral, ethical, and even denominational – that demand attention. Staying focused on our core task is harder than ever.