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.
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!
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.
One benefit of a crisis is a forced re-examination of core strategies, Jeff Iorg says. Churches are learning the importance of relying on stewards rather than donors.
Last week's actions by the SBC's Executive Committee and mission boards are directly related to Southern Baptists' mission of fulfilling the Great Commission in the spirit of the Great Commandment, Jeff Iorg writes.
"We are being told repeatedly and often not to objectify women," says Gateway Seminary president Jeff Iorg. "That's a needed and important message. Then, in the most watched entertainment event of the year, we celebrated doing just that."
Through the Cooperative Program, Jeff Iorg writes, Southern Baptists have "stood together for decades to build the largest and most efficient missionary and educational support system in the world. May we honor their legacy by doing even more to advance God's Kingdom."
Pondering California Gov. Gavin's Newsom's selectiveness in which laws he will enforce, Jeff Iorg notes that "the rest of us are expected to remain law-abiding citizens."
Jeff Iorg recounts the baptism of a wounded warrior by a pastor who was sensitive to the veteran's struggle with PTSD.
Jeff Iorg is ready to answer the question, "How can you stand it out there?" when asked about the challenges of ministering in California and other parts of the western U.S.