PATASKALA, Ohio (BP)–If Empowering Kingdom Growth is seen by Southern Baptists as another program being pushed by denominational leaders trying to justify their existence, it will soon fade into obscurity. However, if it is seen as a spiritual movement reflecting the heart of both Scripture and God, it could become the catalyst for the first awakening in the new millennium.
It is possible that God is waiting for Southern Baptists to “seek first His Kingdom” and then use the flame of our devotion for His purposes to ignite revival fires around the world. Just as a mighty forest fire can be started by a small match, likewise a mighty movement of God sweeping our world can be started by a people passionate about our King and seeking His Kingdom.
Imagine the revival fire of individual believers in our churches igniting their cities, then their states, then our nation and eventually our world. I am convinced Southern Baptists are a people ready to be a part of something that can only be explained as a “God thing.” If EKG is to be the spark that sets our world on fire, then believers must be convinced it is not of man!
As Southern Baptists we have historically identified ourselves as people of the Book. Our forefathers in the faith were willing to sacrifice their lives for their beliefs based solely upon Scripture, rejecting the traditions of man. Recently our denomination has gone through a transition where the dividing issue has been the inerrancy of Scripture. The good news is that the majority of Southern Baptists have taken a stand on the side of the trustfulness of Scripture and reaffirmed their confidence in the Bible.
The success of MasterLife, Disciple’s Prayer Life, Experiencing God and The Purpose-Driven Life, all of which are immersed in Scripture, support the belief that the people in our pews are hungry for a closer walk with their King Jesus and a deeper knowledge of His Word. Once Southern Baptists search their Bibles concerning the Kingdom they will become convinced that EKG is not another program from man but rather a movement of God rooted in His Word.
It is this encounter with the living Word of God that will serve as the spark to ignite the fires of revival. EKG must first be the experience of the individual heart before it can ever be a church experience, or a denominational experience.
Once Southern Baptists understand the central place of the Kingdom in the Bible, their desire will be to “seek first His Kingdom,” asking the question, “What is best for the Kingdom of God?” not “What is best for my personal kingdom?”
When this occurs there is no need for man to push a neatly packaged program; Empowering Kingdom Growth will burn across our nation and around the world on the fuel of God’s Spirit and the power of His Word.
Hays is pastor of Jersey Baptist Church in Pataskala, Ohio, and a member of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Empowering Kingdom Growth Task Force.