Updated Aug. 7, 2006
TAYLORS, S.C. (BP)–Since June 13, I have been trying to learn what it means to be the president of the Southern Baptist Convention. I have tried to use this as an opportunity to bring glory to God. I remind you of my belief that Ephesians 3:20-21 should be a scriptural reminder that we are to be giving Him all the glory! I believe that great days are ahead for the Southern Baptist Convention if we learn that scriptural lesson. I believe God can do great things through His people called Southern Baptists.
How can God receive glory through our work? I believe that we do best that which we do together. In Psalm 78:4 the Psalmist says, “We must not hide them [things we have heard and known] from their children, but must tell a future generation the praises of the Lord.”
There is a serious shift toward individualism which is unraveling many institutions across our land. Is this happening to the Southern Baptist Convention? As a member of the boomer generation, I confess that I am not institutionally loyal by nature. Bureaucracy and institutionalism are not popular with my generation. However, what we see as positive is a cause or a vision! We must do a better job of proclaiming that the work to which we are called is not bureaucratic nor institutional. It is a cause from the Lord, a vision from God!
Most of us will not give allegiance to an unresponsive bureaucracy. We want to see where resources are making a difference. I will challenge all denominational entities to do a much better job of showing our people the cause, the vision! This is God’s work, and we must seek His direction and give Him the glory for every good thing that happens.
What is God’s work? What is His vision, His cause?
It is to see Philippians 2:10-11 come to pass. There the Scripture says, “At the name of Jesus, every knee should bow -– of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth -– and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
We know that will someday happen. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if God’s cause, God’s vision occurred on this earth? Let us remember the call of our previous president, Dr. Bobby Welch, to be more involved in the task of soul winning than ever before. Pray that God would put more and more people in your path with whom you can share the life-transforming message of Jesus Christ. Please remember when God does give opportunity to win them to Christ, that He receives all the glory!
Frank Page is president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of First Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C. Visit his website at www.sbc.net/PresidentsPage.