NASHVILLE (BP) – The Easter 2021 reports from churches and pastors across the country have been very encouraging. Even my own experience this past weekend is worth telling and celebrating.
Jeana and I had the opportunity to attend worship with my son Josh, his wife Kate and their sons Peyton, Parker and Jack at their church in Alabama – First Baptist Church of Trussville. As soon as we arrived, we could see that people were returning to church on Easter weekend. When entering their beautiful building, we heard the amazing sound of people talking with one another. We attended one of their four worship services, which was full of people worshiping God, leading to a great message by their pastor, Buddy Champion. It was exciting to hear that this crowd was one of the largest in their history, even with the challenges of COVID-19.
As meaningful worship and powerful preaching occur, we can be assured that lives are being changed by Jesus Christ our Lord. We, therefore, need to celebrate what God is doing in churches across the nation.
The Open Door
When Paul and Barnabas gathered the church in Antioch in Acts 14, this is what occurred: “After they arrived and gathered the church together, they reported everything God had done with them and that he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles” (v. 27).
Did you notice what they did?
- They reported everything God had done with them.
- The door of faith was now opened to the Gentiles.
This is the culture we need to have in our Southern Baptist family – telling and celebrating what God is doing.
I love hearing and telling stories of God’s work for, of and about Southern Baptists. When we tell and celebrate what Jesus is doing among us, it builds faith and belief that God is able to do anything, anywhere, at any time, with anyone.
Faith Inspires greater Faith
When God powerfully uses one of us and works through one of our churches in a special way, we need to hear about it, talk about it and celebrate what God is doing. Faith inspires greater faith!
What God has done through our convention of churches over the last 176 years together is an amazing story. The Southern Baptist Convention was founded in May 1845 — seven months before Texas became the 28th state of the Union — when 293 messengers, representing nine Baptist state conventions, gathered in Augusta, Ga., and constituted the SBC for the purpose of spreading the Gospel across the United States and around the world.
Cooperative missions began immediately, built upon the power of partnership and cooperation between churches, state conventions and the national convention. In our 176th year, my prayer is we will once again come together as one, prioritizing like never before all we do as a convention to reach the world for Jesus Christ. We must exhaust our lives and energy to see this occur.
Right now, God is doing amazing things through our Southern Baptist churches, missions and ministries. Therefore, we need to be about telling and celebrating what God is doing.
With more than 3,600 overseas missionaries and an additional 5,000-plus missionaries across North America, we are touching the world. With an estimated 50,000 SBC congregations across the United States, I guarantee there are many stories of what God is doing in and through our churches. Yes, we are touching America and the world together.
Let’s Tell and Celebrate
Friends, when we commit to telling and celebrating what God is doing, the faith across our convention of churches will be strengthened and grow. The brief account of what I experienced on Sunday in one of our churches can multiply by thousands of our congregations. God is at work! Tell somebody! We want to celebrate what God is doing.
Why is this important? Faith inspires greater faith! God is writing a new story through us in this moment in history. Tell and celebrate what God is doing.
Now is the time to lead.