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Floyd to EC: Time to make a difference

NASHVILLE (BP) — It is time for Southern Baptist leaders to collectively leverage their influence, resources and vision to make a difference in fulfilling the Great Commission, Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee President Ronnie Floyd said in his EC address Tuesday (Sept. 17) in Nashville.

“I want us to get really, really serious like never before,” Floyd said. “You need to be encouraged that now is the time for us to make a difference like never before.

“You’ve got one shot with your life, and you’d better make sure it counts,” Floyd said at the EC plenary session also attended by entity heads, EC employees and others. “Let’s do it.”

Floyd has been meeting with a diverse group of Southern Baptists including state convention heads and entity leaders to discuss optimum effectiveness in fulfilling the Great Commission, he said.

“We’re excited about the possibility,” Floyd said. “Just think about what could happen if this room, just this room, leveraged our influence together, our resources together, our vision together, what the Lord could do.”

The EC meeting followed Floyd’s inauguration Monday as the seventh SBC EC president.

“The consuming mission before us, we tried to make really clear last night,” he said Tuesday, “is to reach every person for Jesus Christ in every town, every city, every state and every nation. That’s really what we do here; that’s really who we are.”

Floyd reiterated his five keys to transforming Southern Baptist culture; exhorted leaders to prioritize, elevate and accelerate the Cooperative Program of financial support; promoted the 2020 SBC Annual Meeting in Orlando; commended the Caring Well Challenge of addressing the sin of sexual abuse; and encouraged Southern Baptists to be wise and Christ-like during the U.S. governmental election season.

Floyd has widely discussed his five keys to transforming the culture in the SBC with the goal of reaching the world for Christ. Floyd encourages Southern Baptists to live and breathe Gospel urgency; to empower all churches, generations, ethnicities and languages; to tell and celebrate what God is doing; to love like Jesus loves; and to prioritize, elevate and accelerate generosity.

The Cooperative Program, which financially fuels Southern Baptist work and missions at home and abroad, will reach its 100th year in 2025. Giving this fiscal year, Floyd said, is on course to be 1.4 percent above the national Southern Baptist Convention budget of $194 million, totaling between $196.5 million and $197 million.

“Every employee of the Executive Committee is responsible for the growth of the Cooperative Program,” Floyd said. “It’s not just one person’s responsibility, a department’s responsibility. It’s all of our responsibility. And I want to say to all of us as members of the Executive Committee, when you agreed to come on the Executive Committee, you just joined our team.

“You are a team of people to help us accomplish what this convention has asked us to do,” Floyd said. “It’s our responsibility to go forward and try to make a major difference for the Lord in this area.”

Floyd promoted upcoming Southern Baptist meetings, including the SBC Annual Meeting June 9-10 in Orlando, and the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission’s national conference Oct. 3-5 in Grapevine, Texas. The ERLC will discuss the Southern Baptist Caring Well Challenge to address and prevent sexual abuse.

The U.S. will elect a new president in 2020, and Floyd encouraged Southern Baptists to maintain Christ-like character in the election season.

“We’ll need to love like Jesus loves. We’ll need to be diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit,” Floyd said. “We can disagree over various matters, but let’s be careful how we do that. Let’s do it in a way that would honor Christ.”

It’s undeniable, he said, that much is at stake in every U.S. election.

“Even as important as our elections are, let’s remember that there is coming a day when all the kings and the kingdoms of this world will pass away,” Floyd said, “and the greatest need we have in this country is the Gospel of Jesus Christ going to everyone’s life.”