In today’s From the Seminaries:
2 items from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
GO Conference encourages pursuit of the Great Commission
WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP) — Whether you’re an international missionary, a church planter, a business professional or a teacher, spend your life fulfilling the Great Commission, attendees were exhorted during the ninth annual GO Conference at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
More than 550 students and guests gathered at the Wake Forest, N.C., campus Jan. 27-28 to be challenged to go into all the world to fulfill the Great Commission. Main speakers included Danny Akin, president of SEBTS, Tony Merida, SEBTS associate professor of preaching and pastor for preaching and vision at Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, N.C., and Matt Carter, pastor for preaching and vision at The Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, Texas.
Akin began the conference by telling the story of martyred missionary Jim Elliot. After sharing Elliot’s famous quote, “Oh that God would make us dangerous,” Akin asked, “Have you ever prayed that prayer? Might it be that when the demons see you coming they might tremble because they see the hand of God on your life?”
Merida, expositing the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20, said, “These words are actually some of the most important words in all of Scripture. This last command is our first priority.”
He noted, “Jesus can use the G.E.D. or the Ph.D. The question is not, ‘Do you have the education?’ The question is, ‘Are you available?’ Is your heart captivated by this King?”
Carter charged students to not only see the need to take the Gospel around the world and to lost neighbors but to be part of meeting that need. He encouraged them to obey the command of Christ in the Great Commission through the power of the Holy Spirit.
“You have the power in you right now to do powerful things with Christ for the Kingdom of God,” Carter said. “You are just as equipped and just as called.”
The GO Conference included breakout sessions addressing such topics as using passions and gifts for the Gospel, sharing the Gospel without fear, weaving the Gospel into stories and dealing with the unexpected as a missionary.
Participants also heard from people involved in ministry in the U.S. and former international missionaries about opportunities for service and what life is like as a cross-cultural missionary.
On Friday night, students had the opportunity to view the “Insanity of God” movie followed by a Q&A session with Scott Hildreth, director of Southeastern’s Center for Great Commission Studies, and Chuck Lawless, dean of graduate studies at SEBTS. The conference concluded Saturday night with a special concert by Shane and Shane.
Southeastern adds Echevarria in Hispanic leadership
WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP) — Miguel Echevarria has joined Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary as the new director of Hispanic leadership development and assistant professor of New Testament and Greek.
As part of Southeastern’s Global Theological Initiatives (GTI) team, Echevarria will further develop partnerships in Latin America where the seminary invests in the theological education of leaders, in addition to encouraging more Hispanics in America to pursue an education at the SEBTS campus in North Carolina.
John Ewart, associate vice president of GTI, said Echevarria “possesses an incredible combination of academic and practical experience and knowledge that will enable us to move our Hispanic Leadership Development Initiative to new heights and possibilities.”
A Miami native born to Cuban parents, Echevarria grew up speaking Spanish as his first language. He has previously served in higher education at the University of Mobile in Alabama.
Echevarria holds a bachelor’s degree from Bellarmine University, a master of theology from Dallas Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in New Testament from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Ewart said he is anticipating “exponential growth as [Echevarria] reaches out to serve the Hispanic community here in the U.S. as well as multiple new international partners. We are looking forward to moving creatively and aggressively forward with the highest levels of training specifically designed for the Spanish-speaking church and believer.”