On more than one occasion I have stood beside anxious family members who were soon to be faced with a decision of monumental consequence. Another member of the family was in the adjacent Intensive Care Unit and near death.
Medical attendants shuttled in and out of the room, doing all they could to stabilize the patient's vital signs while a team of physicians huddled to consider the options. Then the chief surgeon would approach the family with this somber announcement: "There is only one possible solution as we see it but we can't wait any longer to perform the necessary procedure. Time is of the essence and we must know what you desire." The welfare of a loved one has now been placed in their hands.
In a recent interview I was asked what I felt about the health of America's families. "Taken as a whole," I responded, "America's families are not simply in poor health. They are acutely ill and in need of intensive care. Without emergency attention, family life as described in God's Word will soon disappear from America's social landscape." This is why your Southern Baptist Council on Family Life is turning to the leaders of our churches and saying, "Pastor … we can't wait any longer! In a large sense the welfare of America's families has been placed in your hands. How will you discharge this trust?"
Perhaps it will help to view the plight of our families from a different perspective. As I write this article, our nation is on the brink of war. The church I pastor is located near one of our nation's largest air logistics bases. Daily our troops are being deployed for overseas duty. It is a massive, and I believe, morally-correct undertaking. But have you ever considered that, in the scheme of our Adversary, the Devil, political wars might simply be a diversionary tactic. While family members are separated, homes can quickly come under his attack. On more than one occasion a soldier has come back from war scarcely able to recognize, much less communicate with his family. Or the soldier, away from home, has come under the sinister attack of Satan. Moral compromise has now taken the edge off the desire or ability to adequately defend the "home front."
Pastor … we can't wait any longer! That's why your Southern Baptist Council on Family Life, in conjunction with the Pastor's Conference and LifeWay Christian Resources, is unveiling a strategy which will enable you to build Kingdom Families in your congregation and community. This strategy will be introduced at Southern Baptist's first ever Kingdom Family Rally, Monday evening, June 16, in Phoenix, Arizona.
In every way possible, we are seeking to make the Kingdom Family Rally an event you, your family members, and the leaders in your church can attend. But it is imperative for you to make your plans now! This rally will send a strong signal to the world at large; the message that Southern Baptists care about the family. What's more, it will acquaint you with The Seven Pillars of a Kingdom Family, a simple strategy that will revolutionize your approach to family issues, from conception to the ultimate coronation moment of death.
Pastor … we can't wait any longer. Families are under attack and many are near death. Perhaps you must include your own family among those which are desperately in need of emergency attention. If not, then you have friends whose families are even now showing vital signs which place them on the critical list. How will you discharge the responsibility placed in your hands and on your heart? To paraphrase the words of the now-deceased statesman, Winston Churchill, "What a shame if this moment found you either unwilling, or unprepared for what should have been your finest hour!"