When Isaiah had a vision, he "saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up!" (Isaiah 6:1) Vision is seeing into a faith dimension, something which cannot be seen with the physical eye, yet something which requires enormous concentration, dedication, meditation, precise focus, and spiritual insight. Vision is seeing God in and through it all. Those who see Him are compelled to see things as God might see them and do them as God might do them and live them in the spirit Jesus lived them.
A vision will cause you to see God as He really is. It will cause you to cry out, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory" (6:3). We must never forget that God is in the midst of His people and where God is, there is His glory. When the Executive Committee is assembled, we are not alone. God is in our midst. We are about His business. His agenda is to be our agenda.
A vision will cause you to see yourself as you really are. Isaiah cried, "Woe is me, for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips."We are all sinners, but thank God we are saved by grace. A vision will cause you to see the world as it really is. When Isaiah saw God as He really was, it caused him to see himself as he really was, and then he heard the voice of the Lord, "Whom shall I send, who will go for us?"And Isaiah answered, "Here am I, Lord, send me." Isaiah saw the world as it really was and he was ready to go. Our calling on the Executive Committee should be as compelling to us as God's call to our missionaries to go to the ends of the earth.
In fact, some of our decisions are as far-reaching as any missionary can go upon this earth. Therefore, we face a mountain filled with facts and figures, but we cannot substitute facts and figures for faith. Rather, we must see facts and figures through the eyes of faith. And, we must climb that mountain with the zeal of a missionary who is arriving on foreign soil for the very first time, trembling with fear, excitement, and awe at the assignment God has given.
SBC bylaws state that the Executive Committee is "to act for the Convention ad interim in all matters not otherwise provided for, "therefore some would characterize the Committee primarily as a management organization.
SBC bylaws state that the Executive Committee is "to present to the Convention a comprehensive budget for the Convention and for all of its agencies …," and "shall recommend the amount of Convention funds which may be allocated to each cause therefore some would characterize the Committee primarily as a budgetary organization.
SBC bylaws state that the Executive Committee is "to maintain an official organization manual defining the responsibilities of each agency of the Convention for conducting specific programs . . .," therefore some would characterize the Committee primarily as a guardian organization.
SBC bylaws state that the Executive Committee is "to recommend to the Convention a time and place and to have oversight of the arrangements for the meetings of the Convention;" therefore some would characterize the Committee primarily as a planning organization.
SBC bylaws state that the Executive Committee is "to act in an advisory capacity on all questions of cooperation among the different agencies of the Convention …, and those of other conventions, whether state or national," therefore some would characterize the Committee primarily as an advisory organization.
While all of the above is partially correct, underlying all of these responsibilities, the Executive Committee must be a visionary organization. While on occasion it may be necessary, we must not spend every moment drawing a line in the sand, we must also expand our horizons. We must see those things which the world cannot see. We must not monitor others to the exclusion of motivating Southern Baptists to seek the leadership of God's Spirit. We must serve unselfishly and never allow our motives to be self-serving. We must be tough in spirit when circumstances demand it, but tender in spirit when circumstances allow it. "We would see Jesus" must be the captivating essence of all we may do. After all, it's God's presence, it's God's power, it's God's glory, nothing more, nothing less, nothing else; "for in Him we live, and move, and have our being!" (Acts 17:28)
God has brought us to a time of transition. The Implementation Task Force will be called upon to make some hard decisions. But I believe they will be made with genuine care. Understanding that transition represents, for some more than others, uncertainty, unawareness, perhaps fear, and it would be the commitment of this Executive Committee and of the Implementation Task Force and all who are involved to work with our brothers and sisters in our SBC agencies to bring about an orderly, but timely transition, trusting that He will give us wisdom daily, weekly, monthly to do what we do for His glory, on occasions, disagreeing and yet, believing that God's hand is in it all. Let us as a body of people deliberate about the many decisions which face the Executive Committee, remembering that while we have feet of clay, we stand upon the solid rock and there is no sinking sand. God help us do it all in that spirit and there will be great revival in the land.