Now is an excellent time to become more involved in the Southern Baptist Convention, SBC entity heads told a gathering of young pastors.
The presidents of the International Mission Board, North American Mission Board and Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission encouraged greater participation in Southern Baptist life during an event with about 125 pastors and leaders who are primarily in their 20s and 30s. The ERLC hosted the meeting over a dinner provided by the SBC Executive Committee during the ethics entity’s national conference on marriage and homosexuality earlier this fall at Nashville’s Opryland Resort and Convention Center.
IMB President David Platt, NAMB President Kevin Ezell and ERLC President Russell D. Moore explained the work of and vision for their entities, as well as their own hopes about the SBC’s future. They spoke individually before answering questions from the audience as a panel. Attendees also watched a video from Frank Page, the Executive Committee’s president. Ezell has been NAMB’s president for four years. Moore took office at the ERLC 18 months ago. IMB trustees elected Platt as president in August.
Platt is leading IMB, he said, “because I don’t know of anything in the world like what we’ve got the opportunity to be a part of with tens of thousands of churches working together to get the Gospel to people who’ve never heard it, strengthened by churches here who are standing fast in the Word in our culture, planting churches in North America, buttressed by six seminaries who are training leaders.
“God has been gracious to us. He’s blessed us,” he said during the Oct. 28 meeting. “He has given favor to us for this reason — that His ways may be known on earth and His salvation known among the nations.”
Ezell told the audience, “There’s never been a better time in my lifetime to re-engage as a Southern Baptist than right now. I really believe that God is up to something very special in the Southern Baptist Convention.”
Moore said the leaders have been given an inheritance. “There is nothing like this in the history of the Christian church for reaching the nations for Jesus Christ,” he said.
“I have never seen the SBC more filled with love and unity than I do right now,” Moore told the young pastors and leaders. “And I think we ought to work with God in that and be thankful to God for this moment and work together. And I think there are going to be a lot of people — I already hear from some — [who are looking at the SBC] and are saying, ‘You know what, we’re just kind of realizing we’re actually Southern Baptists, and we never knew it. And we want to be a part of that.’ I think we ought to encourage that wherever we can.”
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SOURCE: Baptist Press