Louisiana Baptists Hear the Call to Reach the Next Generation

David Hankins, executive director of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, has announced his plans to retire, sharing his intentions during the 2018 LBC annual meeting, with the theme of “Imprint — Marking the Next Generation.”

“I have every confidence that God is going to take care of this convention and bring about good things and better things for His glory,” Hankins, 68, told messengers during the Nov. 12-13 meeting at Temple Baptist Church in Ruston. “So I know you will join me in praying during these transition days.

“I’ve been reminded as I come to this time of approaching retirement of this truth,” he continued. “It is always the duty of every generation for God’s people to teach the next generation. There’s always a next generation that we have a duty to. We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us and somebody’s going to need to stand on our shoulders. So we’re to mark the next generation.”

Hankins’ retirement will be effective June 30, 2019.

Waylon Bailey, president of the LBC Executive Board and pastor of the First Baptist Church in Covington, spoke to the Baptist Message, expressing high regard for Hankins.

“Dr. Hankins has brought strong, clear and principled leadership to the office of executive director of the LBC,” Bailey said. “It’s been a great 14 and one-half years. We are praying for a great future for David and Patty and hold the same hope for the convention because of his exceptional work.”

Bailey also said he was buoyed about the prospects for the search process, particularly because of the spiritual character he senses about the team.

“I am encouraged by the composition of the search committee,” he said. “There is wide representation of Louisiana Baptists.

“Each of them love the local church, the Lord Jesus and Louisiana Baptists,” he said. “I expect a great result.”

Bailey also noted that all 15 search committee members were present and participating in the business of the convention during the annual meeting, without being prompted to attend or having prior notice of Hankins’ plans to retire and the potential for being named to a search committee. He added that he expects the committee to begin the search process by the end of November.

Reaching Nexters

With the theme of “Imprint — Marking the Next Generation” adapted from Deuteronomy 6:7, messengers learned about progress being made toward completing one of the convention’s key goals outlined in the President’s 2020 Commission Report.

The next generation, or Nexters, is one of two groups identified as a target audience in the document, adopted by messengers at the 2013 Louisiana Baptist Convention annual meeting. The 2020 initiative seeks to reach every generation and every people group in Louisiana with the Gospel by the year 2020 through congregational revitalization, church planting, communications and collaboration.

Examples of reaching the next generation include:

— Ongoing efforts by Louisiana College to increase scholarship funding and expand curriculum offerings, with a goal to build its student body to 1,500 by 2020.

— Completion of nine new or remodeled or expanded Baptist Student Ministry buildings since 2006 on campuses reaching a combined population of nearly 90,000 students.

— Continued growth at Tall Timbers, from 995 in total camp attendance in 2009 to 2,428 in 2018, encompassing 1,510 salvation decisions during that 10-year period.

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Source: Baptist Press