This article was written by Will McKay, Team Leader for the Evangelism and Church Health team at the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.
The annual Arkansas Baptist Statewide Conference on Evangelism and Church Health (ECON) is scheduled to meet January 24 and 25 at Geyer Springs First Baptist Church. I looked forward to this conference when I pastored, and I am now grateful to work with the Evangelism + Church Health team to host this event for pastors and leaders from across the state.
ECON gives Arkansas Baptists an annual opportunity to step away from the trenches of daily life to unite hearts and focus sights upon the Gospel message and ministries entrusted to us. As we draw nearer to the time for this year’s conference, I would like to suggest twenty-two reasons for you to prayerfully consider joining us:
- Our day is marked by perpetual distraction. The priority, clarity, glory, and implications of the Gospel are often eclipsed in hearts and minds overtaken by conflicting narratives, trivial concerns, and relentless hurry.
- Our day is marked by polarizing division. The hard-earned bonds of brotherhood seem too often and quickly severed by party lines, tribal affiliations, contrary opinions, and selfish opportunism.
- The enemy ruthlessly hunts, deceives, and destroys many that we know and love.
- Those without hope have reason to despair, for the troubles of this life pale in comparison to the terrors of the one still to come.
- This is the world in which we now live; yet, as citizens of Heaven, we possess a higher priority, enjoy a stronger unity, celebrate a decisive victory, and anticipate an eternal glory.
- Our heavenly Father has ordained that we live here and now, exercising the capacities He has given to each of us within the callings He has placed upon our lives.
- Jesus has already accomplished everything necessary to save people from the power and penalty of sin in his own life, death, and resurrection.
- The Holy Spirit applies the work of Christ to any and all who turn from sin and trust in Him alone for salvation.
- Those who receive the benefits of the Gospel are commanded and empowered by God to preach the Gospel to all of creation.
- We are weak and limited in every way imaginable, benefitting greatly by withdrawing at times to seek the Lord together.
- We desperately need renewal, encouragement, strengthening, clarity, and unity that can only be found in God.
- God promises to supply all we need for life and ministry through His written and living Word.
- God has proven Himself to be faithful in attending the efforts of those who take Him at His Word and trust in His power.
- God has proven Himself to provide all that His people need to accomplish all that He desires.
- God has proven Himself to be unchanging in character, power, purpose, and desire to redeem a lost world.
- The task of taking the Gospel to all nations is a standing order from the Lord, given to every generation of believers.
- The task of reaching all nations with the Gospel is yet unfinished.
- The churches we serve need to see Jesus through our lives.
- The churches we serve need to hear Jesus in our preaching.
- The communities around us will think more highly of God and the Gospel when they see Him at work among us.
- The seeds that we scatter today will bear fruit for generations to come.
- Christians possess the only hope for mankind in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our message is clear, our task is great, and our God is mighty to save.
While more could be added to the list I’ve supplied above, I submit these reasons as warrant enough for our convening together on January 24 and 25. Gathering together at ECON is an expression of humility and hunger for the Lord, as well as an act of defiance against evil forces that would have us distracted, divided, and discouraged.
Will you join us?
Will you join us in prayer for ECON?
Will you join us in person to hear from the Lord together?
Will you join us as we anticipate all God will do, both during our time and after?
Will you join us?