Greetings to everyone that is a part of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention community of churches.
I am looking forward with lots of excitement and anticipation to this year’s convention in Cabot. There are dozens of reasons for the way I feel but I would like to share just a few.
At the top of the list is the opportunity to simply see and fellowship with other Arkansas Baptists that I haven’t seen or spoken with face-to-face in almost two years. There are many significant issues that are dealt with every year at this meeting, but one of the greatest blessings we share is the amazing family connection that exists among the believers in our state. Nothing else is even close when it comes to connecting, reconnecting, and using the time offered to encourage one another in the mission we share. I love it, I need it, I missed it last year, and I can’t wait for this year’s convention to begin.
Having said that, I am excited about the opportunity we have this year to re-affirm our love and commitment to one another and to pray for what can only be described as difficult times for our denomination. Don’t get me wrong, there have always been difficult times, but God has never failed to see His people through them, and I am confident that He will once again. You should probably know that I believe that difficult circumstances are a call to prayer. Philippians 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Each year this meeting provides an occasion when we can seek God together about these many concerns and issues that lay before us. We must pray together if we are to make decisions together and work together, and I can’t wait to pray with my Arkansas Baptist family at this year’s convention.
I am also looking forward to hearing God speak through the anointed worship and preaching we get to experience beginning with the Pastors’ Conference and disbursed throughout the convention program. It is true that we must conduct the business of our state convention every year in order to operate effectively in the year following, but an outpouring of God’s Spirit in revival should be the highest priority of any gathering we have at any time for any reason.
Wouldn’t it be incredible if God so met with us that everything but His Presence became secondary? I know just the thought of setting aside our program, even temporarily gives some folks heartburn, but I’d be willing to let His Spirit work out those details, how about you? I am praying and expecting that God will speak to me in a special way, just like He has every time I’ve attended, and I can hardly wait.
Like I said, there are dozens of reasons I am looking forward to Oct 25, 26, 27, but let me conclude by adding just one more. Our convention is the time when we come to give and get information about our plans and opportunities for ministry together. We set dates, plan events, and propose budgets along with filling committees and nominating trustees. Obviously, many other necessary details must be addressed if we are to operate effectively in the coming year.
While there are always obstacles to overcome, mistakes to correct, concerns to address this is the time that has been set aside to get it all done. I have been president for two terms and while I learned a tremendous amount about our organization, I have learned even more about the amazing men and women who make up the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. By far the finest group of believers I’ve ever known or worked with. I am excited to attend our 2021 convention because I can’t wait to see every one of you there.
God Bless You,
ABSC President 2020-2021