This column is titled “Perspective.” I enjoy reading the various definitions of words. This word—perspective— has several definitions. Two of those are helpful in writing this column.
Perspective can be defined as a point of view and a way of regarding something. I have long had a point of view about our Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC). I remember many who have led or served here across many years. A number of those have been personal friends. So, for those years I viewed our convention based on my friendship with those who served here. I, of course, also thought of this work in relation to my calling to serve as a pastor or then a university president. Both viewpoints formed a very positive perspective concerning the ministry of our convention.
A second definition is a good foundation for my growing perspective.
Perspective can also be defined as a way of regarding something. During these months as interim executive director, I have a deeper, clearer understanding and appreciation for our ABSC because I see ministries firsthand.
Some of you might remember the children’s song we learned in Sunday School, “Deep and Wide.” Deep and wide, deep, and wide there’s a fountain flowing deep and wide. Well, the ministries of our convention are deep and wide, all undergirded by our clear mission to assist the churches.
In the past few months, I have had the privilege, and I mean privilege, to visit great pastors who serve in the beautiful sparsely populated areas of Arkansas. I have talked with others in more heavily populated areas. I have observed exceptional collegiate work on campuses, witnessed the great hearts of church planters, heard stories of disaster relief, and attended a board meeting of Siloam assembly and our vast children’s and family ministries. Our universities are expanding their educational opportunities while nurturing students in their worship and service of Christ. These ministries are deep and wide for sure.
Whether perspective is a point of view or the way we regard something, we are blessed to be together in serving our Lord, serving people, and expanding the kingdom. From the Delta to the River Valley, from the mountains to the pine forests of south Arkansas, it is a blessing to be in this eternal enterprise together.
This is my perspective.