By Jimmie Sheffield

Assistant to the Executive Team, Arkansas Baptist State Convention

[Perspective] I’m excited!

By Jimmie Sheffield

Assistant to the Executive Team, Arkansas Baptist State Convention

When I have time to think about my life, I really get excited. In general, my life is very good. My wife, daughter, grandchildren, and great grandchildren are well and able to enjoy life. I can sincerely say I have always been excited about working for the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC). 

Right now, I am excited about attending the annual pastors’ conference and the ABSC annual meeting. Many of you might be asking, “Are you crazy?” If I count all the ABSC annual meetings and the Southern Baptist Convention annual meetings I have attended, it will total around fifty. I enjoyed most of these meetings. 

A logical question is, “What’s exciting about attending annual meetings?”  I have some answers to that question. 

First of all, I am excited about the fellowship I will enjoy. I don’t get to see some of the pastors and staff members but one or two times a year. Having the opportunity to visit with many friends and co-laborers in Kingdom work is a great privilege and opportunity.  

I also have the opportunity to attend various meetings that feature food and fellowship. In addition, the exhibit room provides an opportunity to meet and fellowship with many leaders. 

Sometimes there is even a fellowship event after one of the evening services. I really enjoy all these fellowship opportunities. I am excited about the fellowship I will have at this year’s annual meeting. 

Another reason I am excited about attending the annual meeting is the opportunity I have to discuss ministry problems with staff members and lay people. Through the years of working for the ABSC, I have worked with many church leaders for various reasons. Some of them remember those times of consultation and/or training. They look me up to discuss current problems or issues they are facing. What a great privilege!  

In addition to being excited about attending the annual meetings for the fellowship times, I am excited about what will happen in the meetings. For example, I am always blessed by the reports that are shared by executive board staff and the agency and institution reports. Even though I work part-time for the executive board, I do not always know all the things that are happening. 

When I hear reports of people being saved, church leaders being trained, and students receiving a Christian education, I get really excited.  

Also, when I hear personal testimonies of people whose lives have been impacted by our ABSC ministries, I am excited and grateful to the Lord for what He is doing through ABSC ministries. 

Believe it or not, I am excited about the business sessions conducted throughout the annual meeting. The adoption of the budget for the new year is an exciting moment for me. When Arkansas Baptists say by vote, “This is how we want to spend our Cooperative Program funds and other income,” I am truly blessed for the trust that messengers give us.  

In addition, when it is time for the election of officers, I get excited about the possibilities of working with those who are elected. Some of the best friends I have made during my years of working for the ABSC are those who were elected to serve the convention as officers. 

Another part of the annual meeting that is really exciting is the worship. The music and preaching are always good. I look forward to hearing preachers that are part of the ABSC, and those who come from out-of-state are always a blessing. When I see and read the program for the convention, I always have a sense of excitement about how God will use the music and preaching to bless everyone attending.  

By now, you may be thinking there is something wrong with me. You may be thinking that I am exaggerating what can happen at an annual meeting. I understand that feeling, but I can tell you honestly that I am excited about the annual meeting this year.  

We meet at Walnut Street Baptist Church in Jonesboro, October 23-25 for the Pastor’s Conference and the annual meeting of the ABSC. I hope that you will decide to attend and feel the excitement of what God is doing through all the different ministries of our wonderful convention. 

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