By Larry D. White

President, Arkansas Baptist State Convention

[Perspective] Working harder to fan the flame

By Larry D. White

President, Arkansas Baptist State Convention

Two years ago, I wrote my first article as President of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.  

My term ends later this month. It has been a great pleasure to serve our churches and work with so many faithful Arkansas Baptists. We have some of the best people across our state. As I stated two years ago, one of my life verses is Psalm 15:6, “The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.”  

God has blessed me to be the Pastor of Woodland Heights Baptist Church. This gracious congregation has allowed me to spend many hours away these past two years to serve our Convention. 

Our upcoming Pastor’s Conference and Annual Meeting, Oct. 23-25, will culminate my work as President. I have been praying that this year at Walnut Street in Jonesboro will serve as fuel to empower us to pursue our calling ever more so.  

I love the Annual Meeting and all the work that goes on to bring it together. I have enjoyed most committee meetings. I like good reports. I enjoy discussion and even kindhearted debate. But we have been called to more than all that. All those things are necessary, but they are not enough. While I enjoyed serving our State Convention, the local church is where it is at. I am looking forward to spending more time with my church family and in my community doing what I have been called to do as Pastor. 

God has been moving across our state this year. But there is so much more work to do. While my wife and I were on a trip with a group of friends last week, we saw a gentleman, with a shirt that read: “Nobody cares…work harder.” Below the saying was a picture of an elk. I had to meet him and inquire about the shirt. He was glad to tell me that his son was the football coach of small-town school in the Panhandle of Texas, their mascot was the elk. Their team had won the state championship. The coach had this motto throughout the season: “Whether we win or lose; whether we make the playoffs or not; whether we win the state championship or not, nobody cares, work harder.”  

The thousands of unchurched, unsaved people across Arkansas and across the world, do not care what happens in Jonesboro with Arkansas Baptists. It is and should be important to us. But far more important is that we work harder preaching the Gospel, praying with urgency, and personally discipling believers until Jesus returns. May this Annual Meeting encourage us to work harder to fan the flame of my calling and yours.  

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