I write this on the plane ride on our way home and want to thank you for sending Brent and me to the Convention this year. I am so grateful for my time there. I pray that the money spent to send us will bear fruit in our church and that these updates have edified you. As the Convention is now over, this will be my last update. Here are some of today’s reflections:
1. Be careful how you speak
As I reflect on the last few days, I was struck by how often I heard people talk about disunity and a lack of fellowship in the Convention. I want to be clear, there are problems in the SBC that should be addressed. However, I wonder how much disunity results from how often we talk about disunity. The more we tell ourselves we are divided, the more we feel divided in a continuous cycle. I felt that most of the Convention could be summarized by people arguing that the SBC is divided more than issues that legitimately divided us.
Let us be those who are careful how we speak to one another and about circumstances in our lives. Don’t allow perception to dictate reality but seek to wisely discern all things that we may be faithful in the context the Lord has put us.
2. There are faithful churches in the SBC
The day’s highlight for me was hearing Juan Sanchez’s sermon this morning (Josh and Megan Gamboa’s former pastor). He faithfully preached God’s Word from Ephesians. While he is only one man representing one church, he demonstrated that within the SBC, there are pastors committed to loving the local church and leading churches to fidelity to the Scriptures. What an encouragement it was to be around like-minded Christians.
3. Let’s not forget who we are
When we started the revitalization process at BBC, we had a vision to be a church that revitalizes and plants other churches. This morning we went to the North American Mission Board breakfast and heard them talk about the importance of identifying leaders for church planting. I don’t know what this looks like in our church, but I was reinvigorated to think through this mission more deeply. We are a church that desires to know Christ and make Him known. The way God has ordained His name to be made known throughout the world is by the local church planting other local churches. How might Bethel participate in this mission?
4. Jesus is the center of it all
The theme of the Convention this year was “Jesus: The Center of it all.” While I thought the way they went about it was cheesy at times, I do think this worth reflecting on. Our allegiance as a church does not start with a denomination or association. Our allegiance begins and ends with King Jesus Christ. We do not worship an organization or entity; we worship the divine man – Christ the Lord. No matter what happens in the SBC moving forward, I am confident in this: Jesus is the center of it all.
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross (Colossians 1:15-20).
We worship a good and mighty King.
Thank you for allowing me the privilege of serving you in this ministry.