My Vision for the GBC Presidency

On November 14th, if the Lord wills, my name will be placed in nomination for the presidency of the Georgia Baptist Convention.  I wanted to write a few short posts and share my simple vision for potentially serving in this capacity.

First, I want to be a champion for the ReachingNextGen emphasis that is being unveiled by our convention staff.  Learn more at www.reachingnextgen.com

In the last several years, God has given great favor to the church where I pastor in reaching, teaching, and retaining middle school and high school students.  In a rural community of about 4,000 people, Emmanuel Baptist averages 130-140 students each week.

A key to this growth has been my own personal involvement with our student ministry.  Every week, I lead worship for our Wednesday night student ministry.  I travel to their camps and retreats where I lead and teach.  Every pastor may not be able to play the guitar and lead the latest worship songs, but we must all be personally involved with and committed to reaching this next generation.  I’m excited about the possibility of helping to lead that charge!

The statewide statistics on conversion and retention rates among this age group are not very encouraging.  In fact, in the most recent statistical years, the average youth baptisms among Georgia Baptist churches is ONE.  And the most common youth baptismal number is ZERO.

While we must be cautious that we don’t elevate any statistic to an unhealthy status, this statistic cannot be acceptable to us.  Every church, starting with my own congregation, must redouble our commitment to share the gospel with our children and teenagers.  We must commit to see them evangelized, baptized, and discipled.
One of the most effective ways to share the gospel is through a personal testimony.  If elected, I intend to help launch a “That’s My Story” initiative.  I would love to help mobilize teens and college students to confirm, write, memorize, and share their salvation testimony with their peers.

It has been a joy to serve alongside Dr. Bob White and Dr. Steve Parr.  I have been blessed with tremendous relationships with these men.  It would be an honor to work with them and other convention staff as your president to champion this ReachingNextGen emphasis across our state.

Now is the time for unity around the Great Commission.  The hour is too late, the need is too great, the consequences are too high, and the reward is too incredible to do any less.

I humbly ask for your help and support in continuing to unite this state convention, prepare us for the future, and win Georgia to Jesus.