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November 2007 Issue

Morris H. Chapman, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee, urged believers to pray for God to bless them with His wisdom, His glory, His holiness, and His witness of Jesus Christ.

"I believe that if I were praying for my Convention today about any issues, they would be these," Chapman said during his report to Executive Committee members at the SBC Building in Nashville, Tennessee, September 17.

"How desperately we need God's wisdom, and wisdom comes from above," Chapman said. "Knowledge comes from around us, but wisdom comes from above. That's the reason it's possible for a man to know much but not be wise. On the other hand, there are some of the most uneducated men in the world who are very wise in the things of the Lord."

Chapman referred to Proverbs 2, which exhorts Christians to "listen closely to wisdom" and direct their hearts to understanding in order to "understand t...

Executive Committee members and leaders of Southern Baptist Convention entities celebrated Morris H. Chapman's fifteenth anniversary as president of the Executive Committee during a reception in his honor September 17 in Nashville, Tennessee.

"I never imagined having the privilege of serving in a position like this for Southern Baptists, and I can hardly believe it has been fifteen years," Chapman told Baptist Press (BP). "It's not an easy task. It's a responsibility with a lot of challenges, but I have come to one deep conviction and that is, God's hand is upon Southern Baptists.

"I'm grateful for that, and He just helps us along in all we're trying to do and keeps encouraging us and blessing us," Chapman added. "We have a lot for which to be thankful."

During the Executive Committee meeting before the reception, William Harrell, pastor of Abilene Baptist Church in Evans, Georgia, and chairman of t...

Southern Baptist Convention President Frank Page called for continued prayer for a Convention-wide and nationwide revival and gave a glimpse into what he believes it would look like. Page, pastor of First Baptist Church in Taylors, South Carolina, made the comments during his presidential address to the Executive Committee September 17.

"As I travel around the nation and even around the world, I've had a question asked of me ... that I have sometimes fumbled in answering. 'Frank, when revival comes, what will it look like?'" Page recounted. "I've had to answer academically because I have never seen one on a nationwide scale. I can only tell you what I've heard about, what I've read about historically."

Focusing on the words of Acts 1:8 — when the Holy Spirit comes — Page said he believes a revival will have at least three key elements:

A Love for God's Word<...

The issue of leadership has become a hot topic in recent years. Leadership conferences and tools are now found in growing abundance. Nearly everyone agrees that leadership is a key component in healthy church growth, but once that single issue of consensus has been reached, little else seems to be agreed upon. What style of leadership is most effective? How do we recruit and train sufficient leaders for the church? Who can be in leadership? These are all essential and vital questions.

A little over sixteen years ago, I wrote a book entitled The Official Rule Book of the New Church Game. The title was intended to be a "tongue-in-cheek" effort to add a little humor to the discussion of a very serious topic. I regularly declared that "church is not a game." I am more convinced than eve...

Seminary administrator R. Clark Logan Jr. has been elected as vice president for business and finance with the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee, effective October 15.

Logan, 40, will succeed John R. (Jack) Wilkerson, who will retire October 1 after fourteen years in the post.

Executive Committee members gave unanimous approval to Logan during the opening session of their September 17-18 meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.

Logan, a native of Bruce, Mississippi, has been senior vice president for institutional administration at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, since August 2004. He joined the seminary staff in 2000 as assistant director of admissions and was named director of development in January 2001.

Chapman, in introducing Logan to the Executive Committee, noted that he "was already a successful young businessman when he knew that God was calling him .... So it seems as if the Lord is working i...

In Business

The Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee approved legal documents September 18 to allow GuideStone Financial Resources to set up five new subsidiaries providing, among other things, investment financial advice, its own property and casualty insurance, and its own life insurance.

The Executive Committee passed the recommendation following one hour of discussion, most of which focused on whether the committee should study the issue for several more months until its next meeting in February. In the end, the recommendation passed on a show of hands.

"This is something we've been working on a long time," GuideStone President O.S. Hawkins said, adding that the new services of the subsidiaries will be consistent w...

The presidents of Southern Baptist entities individually addressed Executive Committee members September 17-18, highlighting ways that Southern Baptists' Cooperative Program gifts are being used for Kingdom purposes and sharing how their ministries are impacting the world for Christ.

International Mission Board

Jerry Rankin, president of the International Mission Board, said that as late as 1950, Southern Baptists had only about six hundred missionaries working in twenty-seven countries.

"Today to see how God has called out 5,246 missionaries serving in 184 countries gives me an awesome sense of God's providence," Rankin said at the SBC Building in Nashville, Tennessee. "We continue to rejoice in the places they're servi...

Only the second president in the North American Mission Board's ten-year existence, Geoff Hammond — along with 125 new missionaries and seven chaplains — was charged and commissioned during ceremonies at Eagles Landing First Baptist Church in McDonough, Georgia.

Unanimously elected to the post by NAMB's trustees in March, Hammond officially took office in May.

Some 1,400 people attended the October 8 service, which also was streamed live via the Internet. It featured a processional of seventy-five U.S., state, and Canadian flags, borne by NAMB staffers, middle school, and high school students; special praise and worship music by solo artists and the church's choir and orchestra; and commissioning prayers and sermons.

In introducing Hammond, his wife Debbie and two sons, Timothy and Nicholas, NAMB trustee chairman Bill Curtis said, "Nights like this help all of us to remember what NAMB is all about. It's about the missionaries, a...

First Baptist Longview

My father was a rough-necked miner who could cuss the wallpaper off the wall, and the next thing I know he gets saved and called to the ministry." Kevin White, pastor of First Baptist Church in Longview, Washington, credits the salvation of his entire family to God's work through the Cooperative Program.

"I was born and raised in the western states," White explained. "If it hadn't been for a mountain missionary who came to the gold mining town of Crescent, Nevada, who knows what my life would be like today? There was no church in the town where I lived — not any church. This missionary came out every Thursday night and held worship services, and in the summers, Vacation Bible School."

That missionary's salary came from the Cooperative Program, Southern Baptists' channel of combining the efforts and resources of local churches to make a difference in the lives of people across the nation and ...

On Pastors, Culture, and Civic Duty

WHEREAS, Scripture directs Christ's followers, including spiritual leaders, to function as salt and light in the culture and to fulfill their civic responsibilities (Matthew 5:13-16, 40-42; 17:24-27; 22:21; Romans 13:1-7); and

WHEREAS, The Old Testament contains many examples of spiritual leaders engaging culture and government, such as: Moses, who petitioned Pharaoh for the liberty of God's people (Exodus 5-12); Elijah, who confronted King Ahab for promoting idolatry and immorality (1 Kings 18); Isaiah, who condemned moral decay in the culture (Isaiah 1); Amos, who inveighed against injustice in society (Amos 5); and a host of other prophetic leaders; and

WHEREAS, The New Testament also contains examples of spiritual leaders engaging culture and government, such as: John the Baptist, who pointed out the adultery of a political ruler (Mark 6:17-18); the Lord Jesus, who enc...

Webster's II Dictionary defines thanking as "To express gratitude to," and Dictionary.com defines thanksgiving as "the act of giving thanks; grateful acknowledgment of benefits or favors, esp. to God; an expression of thanks, esp. to God; a public celebration in acknowledgment of divine favor or kindness; and a day set apart for giving thanks to God."

Our Bible is filled with verses of giving thanks, being thankful, and being full of thanksgiving.

What are you thankful for this season? I'm thankful for a girl that loved Jesus and who I followed all the way to the altar. I'm thankful for Rev. Bob Mowery who was ready to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with me, a teenage boy, who wanted to be like that girl I had met.

Of course, I'm thankful for many, many things in my life, but nothing impacted my life like deciding to follow Christ. The rest of my life was ch...

Emotions are a gift from God. Jesus was glad when the little children were brought to Him. He was sad when He stood at the tomb of Lazarus. He was angry when He drove the moneychangers from the Temple. Like other emotions, anger is an emotion we all feel. Have you been angry this week? It isn't whether we get angry; it's how we handle the anger. When your temper gets the best of you, people see the worst in you! Anger is the wind that blows out the lamp of the mind. We forget what we are doing and say and do things we shouldn't.

US News and World Report says that the number one emotion that characterizes America today is the emotion of anger. Anger is just one letter away from danger.

One study found that people are twice as likely to have a heart attack if there is unresolved anger in their lives. It also found that men get angry six times a week and women get angry three times a week. I know that you are thinking your wife is about average.

...

More Youth Have Negative Views of Christianity

Only 16 percent of non-Christians in their late teens and 20s say they have a good impression of Christianity, and one of the most frequent criticisms is that the church has made homosexuality a bigger sin than anything else, according to a recent study by The Barna Group.

A "growing sense of disengagement and disillusionment" has caused sixteen- to twenty-nine-year-olds to "exhibit a greater degree of criticism toward Christianity than did previous generations when they were at the same stage of life," Barna said. In fact, the research indicated the age group is "more skeptical of and resistant to Christianity than were people of the same age just a decade ago."

Common negative perceptions that today's youth have, Barna said, are that Christianity is judgmental (87 percent), hy...