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June 2010 Issue

SBC President Johnny Hunt has selected "LoveLoud through the Great Commission" (1 John 3:18) as the theme for this year's sessions. "We've got to 'Love Loud'!" Hunt, senior pastor of the Atlanta-area First Baptist Church in Woodstock, said. "Loud Love moves beyond the four walls of the church. I hope to encourage our folks to roll up their sleeves and get after it. "Our theme verse is clear," Hunt said of 1 John 3:18 — "My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth."
The following recommendations were presented by the Great Commission Task Force May 3, 2010, to be voted upon by the messengers at the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting June 15-16, 2010, in Orlando, Florida. 1. That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in Orlando, Florida, June 15-16, 2010, adopt the following as the mission statement of the Southern Baptist Convention: As a convention of churches, our missional vision is to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every person in the world and to make disciples of all the nations.
Dear Fellow Southern Baptists

In Proverbs 12:25, the Bible states, "Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad." Undoubtedly, some have become a little anxious in this last year as the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force has carried out its assignment entrusted by the 2009 Southern Baptist Convention messengers. We have taken very seriously our assignment and feel deep within our hearts that we have a report that will deliver a Christ-honoring vision for a Great Commission future.

I am personally convinced that many Southern Baptists who were practically unengaged are now "sitting up" and listening intently to what I believe will become a very compelling vision to lead Southern Baptists to their best days. This will only happen as our 42,000-plus pastors, along with staff and laypeople, make a new commitment in their hearts to our Lord Jesus Christ. "The light that shines the farthest shines the brightest at home." As Jesus works in our personal lives and in our churches, we will m...

Morris H. Chapman on the Cooperative Program and Great Commission Giving
Morris H. Chapman, president and chief executive officer of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, responded to the Great Commission Task Force Final Report with a "white paper" called "What's in a name? The Cooperative Program and Great Commission Giving." In his response, he expressed nine concerns about how the Great Commission Task Force's proposed new category of giving, "Great Commission Giving," may impact the Cooperative Program.
Southern Baptist Convention President Johnny Hunt has issued a God-sized challenge for ten thousand Baptists to come as volunteers for Crossover Orlando 2010 on Saturday, June 12. "Wouldn't it be wonderful that instead of having three thousand witnesses for Crossover in Orlando, we would have ten thousand?" Hunt said. "We would overwhelm that city with the love of God."
Seminary Luncheons

Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary

Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary's president, Jeff Iorg, will be the featured speaker at the Alumni and Friends Luncheon at 12:30 p.m. in Room W303 of the Orange County Convention Center's West Building in Orlando. Tickets, at $10 per person, are available by calling 1-888-442-8709 or e-mailing Tickets also can be purchased at Golden Gate's exhibit hall booth.

Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary will host its annual Alumni & Friends Luncheon at noon in Rooms W307A-D of the Orange County Convention Center's West Building on Level 3. MBTS President R. Philip Roberts will provide an update on construction of the new chapel and other campus activities. To make a reservation, contact Midwestern's institutional advancement office at 816-414-3720 or before Thursday, June 10. Reserved tickets, at $15 e...

In 1989 Sandy Excell was looking for a church home around the Las Vegas area.

That's when God used two Crossover volunteers to change her life forever by inviting her to Highland Hills Baptist Church, a new church plant in Henderson.

"I just happened to be home that day from work, and a knock came at the door," she said. "It was two elderly women, I believe. They were just sweet and kind and wanting to spread news of where the church was meeting. So we spoke for a few minutes and they gave me some information, and it was that next Sunday I went ahead and went by myself."

Providentially, she felt at home and ended up joining the congregation. Over the next five years, God used Highland Hills to lead her husband to Christ along with all of her children.

Today, Excell says they might never have been saved if not for those two Southern Baptist v...

Southern Baptists are a diverse people. Nowhere is this diversity more apparent than on the subject of election.

New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

In the steamy heat of August and the chill of January they come to New Orleans — God-called men and women. Some are on their own, with only a few suitcases and a worn Bible. Others are families in minivans, filled with energetic children and hearts for ministry.

They may not know it, but they do not come to seminary alone. According to New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary President Chuck Kelley, their training involves all Southern Baptists working together.

"We feel like that in this process of theological education, it is a multi-party partnership. One part of the partnership is the seminary and its commitment to do theological education as efficiently as possible. That's our responsibility. We ask ourselves all the time, 'Is there a more efficient way of doing this?' We want to have a quality education...

If you have been involved at any level in the Southern Baptist Convention over the last decade you have, no doubt, heard about EKG, which is short for Empowering Kingdom Growth. It is an initiative undertaken by the Southern Baptist Convention in June of 2002 that challenged individuals and churches to look at themselves and ask whether they had Kingdom focus. It could be stated simply with the question — "Does my heart reflect the heart of God?"

An Historical Overview

I was the president of Southwestern Seminary when I first began to hear about Empowering Kingdom Growth early in 2002. In truth, the idea of developing a renewed passion for the King and His Kingdom had been percol...

With discipline instilled in him by his parents and the U.S. Navy, Michael C. Ellis Sr. is pastoring an inner-city church in an economically-depressed area that is committed to missions through the Cooperative Program.

Impact Baptist Church in Memphis last year gave more to missions through the Cooperative Program than any other church in Tennessee that worships in an African-American context, according to statistics compiled by the Tennessee Baptist Convention. It was also the state's African-American leader in baptisms in 2009.

"We understand the biblical principle and significance of giving to the Cooperative Program as outlined in Acts 2," said Ellis about the church he started. "The Cooperative Program is about obeying God. It is a biblical principle with importance, which should inspired and influence by every pastor."

Impact Baptist Church is located in the Frayser sectio...

The Tennessee Flood of 2010, Compiled from articles by Baptist Press and Baptist and Reflector. Baptists Responding to a 1,000-Year Event, Adapted from reports by Baptist Press and the Baptist & Reflector, published by the Tennessee Baptist Convention.

Sometimes our attempts at witnessing don't go the way we would expect — or like. But that doesn't relieve us of the responsibility to present the Gospel, does it? And God is always faithful, as you will see in this testimony from Jay Smith, a member of First Baptist Naples, Florida, where Hayes Wicker is pastor.

Two years ago, I was listening to FAITH testimonies at a church banquet. Our daughter Madison was already involved in this evangelism strategy, so we felt obligated to come and support our daughter and investigate this approach to evangelism — and because our evangelism pastor, Greg Davidson, had invited me and my wife, Cristie, to the banquet.

Not knowing what God had in store for me that particular night, Bobby Welch spoke and he challenged us, stating that it was time for us to "put up or shut up!" It was like he was speaking directly at me, and I start...

When a young girl arrived home from school and told her Mom that she was the smartest student in the class that day, her mom asked how that happened. "We wrote on the blackboard," the girl said proudly, "and I was the only one in the class that could read my writing." It is natural to look at life from our point-of-view. A chicken and elephant were locked in a cage together, and the chicken told the elephant that they needed a few rules. The first was that they not step on each other. We, like the chicken, look at rules and decisions in a way that will best benefit us.

A teenager being interviewed for a job at a movie theatre was asked what he would do if there was a fire at the theatre. The boy said not to worry; he would get out alright. That is not what the boss had in mind. The boss was thinking that he needed someone to care for others. This is what God expected when He established t...

Scholars from Southern Seminary, Southeastern Seminary, and Union University are prominently featured on a new educational Web site that combats the epidemic of biblical illiteracy.

Known as BibleMesh and set to launch in June, the site features a ninety-minute video overview of the entire biblical storyline along with hundreds of one-page articles and two-minute teaching videos explaining key events, people, and ideas in Scripture. A personalized learning tool helps users memorize Bible facts while a social networking feature allows them to interact.

BibleMesh is published by Emmanuel Kampouris, former chairman and CEO of American Standard.

Mark Coppenger, a member of the BibleMesh editorial team and profe...