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October 2010 Issue

Southern Baptists have been given a tremendous opportunity to help fulfill the Great Commission in their lifetime, but it will take a radical reassessment of priorities to make it happen, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention told trustees of the SBC Executive Committee on September 21.

"With the passion of the young adult Christians of today, with the modern means of travel, with the modern technology, God has given us an opportunity to fulfill His Great Commission in our lifetime," Bryant Wright said. "The question we have to ask is, even though our denomination will just be one part of His Kingdom enterprise, are we as Southern Baptists going to be willing to pay the price — the radical price — to do what it takes to see that the Gospel is taken to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts in our lifetime?"

The realistic possibility that the Gospel could, in the words of Matthew 24:14, "be preached in the whole wor...

The Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee unanimously declined September 21 to recommend that Baptist Press (BP) be made a separate entity, and instead affirmed a 1982 study on the matter that reached the same conclusion.

The Executive Committee considered the matter after SBC messenger Marty King, editor of the Illinois Baptist newspaper, made a motion at the annual meeting in June that the Executive Committee consider establishing Baptist Press as a separate entity, with its own board of directors and with similar funding as it receives now. Baptist Press currently is part of the Executive Committee.

Executive Committee members discussed the motion in workgroup and subcommittee meetings; each group unanimously recommended that the EC retain oversight of Baptist Press. The full body voted to report to SBC messengers next year in Phoenix that "...

During a brief greeting to Executive Committee members in Nashville, Tennessee, on September 21, Frank Page, then president-elect of the Executive Committee, emphasized the importance of partnerships in the Gospel ministry.

"The Bible tells us in Philippians chapter 1 that there is a partnership in the Gospel. The New King James Version calls it a fellowship, but most versions call it a partnership in the Gospel," said Page, who assumed the role of president October 1.

"I want to pledge to you my partnership with you. I pledge that to you, and when I say I am a partner with you, that means a great deal to me because partners work alongside one another. They take care of one another."

Page said the Greek term paraclete, though often translated "comforter" or "encourager," comes from classical Greek literature in which two Greek soldiers were pair...

In appreciation for his service, Morris H. Chapman was named to the honorary position of president emeritus of the Executive Committee and was presented the M.E. Dodd Award for Cooperative Program support during a retirement dinner September 20 in Nashville, Tennessee.

"Dr. Chapman, no entity leader has been a greater ambassador for the Cooperative Program and its promotion Convention-wide than you," Roger Spradlin, chairman of the Executive Committee, told Chapman.

Throughout his tenure as pastor of four churches over a span of twenty-five years and as president of the Executive Committee for eighteen years, Chapman led the way in his support of Southern Baptists' method for funding missions, Spradlin said.

"During each of his thirteen years at First Baptist Church, Wichita Falls, Texas, the church's Cooperative Program gifts were in the top 1 percent in the Southe...

An Interview with Frank Page President and Chief Executive Officer of the SBC Executive Committee

Editor's note: Dr. Frank Page began his service as president and chief executive officer of the SBC Executive Committee on October 1, 2010. In August, SBC LIFE chatted with him about his new role.

From your perspective, what will be your primary role as president and chief executive officer of the Executive Committee?

I believe my primary role as president and chief executive officer the Executive Committee will be to help coordinate the work of our wonderful Convention. I see also my primary role as being an encou...

Block parties, festivals, and other evangelistic events are essential ingredients for effective churches, according to a study by the Scarborough Center for Baptist Church Planting at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in conjunction with the North American Mission Board.

"Our findings suggest that many of our nation's most effective evangelistic churches are utilizing attractional evangelistic events," said Jerry Pipes, team leader for mass evangelism at NAMB.

Researchers started by polling 3,200 Southern Baptist churches last year as part of the Evangelistic Event Research Project. From that group, they identified five hundred "A-churches" and five hundred "B-churches."

A-churches were those with a membership of fifty or more who experienced at least 10 percent growth between 2002 and 2007 and baptized more than twelve people in 2007. They had a me...

Soft breezes and sun filter along the Black Hills near Custer to fill a rustic camp at the edge of town. As evening settles, Jeff "Noose" Nuzziard performs a sound check for a band from Nixa, Missouri.

Bikers find a space in the grass to relax and listen after a long day of riding and sightseeing in the region. More than 600,000 bikers rolled into Sturgis, South Dakota, August 9-15 for the 70th Annual Sturgis Rally, the biggest biker party in the country. But the clean and sober Jazer Camp a few miles outside Custer offered a different tenor from the free-for-all in other parts of the Black Hills.

For $10 a night, bikers get a place to park their ride and pitch their tent, and they're provided two good meals a day and good bands playing into the evening. Lodging is at a premium during the rally, as are locations where drugs, sex, and alcohol don't flow freely. This makes the camp an ideal respite for weary road warriors and likewise a plac...

With a campus spanning 170 acres in suburban Kansas City, Missouri, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has undergone a radical transformation in its infrastructure. Signs of growth are everywhere, and none is more apparent than the construction of a 1,000-seat chapel complex.

Other recent additions include purchasing a building with faculty office and classroom space, total renovation of the Trustees Classroom Building, new campus apartments, and remodeled student housing as well. Future plans include a state-of-the-art library renovation to consolidate the seminary's existing volumes and provide a new home for the school's C.H. Spurgeon Collection.

The underlying reason for this vibrant growth is a significant student population increase and the seminary leadership's desire to provide an environment conducive to enhancing theological education opportunity.

The institution&#...

"In late dark of night they dragged me from my house and took me to jail where they stripped me naked and three men beat me several times, until I was unconscious, and left me in puddles of blood. They had fiercely wrapped big sticks with cloth so the beatings would not break anymore skin.

"Just before daylight I was dumped near my house and told, 'Stop your Christian church meetings so we will not have to do this to you again and again!'"

Bobby Welch leaned forward with one elbow on their corner table to be certain he heard this persecuted brother correctly ... speaking had gotten very quiet as he listened to the testimony. It was Welch's third such conversation in this country — one of those unnamed countries of the world where Christian missionaries and witnessing are illegal.

Later in the week he was able to position himself to help put an end to the all...

The scope of human suffering in Pakistan is staggering — and only expected to worsen, Southern Baptist relief workers reported from that flood-ravaged country in late August.

More than seventeen million people had been driven from their homes, and the Southern Baptist relief workers in the area pray that Southern Baptists will continue to respond and give generously.

By the end of August, about six hundred families in Pakistan's Sindh province were receiving desperately needed food supplies, thanks to the generosity of Christians who have donated to the Southern Baptist World Hunger Fund.

Bags of staple foods have been assembled by teams of disaster relief volunteers trained by Baptist Global Response (BGR), an international relief and development organization. The bags were funded by $12,500 specifically designated from the World Hunger Fund, said Francis Horton, who with his ...

Volunteers were mobilized from five Southern Baptist churches on Thursday, August 12, to assist with water distribution in the city of Ames, Iowa. Flooding caused major disruption in the city that has a population of about fifty thousand and is home of Iowa State University. Streets and businesses were flooded and a mobile home park was submerged along Duff Avenue, in the south part of the city. Athletic facilities on the campus of Iowa State University were flooded, including the basketball stadium. The water system was polluted by flood waters after several key water mains broke during street flooding. Most of the city was under a boil order, indicating that water is not safe for drinking or bathing unless it is boiled.

Supplies of bottled water available at retailers became scarce almost immediately as the boil order went into effect.

Local emergency officials arranged for five water distribution p...

Editor's note: This article originally ran in December 2009 in The Dispatch, the regional newspaper for Davidson County, North Carolina. It is reprinted here as a reminder of the strategic ministry our associations have in galvanizing their partner churches to reach their communities with the Gospel. May this account serve as a reminder of the opportunity to partner with other churches in your association to demonstrate the Lord's love and proclaim the Good News of Christ to those in need throughout your association.

A group of churches in Davidson County, North Carolina, have again banded together to raise money and purchase gifts for those less fortunate this Christmas.

The Liberty Baptist Association Toy Store is a program much like the community's Empty Stocking Fund, where the Southern Baptist churches in Davidson County raise cash and provide unwrapped gi...

It is no secret that, over the last thirty years, the presence and influence of Calvinism has grown within the Southern Baptist Convention.


It was a "horrendous" business meeting, said Tom Fanning, a member of New Hope Baptist Church for less than a year when the Watertown, New York, congregation wrangled in 1996 over their inability to meet the church's budget.

"It was quite an uproar," said Fanning, a former electrician who now works with Southern Baptists' summertime World Changers community outreach. "Some people wanted to know why we were sending money to 'this Cooperative Program thing' when we needed...

I love this time of the year because we have settled in from summer vacations and are now back to "seriously soldiering for the Savior." It's the time of the year when pastors across the country are pleading for you to be a soul winner and to come join a team in order to either learn how to share your faith or to get back on track about being intentional by having a specific day, each week, to go out and share and encourage those in our community. You see this modeled in the testimony of Chris Murdock, Pastor of Ruhama Baptist Church in Fort Payne, Alabama.

When you participate in an organized evangelism strategy, you get an opportunity to obey the Great Commission, win souls into the Kingdom of God, and change the community in which you live. You also learn a highly effective method for sharing the Gospel in a comfortable, conversational way. I have used the FAITH outline to win souls dur...

A pastor asked his congregation to write down and turn in to him a list of what their fears were. He consolidated 525 different fears into seventy-three categories. Some of these were the fear of the dark, water, fire, not finding God's will, helplessness, loss of memory, MTV, sadness, judgment, not being worthy of God's love, old age, change, the unknown .... One person's handwriting was undistinguishable — was it fear of creatures or preachers? A staff member read it as well and said there really wasn't much difference in the two.

We all have fears; some we keep hidden but some we share with others. Do you fear job loss, that your kids will make mistakes with grave consequences, disease? Do you fear the death of a loved one — as I write, it is the anniversary of the death of our grandson Jake. I know that fear well.

A wave of fear is sweeping across America today. Someone ...

Buddhist Extremists Continue to Persecute Christians

Buddhist extremists detained eight Chakma Christians, members of a Baptist church in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh, for four days in August.

The extremists held the men — a pastor, church secretary, village leader, and five church members — captive in a Buddhist temple to attempt to force them to return to Buddhism, international Christians Grady and Josette Lindem* reported.

During their captivity, the Buddhist extremists forced the men to adopt a Buddhist lifestyle and worship. The Christian believers had to wear Buddhist robes, shave their heads, bow down before a statue of Buddha, and clean the temple, the Lindems said. The extremists ...