Younger Baptist leaders have everything to gain and nothing to lose by connecting to the resources of Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Matt Capps and John Mark Harrison are wise to tap into these resources and to share the value of these ministry connections with other young pastors. Read their story in this week’s print edition of the Biblical Recorder and online.
I attended my first SBC annual meeting when I was 26 years old. A few years later, the conservative resurgence began, and I saw clearly the importance of participating in these annual gatherings. The pastor of the church where I grew up did not attend convention meetings. But I was serving in my first church staff position and the pastor – who regularly attended SBC annual meetings – encouraged me to attend the Norfolk meeting in 1976. And, it was near my wife’s home, so we had additional incentive to visit the family!
I was not what you would call a "convention loyalist," but I quickly saw many benefits to going to these conventions.
My first N.C. Baptist convention meeting was six years later when I was 32. Initially, I did not feel the connection there as strongly as I did with the SBC, but that changed. Many other young pastors got involved, seeing the importance of influencing the direction of the state convention. We saw Mark Corts, a young pastor from Winston-Salem, elected as president of the convention when he was only 40 years old. Young leadership is important! Corts was a premier model of leadership.
I pray that every young pastor in the state will follow the example of Capps and Harrison. Everyone will benefit, and the kingdom will move along more effectively.
Join me in congratulating another young man in N.C. Baptist life. Brian Hemphill has been tapped to follow the outstanding work of Rick Holbrook, who is retiring from 32 years at the North Carolina Baptist Assembly at Fort Caswell. Brian is well equipped to follow his boss as Caswell’s new director. Pray for him and let Brian know you are praying for him.
I would like to hear from you if you have any feedback from my editorial this week. I shared a few comments about criticism. Let’s talk about it. I look forward to receiving your comments.
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