Striking the Waters: Reflections on the SBC 2024

On Monday, June 10, 2024, about 350 SCBaptists gathered in an Indiana hotel conference room to fellowship, encourage one another, and be reminded of why we do what we do. The SCBaptist spirit of cooperation was rich and powerful. That was my favorite moment of the entire week. In the aftermath, as always, news headlines […]

Striking the Waters: A Unity of Purpose and Consecration 

On May 13, 1924, Southern Baptists from across the country gathered for their annual business session in Memphis, Tenn. Awakened to global opportunity, enlivened by organizational potential, unified by a burgeoning denominational consciousness, and determined to maximize their sacrifices in the most efficient manner, they leaned in with great expectation to hear Chairman M.E. Dodd’s […]

Striking the Waters: On the SCBaptist Disposition in Indianapolis 

On June 10–12, 2024, thousands of Southern Baptists will gather in Indianapolis for the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting. Hundreds of SCBaptists will be among them. My prayer is that the SCBaptist kind of cooperative spirit will prevail. SCBaptists can model a biblical disposition while influencing contemporary direction. Here are six appeals toward that end. […]

Striking the Waters: A Comprehensive Strategy for Missions Giving 

Late last year, I enjoyed casual conversation at an SCBaptist association’s monthly pastor gathering. We discussed Baptist doctrine, organization, mission, and funding. Several in the room asked for help with a practical strategy for funding our shared mission work locally, statewide, nationally, and globally. Each church can make a huge difference around the corner and […]

Striking the Waters: The Priority of Personal Evangelism 

Many years ago, I pastored a normative size church in a rural town. Once a month I shared a meal with a pastor friend from a neighboring city whom I had met at an associational meeting. I needed that friendship more than I knew at the time. We encouraged, sharpened, and challenged one another. Pastors […]

Striking the Waters: A Very Good Place to Start

When Maria (Julie Andrews) began to teach the von Trapp children the musical alphabet in The Sound of Music, she decided to “start at the very beginning.” Remember why? Because it’s “a very good place to start.” It’s often difficult to start anywhere else. I am not a huge fan of reading fiction, but one […]

Striking the Waters: Noel — Great Wonders Through Unlikely People

Many unexpected treasures are embedded in the Christmas story. One of these treasures is the simple but life-changing truth that God often works through the unlikeliest of people to accomplish the greatest of wonders. Three operative human characters are cast in Luke 1:39–45. Each of them is an unlikely character on that first noel. MARY. […]

Striking the Waters: An SCBaptist Thanksgiving Song (Psalm 136)

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.” Psalm 136 is one of my favorites this time of year. With 26 occurrences, the refrain may seem repetitive to some, but to me it’s a solemn reminder of God’s interminable, faithful love for me and all His people: “His faithful love endures forever.” Verses 1-3 […]

Striking the Waters: An Invitation to Prayer

Dear Reader, allow me to invite you to a very special, convention-wide prayer gathering Monday night, Nov. 13, from 8:30–9:30 p.m. at Shandon Baptist Church in Columbia. We’ll sing a couple of songs, but this is not a praise and worship gathering. We’ll shake hands and give hugs, but this is not a fellowship gathering. […]