As a longtime Baptist journalist I’ve attended more meetings than most people. As a result, I confess to not always being excited about going to another conference. Then, something special happens at one of them. It’s usually related to something on the stage, but it’s mostly about what’s going on inside me.
That happened again Monday night at the Engage: Evangelizing Texas Conference. And based on what I saw and heard afterward, I wasn’t alone.
I know a lot of people say that the day of the evangelism conference has passed. I don’t know about that, but I do know that about 400 people had the opportunity Monday night to have their hearts stirred for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with others. And, in my book, that’s a very good thing. I don’t think it needs to be compared to the “good old days” of bigger numbers or recent days of nothing. It was just good, very good.
There are a lot of questions being raised today about the future of denominations. I can honestly say that I don’t have the answers to all of those questions, and I’m pretty sure some of the people who think they have the answers are as clueless as me and don’t know it. What I do think, is that if conventions can help churches do evangelism, missions and ministry, there will be a place for such conventions. Engage reminded me of that reality.
I must say, friends, that I tire of dealing with the critical spirit that seems to pervade Baptist work at times. Will the “can do” people please stand up.
There is always a place for questions in Baptist life; and there is an equal place for differences. But sometimes it gets easier to continue in a mode of criticism of others instead of joining our arms together and moving forward as best we can to lead people to Christ, disciple the saved and minister to the hurting.
My wife and I disagree with each other at times, but we never grow critical of one another as people. We love each other, and we try to show it. We find ways to move forward with the things that are important to our family.
I pray Texas Baptists, all of us, can move forward for Christ.
Pardon me for getting a little preachy. It’s not part of my job description, but it’s part of me.