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Ronnie Floyd: Planning to lead with ‘pastor’s heart’ | Article from Baptist Press

NASHVILLE (BP) — In his office on the seventh floor of the SBC Building in Nashville, Ronnie Floyd sat down with Baptist Press to talk about his first fast-paced, meeting-filled week on the job as president of Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee.

Floyd wrapped up his final sermon as pastor of Cross Church in Springdale, Ark., this past Sunday (May 19). And following the EC presidential search committee’s election of Floyd in April, he has hit the ground running getting ready for Monday (May 20), his first official day on the job.

During his interview, he discussed the challenges Southern Baptists face in today’s culture, and he shared how he has developed more of an appreciation for his new role.

“I know that I’ve got to lead in a way that is different than this position has ever had someone to lead,” Floyd told BP Tuesday (May 21), noting he has no desire to lead in a “business-as-usual” way. “Clear, strong, compelling, visionary leadership [is needed] because we can’t stay the same. There are some areas we’re just not doing real well in, but there are some areas we are doing exceptionally well in.”

Floyd’s comments came as this week’s Annual Church Profile report showed decreases in baptisms and attendance, while also showing an increase in giving. See related BP story.

“As we look forward,” Floyd told Baptist Press in a statement after seeing the report on Thursday (May 24), “it is time to press reset spiritually and strategically in the Southern Baptist Convention. Prioritizing and elevating the advancement of the good news of Jesus Christ into every town, city and county in America, as well to every person across the world, must be recaptured by every church.”

Bring Southern Baptists together

Floyd acknowledged there is too much division in the nation and Southern Baptist life. And Southern Baptists, he said, need a “refocusing of our mission” to spread the Gospel.

“I don’t remember a time when the American culture has been so divided, so at each other, so troubled from what this person says to that person says,” Floyd told BP.

“… I’m seeing a lot of disarray in the nation, a lot of division,” he noted. “And rather than many of our churches leaning towards a New Testament model of unity that is built upon the Great Commission and Christian love — taking the Gospel to the world — we’ve kind of entered into that discussion about how we’re just as divided at times as what the country is, and that’s not our role.”

He added, “We need to understand we need each other and if we really believe that people need Jesus then we had better come together to do everything we can to present the Gospel of Christ to every person in the world and make disciples of all the nations.”

Confronting sexual abuse

Another issue Floyd faces in his new role is helping lead Southern Baptists in their ongoing response to the sexual abuse crisis, reported on in the Houston Chronicle in February and in other media reports.

Floyd said he is focusing a lot of time and energy on how the issue will be addressed by Southern Baptists during the SBC’s annual meeting in Birmingham, June 11-12.

The response, he said, needs to be delivered in the most “Christ-honoring way to build the safest environment we can in our churches and stand boldly and courageously against all sexual abuse.”

“We need to leave Birmingham with there being no debate about where we are, where there are definitive actions that everybody knows … this is what we are going to do,” Floyd said, noting weeks of preparation before officially beginning his duties this week. “So, I’ve been after it … I believe deeply we’ve got to deal with that in the right way.”

A pastor’s heart

Floyd shared how he and his wife Jeana are both committed to the calling that the Lord has put before them to serve in their new roles.

Ultimately, Floyd said believes in the mission of Southern Baptists and wants to “give the best I have towards that,” he said. “God has called me here. I know that. And I’m walking by faith in that.”

He also expressed his support of the Cooperative Program — the SBC’s giving channel for missions and ministry — and how each church can elevate that support in some way. Cross Church has given nearly $11.5 million through the Cooperative Program during Floyd’s pastoral tenure, according to ACP data.

“Every church can do something,” he said. “We can do more. And I want to be faithful to whatever that more is. The Cooperative Program is the fuel that literally lifts and energizes and empowers everything we do.”

And Floyd shared his desire to influence younger generations and show them positive, strong leadership and to help lead an SBC they can be proud to cooperate with in the years to come.

“I get excited about the next generation … to hand them a convention that they will embrace and they will forward and they will love, they will want to pass it down to their kids,” he said. “Because of what? Structure? No. But because of a mission that is so worthy that it calls us to do whatever it takes.”

Floyd noted, “I’m a pastor. I’m going to lead from a pastor’s heart and I’m going to work hard in trying to bring us together and move forward together. And that’s what I’m going to do.”

This article was originally posted on

Pastors: Lead Your Church to Give Through the Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention

Pastors, take the lead, share the burden, and encourage your church to give through the Cooperative Program of our Southern Baptist Convention.

I realize pastors are not personally responsible for their church’s contribution amounts. But what we can do is lead, share the burden with our church, and encourage them to allocate more monies toward reaching our own states, our nation, and the entire globe with the Good News of Jesus Christ.

This Vision Begins with God

I believe Jesus died for every person in the world. I believe each follower of Christ and each church is commanded to present the gospel to every person in this world and to make disciples of all the nations.

This vision begins with God: For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (CSB)

None of us can do this alone, and no church can do this alone. Jesus’ call to each of us is overwhelming, but not impossible. That is why we need each other. That is why our churches work together.

How will we accomplish what Jesus calls us to do?

This is How We Can Accomplish This Vision Together

We can accomplish this vision together by leading our churches to give more than ever before through the Cooperative Program so we can reach every state, our entire nation, and the nations of the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe this is the most effective strategy churches can embrace in order to finish the unfinished task given to us by Jesus Christ.

For the 47,000 churches of our Southern Baptist Convention, the Cooperative Program is our unified strategy to be part of reaching the world for Jesus Christ.

4 Reasons Why Our Church Participates in This Vision

Our church is giving more than ever before through the Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention. In our new budget that we just began on October 1, 2018, we increased our commitment again in a significant manner. Please consider these reasons for joining us in doing the same through your church:

1. It is more about the mission than money

The compelling mission of Jesus Christ to be His witnesses regionally, statewide, nationally, and internationally is what the Cooperative Program has been built upon, is built upon, and must be built upon in the future. Mission, not money, is the end goal.

2. It is more about unifying us than dividing us

Keeping the convictional call before your church to take the gospel to every person in your community, your state, our nation, and the world will unify your church. When the Southern Baptist Convention keeps this same vision before our 47,000 plus churches, it leads us toward walking in unity.

3. It is more about working together than working alone

While you may go faster alone, you will only go farther together. Cooperating to take the gospel to the world will take us toward penetrating the lostness in this world. Yes, working together is more difficult than working alone. But I can assure you, it is worth doing, and the gospel will be advanced so much more effectively.

4. It is more about your church than our convention

God has not called a convention to take the gospel to the world. God has called each of us personally and every church to take the gospel to this world. It is incumbent on us to finish this task. When we partner together in a cooperative manner, we will advance the mission of the gospel so much more strategically and effectively.

We Can Reach the World Together

Why do I believe this? Because God so loved the world! Yes, Jesus died for the entire world. Because He did, we must now give the best of our lives to ensure every person hears of Jesus and His love. Let’s finish this unfinished task together.

Now is the Time to Lead,

Ronnie W. Floyd