Archive for April, 2016
Mom and Dad were pillars in our small church. In fact, they helped build our little church building. I remember after Dad had worked long hours in his job as a door-to-door salesman, Mom would get home from work, make supper, and we would take it to Dad at the church. I remember sitting on the floor, watching Dad eat as he paused from stapling ceiling tiles.
Church was their life! Beyond the Lord, His church, and family, we did little to nothing except high school football.
My Small Home Church was Really Small
My home church reached about thirty to forty people weekly. Periodically, we might even crawl above forty or fifty people, but would soon subside to our normal attendance. How do I remember all of that? It’s simple. Those numbers were posted weekly on the Sunday School attendance board placed in the small Worship Center Dad helped build.
I vividly remember how I thought a large church was the church in town that touched as many as two hundred people on Sunday. This was all I knew. When I left for college, someone asked me where I would want to go if I ever had the opportunity to pastor a church. I told them, “If I could one day come back and pastor that large church, it would be great.” Honestly, it was pretty well the largest church I knew about.
My Small Home Church was So Small
Most people would not imagine my roots being in a small church, but I have testified about it for years.
My small home church was so small that:
- Anyone could share their testimony whenever they wanted.
- Anyone could suggest their favorite hymn and it would be sung.
- Monthly business meetings were held on Wednesday nights with the following “King James Version” order:
- Minutes of the previous meeting read aloud
- Treasurer’s Report, giving publicly each monthly expense
- Old Business and yes, some of it was very old
- New Business, most of which was Old Business that still needed to be settled, OR ideas a person thought we ought to consider, and even public airing of burdens and grievances.
- Sunday nights the preacher did not “feel led” to preach, but opened it up for testimonies. This usually involved the same people saying the same thing, testifying about their Lord.
- Wednesday night prayer meetings seemed endless, involving prayer requests and updates, spoken requests and “unspoken requests” (which I still do not understand), as well as a season of prayer that seemed like an eternity for those of us who were kids.
- Our pastor usually transitioned every 18-30 months.
- We went to Sunday School, Worship, had the preacher over for lunch, (not FOR lunch) took a quick nap, then returned for Training Union and Sunday Night Worship.
- We went to someone’s home each Sunday night after church or had people at our home, usually for popcorn and Coke, and occasionally something like a cake leftover from lunch.
- I led worship as a young teenager, and once I became a Christian and called to ministry, I preached repeatedly through my young ministry years.
- I was the ONLY student in the Sunday School class and in Training Union, both of which were taught by the same teacher.
I understand how some small churches operate. These are my roots.
Three Powerful Lessons My Small Church Roots Taught Me
My roots are so deep in a small church, most lessons I learned about the Christian life and church, I learned in that environment. Today, I recognize more about their value than I realized then. Here are three powerful lessons I am so grateful I learned in my small church roots.
Lesson #1: The Bible is the Word of God
In our small church, the Bible was not questioned. We knew the Bible was the Word of God, completely infallible, and without error.
Lesson #2: The Priority of the Local Church
There was never a debate about the priority of our church. We were taught the church’s priority growing up, and Dad and Mom did not tolerate anything otherwise. I was engaged in church regardless of my desire or schedule.
Lesson #3: The Value of Personal Evangelism
Every Tuesday night, I was at church visitation. Many times I went with my pastor or other church leaders who taught me how to lead people to Christ.
Personal evangelism was expected in my church, even though we were small in membership and attendance. Looking back, it might seem abnormal that a small church was so focused on personal evangelism. But as a teenager, I knew God wanted to use me to win others to Christ.
These ARE My Roots!
These are my roots and I am so grateful for them. They shaped my life and even my vision. I love the opportunity to assist or engage any small church or her pastor. I stand grateful to God for my home church in Texas, which later merged with another church, a Hispanic church. My sister, Linda, serves full-time as their Church Secretary.
Additionally, I am grateful for each small church I pastored in my younger years, each small church in which I have ever preached, and every pastor of any smaller membership church, for he pays a great price but experiences exuberate joy by leading some of God’s greatest people on this planet.
1,000 thank yous, God, for my small church roots!
Now is the Time to Lead
Ronnie W. Floyd
We are 50 days from our 2016 Southern Baptist Convention. I have already announced both our 2016 Committee on Committees and our 2016 Committee on Resolutions. Today, I announce the appointments of three other very important groups.
Thirty years ago this June, Dr. Barry McCarty began serving as our Chief Parliamentarian. Dr. Charles Stanley, 1986 SBC President, announced his appointment. For these past thirty years, Dr. McCarty has served our convention, and has been our Chief Parliamentarian for twenty-eight years.
When we introduce our former presidents in our Tuesday morning session, we will also honor and celebrate Dr. McCarty’s service that began thirty years ago this summer. Do not miss this grand Tuesday morning session.
Assisting Chief Parliamentarian Dr. Barry McCarty:
- Dr. Adam Greenway, Dean, Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
- Dr. Craig Culbreth, Missions and Ministry—Lead Catalyst, Florida Baptist Convention
- Amy Whitfield, Director of Communications, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Amy may be the first woman ever appointed as an assistant parliamentarian in the modern history of the Southern Baptist Convention.)
- Dr. John Sullivan, Retired Executive Director, Florida Baptist Convention
These five leaders will serve as parliamentarians for our 2016 Southern Baptist Convention. They will work together and with me to ensure all meetings proceed in an orderly fashion. Please pray for them.
2016 Credentials Committee
The Credentials Committee reviews and verifies the credentials of each registered messenger. According to SBC Bylaw 8, as president, I am to appoint this committee no less than thirty days prior to the convention meeting. It also states this committee will review and rule upon any questions that may arise in registration concerning the credentials of messengers. If any contention arises concerning the seating of messengers, it is this committee who will consider the situation and report back to the Convention.
This committee will work in the registration area one day prior to the convention, as well as meet with the Registration Secretary, who oversees all matters relating to their responsibilities. Dr. Jim Wells of Missouri serves as our Registration Secretary for the Southern Baptist Convention.
This committee is very important. We live in a unique day in our nation and our convention. We want to ensure all churches represented at our annual meeting have not veered away from our doctrinal beliefs and/or are not operating outside of our Constitution relating to what it means to be a cooperating church. You can read about what this means in Article III of our Constitution.
It is an honor and joy to announce the co-chairmen of this committee. Together, they will lead through this great task to God’s glory. I have named two wonderful scholars and committed Southern Baptists to lead this committee: Dr. Jeff Crawford, President, Cross Church School of Ministry and Teaching Pastor of Cross Church in Northwest Arkansas and Dr. Chris Johnson, Pastor, First Baptist Church in Van Buren Arkansas. I have complete confidence in these two men as they work together to lead our 2016 Credentials Committee.
Our 2016 Credentials Committee:
- Jeff Crawford (Co-Chairman) – Cross Church – Northwest, AR
- Chris Johnson (Co-Chairman) – First Baptist Church – Van Buren, AR
- Kirk Carlisle – Pinewood Baptist Church – Pinewood, SC
- Aaron Colyer – First Baptist Church – Roswell, NM
- Michael Cooper – Grace Community Church – Mabank, TX
- Larry Craig – First Baptist Church – Troup, TX
- Joshua Crutchfield – First Baptist Church – Trenton, TX
- Eric Cummings – New Life Baptist Church – Carol City, FL
- Dan Eddington – Island City Baptist Church – Wilmington, IL
- Jeffrey Friend – Suburban Baptist Church – New Orleans, LA
- Jordan Lee Hill – Highland Baptist Church – Grove City, OH
- Adam Hughes – First Baptist Church of West Albuquerque – Albuquerque, NM
- Kevin James – New Creation Bible Fellowship – Tracy, CA
- Ben Kendall – Calvary Baptist Church – Republic, MO
- Matthew McCraw – First Baptist Church – Henderson, KY
- Garland Moore – Immanuel Baptist Church – Milan, NM
- Paul Purvis – First Baptist Church – Temple Terrace, FL
- Aric Randolph – Brentwood Baptist Church – Brentwood, TN
- Van Richmond – New Life Church – Nashville, TN
- Charles Smith – Redeemer Fellowship – Kansas City, MO
- Walter Strickland – Imago Dei Church – Raleigh, NC
- Chien Thang UC – First Baptist Church – Pensacola, FL
- Ric Worshill – Crossroads Community Church – Island Lake, IL
- Dante Wright – Sweet Home Baptist Church – Round Rock, TX
Please pray for this committee.
2016 Tellers Committee
In our 2016 convention, our Tellers Committee will be very important. When the messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention are called upon to vote via ballot, it is the members of the Tellers Committee who are responsible for tabulating the outcome of each vote.
As president, it is requested of me to appoint the Tellers Committee. When messengers complete their registration in St. Louis, they will be given printed ballots for voting. When a ballot vote occurs, the tellers tabulate the vote under the supervision of the Registration Secretary of the Convention.
After the tabulation of the ballots, the Chairman of the Tellers Committee reports the outcome of the vote to the secretaries. The President or Registration Secretary announces the results to the convention.
By the nature of their responsibility, this committee is very pivotal in conducting business when these moments occur. We must insure it is led by and contains great leaders of integrity.
Co-chairmen of this committee are: Dr. A.B. Vines, Senior Pastor, New Seasons Church, Spring Valley, California, and former President of the African American Fellowship of the Southern Baptist Convention; and Dr. Brandon Park, First Baptist Church in Raytown, Missouri. These are two great men and leaders that I know the Lord will use to lead this committee to fulfill their assigned role with the highest integrity.
Our 2016 Tellers Committee:
- A.B. Vines (Co-Chairman) – New Seasons Church – Spring Valley, CA
- Brandon Park (Co-Chairman) – First Baptist Church – Rayton, MO
- Judson Adams – Lifespring Church – Marysville, OH
- CJ Adkins – Westmoreland Baptist Church – Huntington, VA
- Marshall Ausberry – Antioch Baptist Church – Fairfax Station, VA
- Doug Austin – Bethany Baptist Church – Cape Girardeau, MO
- Gary Bearce – Pioneer Baptist Church – Wasilla, AK
- Daphiney Caganap – New Seasons Church – Spring Valley, CA
- Alan Chan – Mandarin Baptist Church of Los Angeles – Alhambra, CA
- Justin Compton – Redemption Hill Baptist Church – Fishersville, KY
- Jed Coppenger – Redemption City Church – Franklin, TN
- Anthony Dockery – St. Stephens Baptist Church – La Puenta, CA
- Joseph Gaston – Redemption Baptist Church – Pompano, FL
- Alex Gonzales – Hickory Tree Baptist Church – Balch Springs, TX
- Michael Guyer – Open Door Baptist Church – Raleigh, NC
- Beau Hughes – The Village Church – Denton, TX
- Royce Hulett – Oakland Baptist Church Hazlehurst, GA
- Krissie Inserra – City Church – Tallahassee, FL
- Brian Jump – First Baptist Church – Clever, MO
- Leslie Manning – First Baptist Church Meadville, MO – Pine Bluff, AR
- Neil Marsh – Broadmoor Baptist Church – Madison, MS
- Steve Patterson – First Baptist Church – Carl Junction, MO
- John Powell – First Baptist Church – Hamlin, TN
- Jeremy Roberts – Church of the Highlands – Harrison, TN
- Matthew Stewart – South Shore Baptist Church – Crownsville, MD
- Brad Wheeler – University Baptist Church – Fayetteville, AR
Please pray for this committee.
Register Today for Our 2016 SBC
With due diligence, we have worked to prepare for this year’s convention. Please pray for me, my team, and of course, all of our leadership in the Southern Baptist Convention. It truly takes a team to pull off an experience like the Southern Baptist Convention’s Annual Meeting.
If you haven’t already, register now for the Southern Baptist Convention. Let’s meet in St. Louis ready to see one another and meet God in His power and glory as we pray together for the next Great Spiritual Awakening in America and recommit ourselves completely to reaching the world for Christ in our generation.
Now is the Time to Lead,
Ronnie W. Floyd
Dr. Ronnie Floyd is currently serving as the President of the Southern Baptist Convention. The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest Protestant denomination with more than 15.7 million members in over 51,094 churches nationwide.
To request an interview with Dr. Ronnie Floyd
contact Gayla Oldham at (479) 751-4523 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.