Archive for June, 2016

Spiritual Leaders and Their Influence in This Election Season

Spiritual Leaders-blog

I give my full and complete endorsement to Jesus Christ. My 100% trust is in God alone, our Sovereign King.

I agree with the late Adrian Rogers, who said, “We dare not identify the Christian faith with the Democrat or Republican party. We need to be free to tell both parties to repent and get right with God.”[1] In fact, I would add what I shared on June 14 with the Southern Baptist Convention, “The church cannot call America to repent until the church repents.”

The Tension Is Real

Christians have dual citizenship. Our citizenship is not only in the Kingdom of God that is eternal and superior to all, but we are blessed, active citizens in the United States of America. Our Sovereign God not only determined the period of time He ordained us to live, He also determined where we would live.

I love the United States of America and still believe it is the greatest country in the world. Yet, I feel an enormous tension in my spirit about how to operate in our nation effectively, even though my ultimate allegiance is to the Kingdom of God that has no end. We live for one Kingdom while we live in another kingdom. Often, the decisions within our own country increase this tension and we have never lived in a time in our generation when this tension has been any greater.

Spiritual Leaders Are Wrestling Through This Tension

Spiritual leaders are wrestling through this tension. While this is real and challenging for each of us, in Jesus’ name for the sake of gospel testimony, we need to cease wrestling with each other through this tension. This does not honor God in any way.

Questioning the motives of other Christian leaders is not in your purview, but God’s alone. He is more than capable to take care of His God-called leaders. For those who are acting like they are spiritual policemen in the evangelical world, it is time to put the whistles away and cease the demeaning of other Christian leaders. God has called us to love, trust, and honor one another.

In this presidential election season, some are acting like we have had pure choices before and now we do not. Let’s get real: we have never had pure choices to select from. We live in a fallen world and all of our systems are less than perfect. It was failed when some of our greatest presidents have been elected or when some of our greatest presidents have emerged through the fire of leadership. Perfection will not occur until we die and our residency changes from here into heaven, and ultimately when Jesus comes again in His coming eternal, sovereign Kingdom.

Besides this, our trust needs to be in our Sovereign God, not in people or our processes. Think on and stand with confidence upon these words:

  • Daniel 2:21, “He changes the times and seasons; He removes kings and establishes kings.”
  • Daniel 4:26, “…Heaven rules.”
  • Proverbs 21:1, “A king’s heart is like streams of water in the Lord’s hand; He directs it wherever He chooses.”

Our trust is in the Lord and His word.

A Precedent That Is Undeniable

As many of you know, I have been navigating through this difficult terrain as President of the Southern Baptist Convention. When my two years of service concluded on the evening of June 15, the terrain did not become any less difficult, but in all reality, may have increased in difficulty in the last few days.

As the volatility increased in this year’s United States presidential election, I prayed, searched, and became convicted in March that there was one biblical character God wanted to use in my life who would become my mentor and model while navigating through these tumultuous waters.

Daniel was a statesman and a prophet. This is what I want to be in my life and leadership. Daniel lived in Jerusalem. In 605 B.C., some say at age 15, Daniel was taken captive along with others and exported to Babylon. He lived there for at least seventy years, where three times each day, he would open his window, kneel facing Jerusalem, and pray. John MacArthur noted this about Daniel: “He quickly rose to the role of statesman by official royal appointment and served as a confidante of kings, as well as a prophet in two world empires.”[2]

Daniel was a godly, praying and fasting man whom God used powerfully. He was entrusted with favor from God and had favor with man. Daniel was entrusted with influencing the King and the future of the country, as well as given the authority to lead. Daniel 1-4 speaks of his relationship and influence with one of the most wicked leaders of all time, King Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel 5-10 speaks of his relationship with King Belshazzar, King Darius, and King Cyrus.

America is like a modern-day Babylon: sinful, wicked, and godless. God raised up King Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon to exercise God’s judgment upon the people of God. Daniel and the people of God being exported into this godless, wicked nation gives us a living example of where we are as Christ-followers. We need to go to school on how God used Daniel and others in this season of judgment.

Daniel determined he would honor God whatever the costs. Daniel received God’s favor and was given leadership and influence. Each spiritual leader should aspire to be like Daniel.

Throughout Scripture, we see men and women of God who had a voice with leaders of nations. Some examples of these God-called spiritual leaders speaking to a nation’s leader:

  • Moses to Pharaoh
  • Eliezer to Jehoshaphat
  • Elijah to Ahab
  • Elisha to King Ben-hadad of Aram and also to the King of Israel
  • Nathan to David
  • Esther to Ahasuerus
  • Jeremiah to Zedekiah
  • Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius, and Cyrus
  • John the Baptist to Herod
  • Peter and John to Annas and Caiaphas
  • Paul to King Agrippa

There are others I could list. This is a biblical precedent that is undeniable.

What If

What if Daniel had refused to acknowledge King Nebuchadnezzar and acted like he was too righteous to relate to him? What if Daniel had not answered the request to come interpret his dream? When you read the book of Daniel, you find him relating to these leaders continually, oftentimes entrusted with great influence upon the nation and even property; but at other times, being put in prison or ending up in a lion’s den. Daniel was not for sale. He even told King Belshazzar, “keep your gifts.”[3] God always prevailed. Daniel was always faithful.

Why would we not want godly spiritual leaders to be influencers upon national and global leaders today? 

Spiritual Leaders Need Tact and Discretion

Daniel 2:14, “Then Daniel responded with tact and discretion to Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, who had gone to execute the wise men of Babylon.” This is a pivotal verse that we need to go to school on in 2016 as spiritual leaders. In this day of social networking and endless opinions, Christian testimony is being destroyed and people are being hurt continually.

Daniel’s tone and words were flavored right, proper, and wise. Daniel’s counsel was sound, careful, and sensible.

As Christians and Christian leaders, we need to make sure our tone and words must never eliminate our ability to win someone on this earth to faith in Jesus Christ. We need more tact and discretion with our words or we automatically forfeit our statesmanship and prophetic voice in America.

Billy Graham, Daniel, and Spiritual Leaders Today

In Billy Graham’s book, Just As I Am, he writes about the tension he walked in during the 1996 election season. Two of his friends, Bob Dole and Bill Clinton, were running against each other for the office of President of the United States. While pressure was on him to endorse one of them, he did not do so. Yet, when Elizabeth Dole attended Graham’s crusade, some viewed this as an implied endorsement, just as others would do so when he was seen with President Clinton.

Yet, Billy Graham writes these words which so resonate with me today: “My own prayer was that God’s will would be done, and that He would grant wisdom, compassion, and integrity to whoever was elected to our highest office.”[4]

Just think what social media would have done to the great Billy Graham, who had an ongoing, personal spiritual relationship with multiple politicians and presidents who served our nation. Just think what social media and modern-day Christianity would have done to Daniel, the statesman and prophet.

Let me set the record straight today: I want Daniel, the statesman and prophet, and the life, leadership, and legacy of Billy Graham and their relationships with national and global political leaders to be my model rather than sitting on the sideline, critiquing every political candidate and anyone whom God would raise up to influence them.

Now is the Time to Lead,

Ronnie W. Floyd

Senior Pastor, Cross Church


Dr. Ronnie Floyd is the Senior Pastor of Cross Church, immediate past President of the Southern Baptist Convention, and founder of the Cross Church School of Ministry.

To request an interview with Dr. Ronnie Floyd
contact Gayla Oldham at (479) 751-4523 or email

Visit our website at
Follow Dr. Floyd on Twitter and Instagram @ronniefloyd

[1] Dr. Adrian Rogers, “Christian Citizenship”, Love Worth Finding Ministries
[2], accessed June 26, 2016
[3] Daniel 5:17
[4] Graham, Billy. Just As I Am. Zondervan, 1999. p. 657

Not the Same Man I Was Two Years Ago

This past Sunday morning, I shared with our Cross Church Family, “I return as your pastor, but I am not the same man I was two years ago.” Unquestionably, my life and leadership has changed and grown while serving as President of the Southern Baptist Convention.

After traveling 200,000 miles in the air, many miles on the ground, experiencing too many moments to share in this space, and writing at least 116 unique articles about the work of Southern Baptists to the tune of 90,000 plus words, make no mistake about it, I have invested myself in our convention and believe in the work of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Before I Was Elected… Now, After I Have Served

Before I was elected, I wrote articles consistently about leadership, ministry, church, and the Southern Baptist Convention. Now after I have served two years as president, I will continue to do the same.

Obviously, I will not be writing as president, but I will be writing as a Southern Baptist pastor and leader who also happens to be the immediate past president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Congratulations to Steve Gaines FloydGaines_Small

Last Wednesday afternoon, when the gavel came down upon the pulpit in St. Louis’ America’s Center, my SBC presidency concluded. The moment this occurred, Steve Gaines became the president of our convention. Steve and Donna have been personal friends of ours for years. I rejoice with this entrustment given to him by our Lord.

Beginning almost three years ago, even before I was elected, I felt God was beginning to raise Steve up for leadership in our convention. I had no idea what God was preparing to do, but I felt our convention needed his voice and heart in some way.

There is a time and a season for everything. In God’s timing and by God’s sovereign, divine will, Steve Gaines has been raised up for this time in our Southern Baptist Convention. He is not like me and I am not like him. Yet, we love one another and accept one another and the gifts God has given to each of us. I will be here to serve as his cheerleader and will be available to assist in whatever way he desires.

Here is what I know: Steve Gaines is a man of God. He will seek the Lord. He will work toward unity with intentionality. He will have my daily prayer support. He deserves your support in prayer and encouragement.

A Conference Call with Candidates and Prayer Together

FloydGreerGainesPrayer_SmallOn the Wednesday before the Southern Baptist Convention, I convened a forty-minute conference call with J.D. Greear, David Crosby, and Steve Gaines. I opened our call with prayer. After this initial prayer, I gave them a broad view of what I was seeing in our convention at this time. I encouraged them to be committed to leading in unity, as well as called upon each of them to help us address the present deplorable evangelism crisis in our convention. I was able to forward our Cooperative Program with them and again, forward the desperate need for unity as well as drive home our most urgent need for spiritual awakening.

I answered their questions and prayed for each of them specifically. I shared with them that whoever won, I would be there for them, praying for our new president. I told them I know what is like to lose and knowing that two of them would, it would not be easy, but God would see them through, verifying to them His plan for the future.

I closed in prayer for each of these men specifically. Each of these men asked to pray for me. We said good-bye and shared our commitment to one another and to the will of God. These three men are godly and spiritual leaders I love and appreciate. Unity is intentional.

The Resolutions Committee and The Confederate Flag

Chairman Stephen Rummage and the Resolutions Committee were bold in their commitment to address the resolution on the Confederate Flag. It was incumbent upon them to do so in some way, therefore, the issue was how to do it most effectively. They knew they needed to do so in a way that Southern Baptists would support it. The last thing any of us wanted was to see this resolution be rejected by the messengers.

Some said the resolution was weak, however, I disagree completely.  The Resolutions Committee did what they needed to do initially: Find a way for Southern Baptists to take a step forward in this discussion.

I firmly believe that if the Resolutions Committee had initially brought this resolution in its adopted as amended status from the committee to the messengers, it would have failed. This would have been both divisive and disastrous. While what occurred in its amendment was not surprising to me personally, it could not have been scripted any better.

When the messenger brought the amendment, it was interesting to see the response of Chairman Rummage when he was asked to speak to the amendment. In his discerning and wise leadership, he did not speak for or against it, giving it back to the messengers, which is right where this decision needed to be.

Therefore, the messengers embraced the amendment wholeheartedly, and did exactly what the convention needed to do. They not only adopted the amendment, but the resolution as amended. It was adopted by no less than ninety percent of the messengers.

This was highly celebrated, for it comes in the moments following the incredible steps Southern Baptists have been making in racial unity. Following the Presidential Address, where I spoke to the issue of racial unity for at least five minutes and our racial unity panel, I believed the messengers would rise in support.

RacialPanel_SmallThe significance of the Racial Unity Panel in our convention is just as historic as our convention speaking out concerning the Confederate flag. This fifty-five-minute conversation on racial unity was absolutely dynamic and needs to be seen nationally from churches to colleges to seminaries to all kinds of settings. Southern Baptists have moved from the back of the pack to the front of the line in working toward racial unity in our nation.

As I stated in my Presidential Address regarding the racial crisis in America, “It is with deep regret that I can do nothing about this stained past against our African American brothers and sisters; but with all I am and with all I can, I join you in creating a future together that binds up the nation’s wounds and always marches ahead knowing we will not be satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.” (Amos 5:24)

More Reflections to Come Soon on Our #SBC 16

In the next couple of weeks, I will be reflecting more on our #SBC16. Until then…

Now is the Time to Lead,

Ronnie W. Floyd
Senior Pastor, Cross Church


Dr. Ronnie Floyd is the Senior Pastor of Cross Church, immediate past President of the Southern Baptist Convention, and founder of the Cross Church School of Ministry.

To request an interview with Dr. Ronnie Floyd
contact Gayla Oldham at (479) 751-4523 or email
Visit our website at
Follow Dr. Floyd on Twitter and Instagram @ronniefloyd