Archive for March, 2017
In this episode, Ronnie interviews Dr. Jack Graham, Senior Pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas. Jack is a respected leader in Texas, America, and across the world. In 1989, when Jack was called to Prestonwood with 8,000 members and faced what some thought were insurmountable challenges, God stepped in. Today with 41,000 plus members to the glory of God, Prestonwood Baptist Church is one of the greatest churches across the entire world. Join us today as we learn from Dr. Jack Graham.
There are times in life we need to get things in order. Just as this is true about life personally, it can be true about our family of Southern Baptist churches. I am reminded of the words found in Titus 1:5, “This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order.”
There are times we need to get things in order in our churches. But there are also times we need to get things in order where it really counts – in our own relationship with God. At times, we come to realize that we are not living by the grace of God as He wills; therefore, we must get things back in order. There is always a tendency to have a poor attitude or negative behavior. Neither are beneficial to us personally, each other, or to God. We must get things in order.
We Have Experienced Some Problems in Our Southern Baptist Family
My goal is not to publicly do my own diagnostic analysis of the Southern Baptist Convention. I am well aware that the way we operate as a convention of churches does not empower denominational employees with some hierarchical power or elevate one denominational leader or pastor over another. I know that I am one pastor of a local Southern Baptist congregation that cooperates with other churches for the advancement of the gospel throughout America and the entire world.
Therefore, I will leave it where it is: We have experienced some problems in our Southern Baptist family.
Personal Checkpoints to Consider in Getting Things in Order in Our Southern Baptist Family
The book of Titus calls us into order and to do what is good. It calls us, especially in the third chapter, to address our attitude and actions. Let’s use these as checkpoints to consider. We are called upon to:
1. Submit to leadership and authority.
Unless rulers or authorities ask us to do something that violates the Bible, we need to put ourselves under authority. We can lose our testimony in the family, the church, the workplace, the community, the government, our convention, and even in the evangelical world because we operate outside of the authorities God has placed over us.
Living under authority is living out the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is safe for all of us. Living outside of authority is unsafe and not beneficial in any way.
2. Respect all people.
In the third chapter of Titus, God calls us to act considerately and show courtesy to all people. He forbids us to slander or speak evil of anyone, or quarrel and fight with one another. Instead, God calls us to display patient trust in the midst of challenging situations and throughout the seasons in our relationships. Yes, in other words, be respectful to all people.
The Apostle Paul models this in his relationships. He mentions people by their name, calls upon the church to take care of them and to serve all people, and he even sends his love to all the people.
These are very challenging gospel claims. This reminds us that no person is below us. No person is above us. We should strive to be respectful and courteous to all people. Give people chances to fail. Determine you will never let anyone outside of your circle of love. Resolve personally: I will not lose my testimony by the way I treat other people.
3. Remember what we were before God saved us.
How can we be disrespectful to others and not treat them with the highest value when we remember what we were before God saved us? We were once disobedient to God and enslaved by our passions and pride. Then, Jesus saved us. He washed away our sin by His blood and rescued us from sin, death, and hell.
God’s mercy found us. We have now been set free once and for all from our past. By the Holy Spirit’s power, we are now empowered to live right, think right, and treat all people in the right way.
4. Assist people in need.
For those of us who live according to the Gospel, it is imperative for us to assist all people who are in need. Assisting people in need gives us a platform to share Jesus with others. This is not just about doing good deeds, but about meeting the most urgent of needs around us.
When we focus on others in need, it helps us to go forward in fellowship together.
5. Preserve unity in the Church.
We are the Church. We are told to avoid foolish controversies that can result in legalism, division, and fighting among one another. These things are useless to the gospel and to us in the Church of Jesus Christ. Refuse to get into the weeds of uselessness.
Quite honestly, we should never cause division in the Church. And we should never let anyone else cause division in the Church. The demons of hell and Satan himself will do all he can to rip us apart, tear down unity, and malign the gospel message and the gospel messenger.
Finally, let me be more than clear: These checkpoints need to be personal checkpoints. I do not want to police your life and in all reality, I really do not want you to police my life.
Now is the time we need to let God get things in order personally, so we can then get things in order in our Southern Baptist Family.
Now is the Time to Lead,
Ronnie W. Floyd
Senior Pastor, Cross Church
To request an interview with Dr. Ronnie Floyd
contact Gayla Oldham at (479) 751-4523 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.