BALTIMORE – Saddleback Pastor Rick Warren remembered his late son, Matthew, Monday night as a fruitful Christian who used his trials to spread the gospel and encouraged hurting pastors at the Southern Baptist Convention Pastors' Conference to do to the same.
Warren said Matthew would have been a great counselor because he regularly used his pain to help uplift others.
He spent so much time helping others that after his death, Warren said, "I may have received 30-35 thousand letters of condolences from people around the world, and it wasn't the rock stars, the prime ministers or the presidents' cards and letters that meant the most to me. The letters that meant the most to me were letters from people that Matthew had led to Christ, and they would say 'I'm going to be in heaven because of your son.'" more >>
BALTIMORE – Crazy Love author and pastor Francis Chan expressed concern to Southern Baptist pastors that there was no desire to go deeper in their relationship with Christ.
The California preacher cut prayers short to express his worry. "I'm seeing a lot of ritual, a lot of faithfulness over the years but I'm concerned that there's not this desperate like cry like 'God, I feel like walk into service and I feel it's so dead. God I got to have your power, I got to have your presence and maybe I substituted that for just going through the service order another weekend,'" he said.
Chan said there is more to the Christian faith than building bigger churches, publishing books and going through the motions of worship every Sunday, but too few Christians know that because they don't "know" God. more >>
BALTIMORE, Md. – Southern Baptists must go outside of the four walls of the church and preach the gospel if they truly want to reach the next generation, outgoing SBC President Fred Luter Jr. urged attendees of the 2014 Southern Baptist Convention's Annual Meeting Tuesday night during the revival service.
The Louisiana pastor whose election paved the way for greater diversity within the Southern Baptist Convention turned his focus to the future of the denomination, stating that the days of open-door evangelism are over.
Luter recalled "There was a time when you just open the church door and people would come from the neighborhood. There was a time you just open the church door and people would come from different families. There was a time you could just open the church door and people were expected to go to church." more >>
BALTIMORE, Md. – Southern Baptists elected Arkansas Pastor Ronnie Floyd on Tuesday to be the new president of the nation's largest Protestant denomination.
Floyd was elected by messengers during the Southern Baptist Convention's 2014 Annual Meeting, beating out SBC presidential nominees Dennis Manpoong Kim of Maryland and Jared Moore of Kentucky. Over 3,000 messengers voted and Floyd won on the first ballot, receiving 51.6 percent of the votes.
Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological seminary, had praised the Arkansas pastor, whom he nominated, as "dependable" and "faithful" and someone who will "lead all Southern Baptists and lead them well," during his nomination address to messengers prior to the voting. more >>
BALTIMORE, Md. – Summit Church Pastor J.D. Greear said Monday that U.S. churches are failing because their structure is oriented towards uplifting gifted pastors rather than cultivating disciple-making leaders among the body of Christ.
The American church model, the North Carolina pastor said, is all wrong. "We think of successful churches as those who have gathered large crowds to bask in the anointing of a talented man."
However, examining the scriptures, Greear said the power of the church lies in its members not a rockstar pastor in the pulpit. more >>
BALTIMORE, Md.- Kathy MacDonald, wife of Harvest Bible Chapel Pastor James MacDonald, said Monday she thanks God for the criticism that has been leveled against her husband.
MacDonald broke down as she recalled the attacks that she and husband James faced as they grew their Chicago church from 18 people meeting in a school building to the multi-campus church it is now. "Unfortunately I feel like I have my PhD in this topic," she shared with the audience of the Southern Baptist Convention Pastors' Wives Conference.
Yet she tearfully proclaimed, "I thank the Lord for what he has brought us through because it has sanctified and refined us." more >>