Back from the annual Southern Baptist Convention meeting, Dr. Frank Page shows no sign of slowing down in his position as head of the nation's largest Protestant denomination.
"I will not back down, back away, back up from that which I believe God has called me to do," said Page on Monday at Taylors First Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C., according to WYFF 4 news.
Page was re-elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention at last week's meeting in San Antonio, Texas. He says he's cautiously optimistic about the future of the denomination but indicated it's time to change strategies.
"We've been trying to do things on our own strength, on our own initiative, and according to our own strategies too long," he said. "It's time to beg God for help."
Last week, as he described his focus as SBC's president, Page said he is calling on people to beg God for spiritual renewal and revival. "We will not increase baptisms until we are right with the Lord," he added.
With baptisms down for the second consecutive year, Page had called over 8,000 Baptist messengers – representatives from churches around the country – to look beyond the differences within the denomination and focus on the primary goal of winning the world to Christ.
"Good dialogue and debate can come forward, but they pale in comparison to issues I'm trying to keep as the central focus," he said.
Much of the Southern Baptist energy is being concentrated on reaching today's culture with a Gospel message that's over 2,000 years old.
"We've got to understand how to reach a 21st Century world with the Gospel that never changes," said Page, according to WYFF 4.
The North American Mission Board – SBC's domestic mission agency – revealed last week the beginnings of a 10-year flexible, multifaceted strategy that can be customized for each mission context. It is currently being developed by NAMB and a team of evangelism leaders to guide Southern Baptists in the next decade to reach North America for Christ.
The major thrust of the movement, according to NAMB President Geoff Hammond, is "churches planting churches planting churches," etc.
A church that is planted with the intent up front to plant another church within the first three years "actually grows quicker" than other churches, said the mission agency's new leader.
God blesses churches planted in such a manner, Hammond added.
According to Page, the new strategy is a means of better equipping local churches in sharing the Gospel message and believes the idea is timely.