There are times when the peculiar will cause you to pause and think.
For instance, during the first of November, the TBMB received an anonymous donation of two pennies in an envelope addressed to no one in particular, and with no specific gift designation. The envelope had no name or return address, just an Etowah postmark and inside the giver’s two cents.
It seems someone went to a lot of trouble to give only a couple of copper coins. Who would do that? More curiously, why? Someone offering their metaphorical “two cents worth” regarding something we’d done as a mission board? Was someone making a condescending reference toward the widow’s mites placed in the temple offering box (Luke 21:1-4)? Maybe they were actually contributing all they could? Continue reading “When God Makes Much of Little”→
You may be overrun with Christmas activities and see a busy 2019 blowing in like a thunderstorm racing across a Kansas prairie. Last minute gifts, parties, travel to be with loved ones, and on it goes. We get to this point of the year and it seems we try to squeeze about six months of activity through the funnel of a couple weeks. We seldom slow down or stop long enough to remember. Continue reading “Remembering the Lord Our God in 2018”→
The ovation lasted longer than most at a monthly staff meeting as Dr. Randy Davis shared the news that churches gave 2.2% more through the Cooperative Program than they did last year. Tennessee Baptists are the heroes in the narrative of Cooperative Program giving. While many state conventions struggle to fund ministries and missions, we’re experiencing growth. This increase appears to be nothing short of miraculous. We spent time together, thanking God for Tennessee Baptists and their pastors. Our churches said many things through their giving. Here are seven:
1. Momentum grows when UNITY drives the bus.
Tennessee Baptists have enjoyed unity for a number of years. Today we celebrate what happens when a network of believers locks arms to accomplish what they could never do alone. We all agree that Tennessee is a mission field. In other words, the turf war is over. There’s plenty of turf to go around. The network of cooperation boggles the mind. Just consider how the Cooperative Program works when we are united: A new church plant in Inner City Memphis needs the help of a Brentwood church. Disaster Relief needs the help of a small church in Shelbyville. A church in Brownville funds the BCM at UT Knoxville. A church of 50 members in Sullivan Association assures that an unnamed missionary in Central Asia continues to plant churches. There’s no end to the elaborate connecting points between churches and mission strategies. How is this possible? To a man, almost every Tennessee Baptist pastor knows the answer: The Cooperative Program. Continue reading “Seven Things that the Rise in Cooperative Program Giving says about TN Pastors & Churches”→
Everybody has their love language. Granny Tate expressed hers by twisting your ear.
Granny Tate was a tiny lady, but she was a giant to me. She really did twist your ear as an expression of love. I wouldn’t have minded if she had been a hugger. She was my Sunday School teacher at Shiloh Baptist Church, Saraland, Ala., when I was 11 years old. Even as a 6-foot plus senior in high school, I’d bend down so she could twist my ear. If Granny wasn’t twisting your ear, you weren’t cool. We loved that woman. Continue reading “The Cooperative Program Begins with Granny Tate”→
I’m amazed at what God is doing across Tennessee through His people and through the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board.
In Dandridge, 15 more boys were recently saved, baptized, and set on the road to discipleship at a detention facility. These precious younger brothers in Christ add to the harvest of more than 100 new believers who have come to Jesus over the past three years at the facility through the ministry of Swannsylvania Baptist Church.
It’s been said the hardest thing to do in sports is to hit a baseball. It’s a tough point to argue. Take a guy like Nolan Ryan, one of the greatest fastball pitchers to ever play the game. Ryan unbelievably had a 27-year career and was still throwing the ball 95 mph-plus when he finally retired; ever the “Ryan Express” to the end.
Now, imagine standing in a batter’s box waiting to hit his fastball. Don’t wait too long; you only have four tenths of a second to make contact — that’s less than half a second. It takes a significant amount of focus and “keeping your eye on the ball” if you have the remotest chance of getting a hit. Allow distraction and you’ll strike out. Continue reading “Keep Your Eye on the Ball”→
Churches charred. Businesses gone. Homes nothing but ash heaps and rubble. Some of the most beautiful country I’ve ever seen left a blackened wasteland.
A few hours of raging fire forever changed the lives of thousands.
One of those homes on top of one of those mountains belonged to the late Dr. Clyde Martin and his precious widow, Ruth. The families of their son, Mark, and their daughter, Debbie, also had homes there. Continue reading “The Importance of Showing Up”→
You are familiar with the story. Two mothers came before King Solomon with a baby, each claiming to be the mother. An argument ensued; accusations flew, and Solomon decided to divide the baby, thereby revealing the identity of the true mother.
Somewhere along the way, the Cooperative Program became the baby many in the Southern Baptists Convention want to divide. Impatience fuels a call for drastic action. We’ve become too quick to draw the sword without considering the broader consequences. Let’s take a breath, step back, and look at the bigger picture. Continue reading “A Strategic Move Toward A 50/50 Distribution”→
Suggs, 72, is the pastor of Cave Hill Baptist Church in Newport. He’s lived in Cocke County his entire life — Cocke County, total population of about 35,000. Suggs shares the story of when he was a young pastor in his early 20s and told some friends that his goal in life was to see a million souls saved.
“I knew to see that goal reached I was going to have to go way beyond Cocke County,” he said. “But I figure that by participating in the Cooperative Program I’ve been able to see at least that many saved in these 50 years.”
Brother Suggs, because of the faithful giving of the churches you’ve served, you’ve seen way beyond a million come to saving faith in our Lord Jesus Christ through the diversity of ministries and missions those churches supported by Cooperative Program giving. Continue reading “Do You ‘Get’ the Cooperative Program?”→