By Randy C. Davis
President and Executive Director, TBMB
It’s Thursday while I’m writing this and I’m thinking about what Friday represents for the world on this week we recognize as Holy Week. By the time you read this column, we will have had our first in-person Easter gathering in two years. I’m certain I will be hearing reports about how the day was an honoring celebration to a resurrected Christ across Tennessee and around the globe.
I think about the substantial joy of a risen Savior in contrast to our world — and even our denomination — mired in attitudes and cultures of cancelation, agitation, and aggravation. What if we turned our eyes toward Jesus and celebrated His preeminent glory, remember the great thing He’s done on our behalf? That takes intentionality and focus but the lesser things that so easily distract will fall away and be exposed for their worthlessness by comparison. Continue reading “COUNT YOUR MANY BLESSINGS”
Racial tensions were high, extremely high. Riots flared and spread across the nation like wildfire. Hundreds of protestors were killed. Lynching was all too common and scarred our society.
But it got worse.
Politics and political parties were in upheaval, and in less than five years a president, a presidential candidate and a globally recognized American civil rights leader were all assassinated.
But it got worse.
Cities burned in protest of a war costing tens of thousands of military lives, and the Pentagon, the epicenter of the U.S. military, was assaulted by over 50,000 protesters as they breached the gates. Continue reading “A Word of Hope in a World of Hurt”
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”
On Sept. 15, 1887, a diminutive woman named Charlotte Digges Moon, known to Southern Baptists as “Lottie,” sat at a rough hewn table in a modest hut in China and penned a letter that would forever transform the Southern Baptist Convention.
In that letter, Lottie called for prayer and financial resources that would ensure the advancement of the gospel. At the time, the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) had a limited number of global missionaries, but Lottie was thinking bigger — much bigger. She envisioned a day when Southern Baptists would present the gospel to the uttermost parts of the world, but she also knew it would take significant financial resources to do so. With prayer and generosity in mind, she wrote: Continue reading “Missions, Lottie Moon and Leadership”
Posterity will probably remember 2020 as the “Year of COVID-19.” The negative global impact of the coronavirus pandemic has certainly left its mark on Tennessee, the United States and the rest of the world.
However, I will remember 2020 as the year Tennessee Baptists set a record for generously giving through the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions. We broke the previous giving record last week, and as of this writing, total giving for this year was $1,922,235 with five days remaining in the GOTM year (Sept.-Aug). Everything added to the total in these last few days only extends that historical threshold. Continue reading “We Did It Together! Now Let’s Aim Even Higher”
There is a growing reality that causes me great concern. I’m scanning the horizon looking for the billowing dust of reinforcements charging toward the spiritual battle, but all I see are wisps from the few. Where are the supply of recruits enlisted for world conquest?
Where are the pastors and ministers to shepherd Christ’s bride during these most desperate of days?
Where are the missionaries to carry the gospel to faraway lands?
Increasingly, too many of our pulpits stand vacant rather than filled by a God-called man filled with biblical authority proclaiming Jesus’ all-sufficient death, burial and resurrection on behalf of sinful humanity. Continue reading “Where Are Recruits for World Conquest?”
You shared your concerns.
We carefully listened.
And now I want to prayerfully respond on behalf of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board.
Several of us from the TBMB have recently engaged with over 500 Tennessee Baptists during nearly two dozen listening sessions across our state. We initiated these sessions with the sole purpose of learning from you and using what we heard to shape how we as a mission board serve your churches. For us, “We serve churches” is more than just a mission statement that hangs on a wall. It is our mission. Continue reading “‘We Serve Churches’ — It Isn’t Just a Slogan”
Step off the elevator on the second floor of your Church Support Center in Franklin, turn right and you’ll be looking straight at this large reminder: “Tennessee Baptist Mission Board is a Christ-centered, field-focused, Great Commission organization created by Tennessee Baptists to serve Tennessee Baptist Churches. We value relationships, innovation, stewardship and excellence.”
Our mission statement for many years has been, “Making Christ Known by Serving Churches.”
What does the TBMB do? Simply put, we serve churches. Continue reading “Listening Sessions — Twenty Towns, Two Ears”
In 1873, a young Dwight L. Moody stood in the vestry of a Baptist church in Dublin, Ireland, talking with Henry Varley, an influential British revivalist preacher. During the course of that conversation, Varley uttered words that rocketed through Moody’s soul and altered the course of Moody’s future ministry.
“Moody,” he said, “The world has yet to see what God will do with a man fully consecrated to him.” Continue reading “A Clarion Call and Not Just a Theme”
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”