By Randy C. Davis
President & Executive Director, TBMB
We are just days away from one of my favorite times of the year. No, not Thanksgiving, although that is one of my favorites. I’m talking about Summit, the annual gathering of Tennessee Baptists.
For me, it is truly like a big family reunion where we get to see friends from across the state and can visit, laugh, worship, pray and conduct business related to the Great Commission tasks God has given us to make His name known among Tennesseans.
Summit really is a big deal for Tennessee Baptists and this year there are some big deals at the Big Deal about which we need to arrive prayerful and leave purposeful. Here they are in no particular order because they are all priorities.
Five Objectives 2-minute warning
It is hard to believe that we will begin our final drive toward the completion of the Five Objectives that have guided our work together as Tennessee Baptists for the past nine years.
Seeing Tennesseans saved, baptized and set on the road to discipleship, new churches becoming part of our network, churches experiencing revitalization through better health, and the financial fueling of ministry and missions through the Cooperative Program and the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions has been our collective focus. But the race isn’t finished. We still have work to do.
We will push through until the end of 2024 to accomplish those impractical and impossible God-sized goals, not because they were easy, but because they are imperative.
The Acts 2:17 Initiative
The response has so far been positive as the Acts 2:17 Initiative Vision Team has shared information about pressing priorities. These priorities were birthed in prayer and participation by grass-roots Tennessee Baptists who represent ministers and laypeople from every quarter of the state.
The Vision Team will present these priorities next week, and, if affirmed by messengers, a great collaborative effort will begin in helping families confront present and future cultural challenges, reach and disciple the next generation, call and equip an army to fill ministerial leadership needs across our state, confront an escalating mental health crisis, develop opportunities for a great gospel impact in public and private education, ramp-up our collective effort in the area of adoption and foster care, and more.
TBC 150th anniversary
We will kick off the yearlong celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Tennessee Baptist Convention. It is important to look back, as the Old Testament frequently reminds us, and remember God’s goodness to us. Psalms 145:4 admonishes that “One generation shall praise Your works to another, and declare Your mighty acts.”
Looking back is all about seeing His story in our history. Celebrating the past as we glimpse in the rearview mirror is an encouragement for the journey ahead. We inherited a rich legacy, and it is the responsibility of this generation — our generation — to leave a rich legacy for those who will come behind. So, we will celebrate 150 years while also pointing our sites to the horizon and the journey that lies ahead.
TBC presidential vote
For the first time in about 15 years, we will have two candidates vying to become president of the Tennessee Baptist convention.
Diversity, not disunity, marks the process of choosing the servant leaders of the TBC.
The announced nominees to date are pastors Todd Stinnett and Jay Hardwick. They are great leaders, and both are committed to the unified work of the TBC. Personally, I am glad to call each of them friends.
I’ve been nominated as president of our convention twice. I was relieved to lose the first time and honored and humbled to be elected president the second time.
Win or lose, it is an opportunity to solidify our unity as a convention and exemplify the Lordship of Christ in our lives. I am looking forward to serving Tennessee Baptists with whomever is selected to moderate the 2024 annual convention meeting.
As you can see, there are some big deals planned for the Big Deal that begins Sunday.
It is a joy be on this journey with you, all the way to Chattanooga.