SEE THE PEOPLE AND LOVE THEM WELL

By Randy C. Davis
President & Executive Director, TBMB

Do you see the children?

Sure, we see our own children and we often see other people’s children, especially in restaurants if they are misbehaving. But do you see nobody’s children?

These are Tennessee’s nearly 8,000 children currently in foster care, an increasing number due to the opioid crisis in our state and the resulting loss of parental custody.

And do you see Tennessee’s aging population? They are the rapidly growing number of seniors in our state who will need care in the coming years.

Currently there are more than 1.1 million people in Tennessee 65 years of age and older, and that number is projected to grow by 20 percent in the next nine years (by 2030). Continue reading “SEE THE PEOPLE AND LOVE THEM WELL”

COUNT YOUR MANY BLESSINGS

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”

THE GOLDEN RULE IS STILL GOLDEN

By Randy C. Davis
President and executive director, TBMB

Social media has the potential for good, but it also has a dark side that Christians too often get drawn into. It’s time we evaluate ourselves and assess if what we’re contributing to the public market of ideas leads to edifying the body of Christ and making Jesus attractive to spiritually lost people. The Golden Rule is still golden, and it should filter the thoughts we’re about to fire across the virtual landscape.

This certainly seems to be the current need within the Southern Baptist Convention. Our public rhetoric is destroying our witness to a lost world and is discouraging to the saints who see their pastors and other leaders taking verbal swipes at each other 280 Twitter characters at a time.

Do a cursory glance through social media platforms if you don’t understand what I’m talking about. There have been several issues over the past year-plus related to politics, personalities, race and coronavirus that reveal the worst from people. Some people feel the need to be heard on every topic. So many of the comments range from a lack of social decorum to downright godless. I can’t help but think about Matthew 12:34: “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Some people would do well to keep from revealing so much. Continue reading “THE GOLDEN RULE IS STILL GOLDEN”

WHAT GETS YOU GOING IN THE MORNING?

This is Part II of a two-part series by TBMB leader Randy C. Davis. Part I, “What’s Keeping You Awake at Night?” can be found here.

By Randy C. Davis
TBMB President & Executive Director

One of our Tennessee Baptist pastors recently asked what were things that kept me awake at night and what were things that got me going in the morning. I’m glad he asked. It’s been a great opportunity to evaluate if my personal and ministry goals align with what I hope the Lord wants to accomplish through me.

So here are five things that get me up in the morning, or put another way, here’s what cranks my tractor:   

1.  Serving Tennessee Baptists.

We are a multi-dimensional group of people with a wide variety of hopes, hurts, opinions, traditions, expectations and drives, but we enjoy a sweet unity as a network of churches. Continue reading “WHAT GETS YOU GOING IN THE MORNING?”

WHAT’S KEEPING YOU AWAKE AT NIGHT?

This is the first of a two-part series by TBMB Executive Director Randy C. Davis. Part Two appears here.

By Randy C. Davis
TBMB President & Executive Director

One of our Tennessee Baptist pastors recently asked what were things that kept me awake at night and what were five things that got me going in the morning. I’m glad he asked. It’s been a great opportunity to evaluate if my personal and ministry goals align with what I hope the Lord wants to accomplish through me.

So here they are — the five things that keep me up at night:

Spiritual lostness

I have had a burden for the eternal destiny of friends, family and people in general since I came to faith in Christ. The day Granny Davis died, I read in her Bible a note written in 1956: “I am standing in the gap for my dear children so that one day they will be a circle unbroken, together in heaven forever.” Continue reading “WHAT’S KEEPING YOU AWAKE AT NIGHT?”

Are We ‘Lost in Distraction’ or ‘Now for Missions!’

It only takes a spark to start a controversy.

It was just one article, but its publishing in 1896 ignited a flashfire reaction across the Southern Baptist Convention. Sides formed. People postured. Proverbial lines were drawn in the sand. Rhetorical flames fueled by passionate conviction rose higher and higher and threatened to gut any good work Southern Baptists had accomplished.

But a voice of reason can extinguish the flames with a much-needed biblical perspective. Continue reading “Are We ‘Lost in Distraction’ or ‘Now for Missions!’”

Challenging Days but Also Days of Great Opportunity

I loved being a pastor. It was my joy and honor to spend 34 years as a pastor in a local church, so obviously I have a special place in my heart for the men who faithfully labor behind the pulpit serving God and His people.

Between those years and the time I’ve spent as president of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, a pastoral mindset is second nature to me. Daily I make decisions by putting myself in the shoes of the pastors who lead our churches. Those shoes fit me best. God shaped my heart into a shepherd’s mold.  Continue reading “Challenging Days but Also Days of Great Opportunity”

A Word of Hope in a World of Hurt

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”

When God Makes Much of Little

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”

Missions, Lottie Moon and Leadership

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”