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.
I have driven to or through countless places in Tennessee — from Memphis to Mountain City; Ducktown to Dyersburg — and what a joy to do Great Commission work with the wonderful Christ followers I’ve encountered across our state. We have a fertile mission field in which to work together, and I mean it when I say it is a joy to be on this journey with you.
2. Anticipating a great spiritual awakening.
I have been to all 95 counties multiple times and here is hope-filled news: There are pockets of earnest prayer warriors regularly praying for spiritual awakening in our state.
During this COVID-19 pandemic, LifeWay Christian Resources President Ben Mandrell recently reported that in 2020 LifeWay set a record for Bible sales. We are seeing glimpses of an increased hunger for God and revival.
The world may look troubled, but take heart. Great spiritual awakenings have historically occurred in times of great political upheaval, social unrest, and disasters. I believe wholeheartedly that we are on the cusp of seeing a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit of God in our land.
3. Looking forward and not behind.
I get excited when groups of fully devoted followers of Christ dream big dreams; when we look expectantly forward, grasping all things are possible with God. I take heart from men like William Carey who dared to “expect great things from God and attempt great things for God.” Or from D.L. Moody who said, “The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to him. By God’s help, I aim to be that man.” Leadership expert Alexander Grashow states, “Leaders aren’t the ones who stand in the middle and calm things down; leaders are the ones who get out front and blaze the trail.” I see people across Tennessee becoming those types of leaders for the Kingdom and looking forward to what God will do.
4. Being a pastor.
To paraphrase an old saying: “You can take the boy out of the pastorate, but you can’t take the pastorate out of the boy.” Almost 11 years ago, God removed me from the local pastorate, but He’s allowed me to keep my pastor’s heart.
On the day I was elected TBMB executive director, my predecessor, Dr. James Porch, wisely told me while I was lamenting leaving the pastorate that I would have plenty of opportunities to exercise my desire to shepherd people. Kind words to a thirsty man, and he was right.
I know pastors. I identify with their challenges, workloads, responsibilities and their day to day lives. Finding ways to equip and encourage these servant leaders as often as possible is my joy. It is foot washing, and it is a calling I fully embrace.
5. Jeanne and my family.
If you know my bride, you understand why doing life with her provides me a great start to each day. She rises early — like 4:30 early — most days. She’s already spent a great deal of time in the Word and prayer by the time I get up.
We travel together most of the time, and my favorite among the many benefits of that is that we love each other’s company. Jeanne offers great wisdom when I request it and massive encouragement when I haven’t asked for it, but desperately need it.
I love my daughters, their husbands, and my grandchildren. They are a huge blessing to me, and I want to set an example for them by honoring God, and that daily motivates me. (And if you have grandkids, well let’s just say it’s not overrated!).
That’s the five biggest things that get me going in the morning. How about you? What cranks your tractor? Drop me a note (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let me know. I’d love to hear from you.
And, by the way, it truly is a joy to be on this journey with you.