I get discouraged when I pay too much attention to the infighting that takes place within my Baptist Convention. Maybe you do as well. It's easy to wonder if there is any hope for baptists when you only look at the things that don't work, or the people more focused on secondary issues than gospel and mission. So I'd like to share just how encouraged I was spending the first part of this week speaking to and fellowshipping with baptists in St. Louis and Chicago at the Plant Midwest quarterly gatherings. Here I found gospel men of baptist conviction from suburb and city, from diverse generations, backgrounds and cultures, who are grounded in the gospel and committed to the mission Christ gave the church. I met denominational men who are much more than company men, and are laboring to assist churches and church planters be faithful and fruitful in ministry. And get this; Calvinists and non-Calvinists, from traditional and contemporary worship styles, elder led and congregational models of church polity, were all together celebrating what God is doing in and through us all.
Let me also say if you want to be encouraged, go and visit one of our seminaries like SBTS or SEBTS and talk with the students there. Perhaps the easiest was to be encouraged is to look at what God is doing in your own church. He is at work! Be encouraged, my brothers! I am.
And I'd love to hear what is encouraging you as you look at Baptist life and ministry.