When Willie McLaurin (interim president and CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee and interim pastor at First Family Church just south of us in Columbia, TN) got to this point in his message at the Southern Baptist Convention in Anaheim, CA, I wanted to jump up and SHOUT!
If prayer is not our main business, we will be out of business!
I thought about all the "business" we'd been doing at that Convention. Most of the business I observed was managed by a parliamentarian (like, WOW! That guy did a great job!). And moderated by a president, Ed Litton(husband of my friend, Kathy Litton, and president of the SBC this past year--who did a remarkable job moderating this 2-day, thousands-of-people-in-attendance, old-fashioned church business meeting.).
And I wondered what might have happened in Anaheim if we'd fallen to our knees in prayer together. What might've happened if, after the vote on the Sexual Abuse Task Force recommendation (which passed overwhelmingly), we had just gone to our knees and cried out to our holy and merciful LORD to forgive us! What might've happened if we'd spent more time praying than we spent discussing?
My husband had the best commentary on the SBC that I could possibly come up with, so I'm going to quote him here: "The best thing about the SBC is that anyone can come to a microphone and say anything." He went on to add, "The worst thing about the SBC is that anyone can some to a microphone and say anything."
Ain't that the truth?!
My personal highlight moment was when Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in California (just down the road from where we were meeting), came to one of the microphones and said his thing! Pastor Rick addressed the SBC as a messenger, not on the platform but from the floor...and reminded all of us of what God has allowed him to do with what He's been given--he made the point that much of what he has been able to accomplish was a result of him being Southern Baptist. His father and grandfather were Southern Baptist pastors; he was educated at one of our Southern Baptist seminaries; much-needed funding in the early years when he was planting Saddleback came from Southern Baptist funds; and his church benefitted from training offered through Southern Baptist networks. I appreciated him speaking because--that very morning, on that very floor, there was a discussion (I missed because I was an exhibitor at the Women's Expo) that focused on the role of women in ministry. And apparently some messengers to the Convention wanted to kick Rick Warren and Saddleback Church out of the SBC because his church has ordained a few of their women pastors.
We could get into a long conversation about the role of women in the church, and most likely we would all see it a bit differently, but for the sake of this blog post, suffice it to say that I thought it was both bold and classy for Rick Warren to take the time to step up to that microphone and give us some encouragement!
If you want to know my thoughts regarding the role of women in ministry; and women in general, go listen to the podcast series I'm doing this summer called, "The Truth about Women."
My personal favorite part of the SBC was meeting people from churches large and small who loved the Prayer Clinic ministry and are looking forward to starting Prayer Clinics in their churches. If we could mobilize our people to pray, next year's Convention in New Orleans might usher in a Holy Ghost revival!
We could certainly use some of that!
Come, LORD Jesus come!
For more information on the Prayer Clinic ministry and to learn how you can start the Prayer Clinic in your church participate in our Virtual Open House OR come see us in action at our next In-Person Open House at Thompson Station Church! CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE