RIDGECREST, N.C. (BP) — As the annual Black Church Leadership and Family Conference opened to perhaps 1,000 attendees at Ridgecrest, N.C., Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear was in the number.
“I want you to hear from me, who has the privilege of serving in this capacity as president, I want you to hear, ‘Thank you,’ and I want you to know that your sacrifices, and your prayers and your faith, have not been in vain, that God is using them,” Greear told the predominantly African American audience on the event’s opening night July 22.
“And with our humility, and with our continued posture of repentance, we believe that even greater days are ahead,” Greear said, “because God doesn’t move in His church unless He intends to impact the world in the future.”
Greear, who has demonstrated diversity in his appointments to SBC committees, attended the urban ministry event with his wife Veronica and about 10 other members and staff from The Summit Church he leads in the Raleigh-Durham area.
“By God’s grace, He is moving in His church, and He is showing us that … to be a reflection of His glory, we need to reflect the diversity of our communities, but we also need to proclaim the diversity of the coming Kingdom, and that is what gives glory to Jesus,” Greear said. “You, brothers and sisters,” he told conference attendees, “you have believed that, and you have prayed for that, for a long, long time. I think in recent days we have seen a new movement of God’s Spirit in continuing to move us toward that.”
Intentional diversity, Greear said, is not about charity, but about truth.
“It is really a recognition that we need the wisdom that God has put into your community to go into the days ahead,” Greear said. “God has written a very unique story in your churches, in your lives. That is a wisdom that He intends to use sovereignly as we continue to proclaim the Gospel to our nation. It is something you are doing not as a service to the Lord Jesus, not only to Him, but also as a service to your brothers and sisters of the Southern Baptist Convention.”
Ken Weathersby, SBC Executive Committee vice president for convention advancement, introduced Greear as a friend who has led The Summit Church to be used by God in a “tremendous way.”
“The church is drawing through sending out folks. That sounds strange,” Weathersby said. “But God has called Dr. Greear to raise up leaders and send them out. And yet as he sends leaders out all over the country and around the world, God continues to multiply The Summit Church. The Lord grows the ministry by giving away.”
The Southern Baptist Cooperative Program of funding missions empowers all churches to be involved in sending missionaries and planting churches, Weathersby said, introducing an informational video on the Southern Baptist “Who’s Your One?” evangelistic emphasis.
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Source: Baptist Press