Your Convention - You Belong

November 9th, 2017 / By: Jim Richards | Executive Director / comments

Your Convention - You Belong

Belong! The theme of this year’s Southern Baptists of Texas Convention is an invitation and affirmation. Let me explain the invitation.

You are invited to experience one of the most unique state convention annual meetings ever. There are two main breakout sessions designed to connect you with others in the SBTC family. The first breakout will provide a setting for you to get to know some who are ministering near you geographically. Sometimes we have the tendency to get so involved with our individual assignments from the Lord that we forget to reach out to others who are walking the same path. Monday night, at the conclusion of the session, you will enjoy getting to know some of your fellow SBTCers who are located near your place of ministry.

The second breakout is during the lunch hour on Tuesday. Pastors and laypersons serving churches similar to yours in attendance will join you as you learn from one another. No two churches are alike. Yet there are common joys and challenges that create a fellowship. 

On Tuesday morning a panel will tackle the most important function in the life of a church. You are invited to participate in the question-and-answer time. Benefiting from the interaction can enhance your local church. 

Our preachers during last year’s convention preached through a text.  The Southern Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference picked up the idea. We are doing it again this year. All of our speakers will bring expository messages from Ephesians chapter four. In the concluding message Tuesday night  Tony Evans will bring a select passage for us.

Music will bring us into the presence of the Lord in worship. Scripture reading and prayer will be done by couples, emphasizing the unity of the home. Testimonies of God’s faithfulness will be shared. It is going to be a tremendous atmosphere.

All of these aspects of your annual meeting are an invitation to “Belong.” Notice I said, “Your annual meeting.”  This is where the affirmation part comes in. You affirm by your presence and participation that this is your Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. It is not the staff’s. It is not the big churches’. It is not the smaller churches’. It is not one ethnic group or another’s. You make up your convention. Accept the invitation and by doing you are affirming that this group of churches is yours. You are saying, “I belong.”

Many para-church organizations do great work. Many non-profits assist in bettering our society. Even other affinity groups or denominations impact the culture for God’s glory. When I look at all the groups available and vying for my involvement, I am thankful to God that I can invest my life in the local churches of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. I pray that I will see you where you “Belong”!