Next week, the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) will convene its Annual Meeting. Messengers from BGCO churches will come together for inspiration, information and business decisions that will give direction to the work of the convention for the following year.
Personally, this will be a significant convention for me. It will be my 22nd time to address the messengers as the executive-director treasurer—it will also be my last. Those are hard words to write. Serving in this leadership role has been such a remarkable journey, and it is hard to believe that it is moving toward a conclusion.
I look forward to opening God’s Word and leaving a final charge to Oklahoma Baptists. Over the years I have used my time during the Annual Meeting to cast vision and introduce new directions for convention work. While there are some exciting things I will share during the business session, this year my address will be a biblical focus on what is central to the mission of the convention and a clear delineation of a message forever etched on my own heart.
Rest assured, my words will not be about me or a reflection on the past. There will be many opportunities for that later. I want to declare God’s Word. We don’t need to hear from the executive director; we need to hear from a man of God burdened not with a sermon, but with a message from the throne. I will do my best to fulfill that task.
I am so pleased that the Singing Churchmen will be singing on Monday night during the session and before I preach. They are the best in the nation, and they always draw us to the throne with their music. I would be at the Monday night session for no other reason than to hear them!
On Tuesday, we will hear from BGCO President Joe Ligon; Rick Frie, as he preaches the annual sermon; and David Platt, president of the International Mission Board. This is a line-up of preachers who will inspire and encourage. In between sermons, we will have opportunities to hear of the victories of the past and the plans for the future of our cooperative work. We will make important decisions regarding convention business during these times.
One of the items of business that is often undervalued is the Report of the Resolutions Committee. Some conventions have stopped presenting resolutions, but for a very good reason the BGCO continues to put forward resolutions.
Throughout the year we are called upon by media to address issues on behalf of Oklahoma Baptists. Often, when dealing with the state legislative and executive branches, the convention needs to give a strong statement regarding moral and ethical issues. These resolutions give us a foundation for these comments rather than just expressing our own opinions.
To be able to say our convention has spoken on the subject is powerful for me. This year there will be a clear, strong resolution in regard to the curse of racism. I am thankful for the hard work of the Resolutions Committee.
The Annual Meeting is surrounded by special meetings that are important to the unity and focus of the convention. The Pastors’ Conference and Missions Celebration are both held Monday, Nov. 13, in conjunction with the Annual Meeting.
This year a new auxiliary meeting for young pastors, led by young pastors, will be held as well. David Platt is scheduled to be their keynote speaker. We are excited that nearly 150 young pastors have registered for the Tuesday luncheon.
I invite messengers and guests to be a part of this annual gathering of the convention held at Oklahoma City, Quail Springs, beginning Monday evening, Nov. 13, with the Singing Churchmen providing pre-session music at 6:15 p.m. The call to order is at 6:30 p.m. I look forward to seeing you there.