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I grew up in a church where they always gave an invitation. It was what you did. You never asked questions. Even if the preacher was talking about tithing, you had to give an invitation for salvation. It was right to do and nobody questioned it. Of course most of the time we sang two verses, no one came forward, and we dismissed. As Vance Havner said, “The church opened the doors and gave up her dead.” Continue reading

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I made a quick trip to Dallas last week for our annual Southern Baptist Convention meeting. I had a responsibility on Tuesday morning to host the annual Large Church Roundtable breakfast. I always love this time with these men and hate when I’ve had to miss it. These are all pastors of churches averaging 1,000-2,000 in attendance. We have similar needs, opportunities, and challenges. Most of them I don’t get to see except the two times a year when we meet. What I love about our meetings is that I’ve never seen a hint of arrogance or posturing. We are all trying to learn how to be better at our calling, more effective in our evangelism and discipleship, and, most importantly, supportive of one another. Continue reading

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These have not been good days for the Southern Baptist Convention as a whole. I’ve been a part of this denomination all my life. I’ve watched it survive and thrive in the days following the Conservative Resurgence. Now, I wonder if we will survive. As we are days away from our annual convention meeting, controversy is in the air. We’ve had resignations of major leaders over inappropriate relationships and news stories that haven’t helped at all. Truth hurts. Many of these situations can’t be glossed over or excused. Wrong is wrong. Right is right. Continue reading

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I’m troubled by what’s happening in my denomination. I was born and raised in a Southern Baptist Church. I’ve been a Southern Baptist all my life. I’ve watched our denomination go through the Conservative Resurgence and a return to the inerrancy of Scripture. Yet, there are issues that can’t be ignored and problems that won’t seemingly go away. Continue reading

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We’ve just returned from our second ReFRESH® Northeast Conference. While our team is road weary, we are rejoicing in all God did in two short days. Gathering with pastors from all over the Northeast and as far south as Georgia was a blessing beyond measure. This year, we had over 300 pastors and wives register for the conference, and we were blessed to meet dozens of new people. This partnership has enriched my life and the life of our team. As Terri and I were talking last night, it’s been confirmed over and over again that the right thing to do was to go to parts of the nation outside of the Bible belt. Rather than asking pastors to come to our major “evangelical hubs,” it’s our responsibility to take the message and hope of revival to them. Continue reading