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The Open Door

 

November is Annual Meeting time for the Georgia Baptist Convention. Every year I look forward to seeing Georgia Baptists as we gather at our meeting location. We come from the cities, towns, villages, and rural areas of Georgia with the singular purpose to give praise and glory to God. It is our sincerest desire to be faithful servants of the Lord Jesus Christ and to demonstrate our service through commitment to missions in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth.

As we come together, we enjoy fellowship. We love to sing. We hear good preaching. We pray for Godís guidance for our ministries. We make bold commitments for the future. When we depart the convention, we traditionally leave with hearts filled with joy and praise and looking forward to all God will do in the coming year.

Our staff has been very involved in the annual associational meetings across the state. The staff has returned to the Baptist Center with glowing reports of a great and positive spirit among Georgia Baptists who are focused upon Kingdom ministry and healthy Kingdom churches. We are thankful for our 92 Baptist associations, for our associational missionaries who serve tirelessly, and the churches of our associations, which are so vital in moving forward the ministry of the local association, the state convention, and the Southern Baptist Convention.

At this time of year, we rejoice in the great reports that we receive of Southern Baptist work and ministry. Last week I received a report from Morris H. Chapman, president and chief executive officer of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention. In his letter, he reported that we received $6,802,734 more in Cooperative Program gifts this year than we did in the preceding year. Dr. Chapman noted that we have completed eleven of the past twelve years with record giving in total gifts to the work of the Convention. This kind of faithfulness is advancing the Kingdom of God on earth through 10,000 Southern Baptist missionary families who are serving faithfully around the world.

We are a part of a great missionary enterprise that is a marvelous privilege. Let us cherish our convention. Let us pray for our churches. Let us seek the divine guidance of God for all that we do throughout the year and in particular at our annual meeting in Columbus. Pray for Dr. Tony Dickerson, who has served us so well as president of the Georgia Baptist Convention. Pray for all who will participate on the convention program, and pray for all who will attend. This will be a wonderful time of fellowship and challenge. I look forward to seeing you in Columbus.