In 2011, Christianity Today reporter Sarah Pulliam Bailey interviewed Billy Graham. She asked, “What are the most important issues facing evangelicals today?”
Billy Graham responded:
“The most important issue we face today is the same issue the church has faced in every century: WILL WE REACH THE WORLD FOR CHRIST? In other words, will we give priority to Christ’s command to go into all the world and preach the gospel?”1
Unquestionably, this issue is looming not only among evangelicals, but especially before the Southern Baptist Convention.
Simplifying our task.
We need to once again simplify our task for each of us personally, for our churches and for our Southern Baptist Convention.
In order to simplify the task, we need to raise up the key question, which is, “Will we reach the world for Christ?”
In our complex world with all sorts of noise going on in our lives, we need to dismiss our attraction to controversies and argumentative discussions. We need to ask our churches continually, “Will we reach the world for Christ?”
With all the good things we do within our own Southern Baptist Convention, we must never neglect the best and highest thing: Will we reach the world for Christ?
I believe we know this is our mandate, and I also believe that it is the desire most of us have; yet, at times, it gets lost in the maze of many good things.
Three steps to reaching the world for Christ.
1. Prioritize the vision to reach the world for Christ.
It is not an option but a necessity to see it raised up as our ultimate priority. Everything else we do personally, in our churches and in our convention must contribute to this mission that God has placed upon each of us.
2. Finance the vision to reach the world for Christ.
We must move away from stewardship practices that do not move more and more monies to the fulfillment of the Great Commission. This must occur within the lives of all Christ-followers personally, in our churches and in our Southern Baptist Convention.
Our stewardship problems begin in the lives of each Christ follower. Therefore, we must begin to change there!
Then, it must occur in our churches and in our convention. Since the preaching of the gospel to the world is a necessity for the world to be reached for Christ, more and more monies must find their way toward ensuring this vision is fulfilled.