In my day-to-day work among Georgia Baptists I get so much joy from serving the ministers in our churches across the state. Having grown up in the home of a Southern Baptist pastor, I have a deep love and appreciation for those pastors and staff ministers who are serving among our Georgia Baptist congregations.
I can also say that it is the commitment of our convention staff to provide support and encouragement for those who so faithfully serve our Georgia Baptist churches. I am very grateful when I receive emails like the one I want to share with you that assures me we are providing for those who serve our churches.
Matthew recently wrote me and shared a heart full of appreciation for our Georgia Baptist Convention:
“Hey Dr. White, I just wanted to shoot you a quick note. The GBC has been good to me and for me. I grew up in churches and I’m a first generation believer. The people of GBC churches became a spiritual family for me. God saved me at Second Baptist in Waycross. I got married at Jamestown Baptist and submitted to the Lord’s call on my life at Sweat Memorial both also in Waycross. The first church I ever preached at outside of my home church was Hephzibah in Dixie Union, Georgia. In fact I’ve never served outside the state.
But I wanted you to also know that since I left my former church the convention has become even more special to me and my family. Marcus, Marty and Robert reached out to us and ministered to me during a very difficult time in my ministry. Guys like Tom Rush and Russ Harbin also checked on me and it meant a great deal.
Now that we are GBC church planters we have been impressed by the way our convention has partnered with us. Butch Butcher and his office have come along side of us in a great way. Our convention has delivered on all that our convention has promised us. Thank you for your leadership and the ministry of our Georgia Baptist Convention.”
Constantly, as I have the privilege to be among our pastors, church leaders, and congregations across the state, I have said, “It is the sincere desire of our convention staff to come alongside you, not to direct ministry, but to support you in what you sense God is calling you to do in your church and in your community. Please allow us to assist you in any way that we are able as you seek to strengthen your congregation as well as your mission ministry in your own community and beyond.”
I want to say to Matthew, as I say to all of you, that nothing thrills me more than to know that our convention staff is serving your needs. We do so out of the deep sense of God’s call to this ministry. Every staff minister I know who is with our convention could be highly successful serving in any church throughout Georgia, but they have chosen to serve on the staff of the Georgia Baptist Convention because they sense God’s call to this opportunity.
I encourage you to pray for your convention staff. Pray that we will effectively minister to those who serve in Georgia and that the heartfelt appreciation of Matthew will reflect the sentiment of church leaders all across Georgia.