Engage the Culture

These are the notes for the opening at the South Carolina Baptist Convention 2019 Annual Meeting.

You can watch the video here (around the 40-minute mark).

As ministry leaders committed to engaging the culture, we must never rely upon our limited efforts. God is not dependent upon us to get our jobs done to reach this world with the gospel.

  • While God may appreciate our efforts, He has never once relied upon them.
  • Esther 4:14
    • What we normally quote:
      • “come to the kingdom for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14)
    • The full verse:
      • “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, 
      • but you and your father’s house will perish. 
      • And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)
  • God’s invitation is never based upon desperation.
  • God doesn’t need us, but He wants us.
  • The message of the gospel will engage this culture, but we are not guaranteed to be the messengers.
  • The gospel of Jesus being proclaimed among the nations is not contingent upon the Southern Baptist Convention getting our act together.
  • The Kingdom of God advancing through South Carolina is not dependent upon our state convention agreeing upon a unified strategy.
  • The evangelistic efforts in your area do not rely on the initiatives of your local Baptist association.
  • The work of God transforming the streets of your city is not dependent upon your local church’s relevant ministries.
  • The movement of God sanctifying the people within your congregation is not contingent upon your personal skills and abilities.
  • God doesn’t need our platforms or our podcasts. 
  • He isn’t banking on our buildings or our brands.
  • He’s never needed a fundraiser because he has never been short on supply.
  • He’s never called a volunteer drive because he was short-staffed.
  • The gospel of Jesus Christ will go forward. His purposes will advance. He is gathering a family from every tribe, every nation, every tongue, and he will do so with or without you or me.