Archive for the 'Southern Baptist Convention' Category

Getting Things in Order in the Southern Baptist Convention

SBC-blog1There are times in life we need to get things in order. Just as this is true about life personally, it can be true about our family of Southern Baptist churches. I am reminded of the words found in Titus 1:5, “This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order.”

There are times we need to get things in order in our churches. But there are also times we need to get things in order where it really counts – in our own relationship with God. At times, we come to realize that we are not living by the grace of God as He wills; therefore, we must get things back in order. There is always a tendency to have a poor attitude or negative behavior. Neither are beneficial to us personally, each other, or to God. We must get things in order.

We Have Experienced Some Problems in Our Southern Baptist Family

My goal is not to publicly do my own diagnostic analysis of the Southern Baptist Convention. I am well aware that the way we operate as a convention of churches does not empower denominational employees with some hierarchical power or elevate one denominational leader or pastor over another. I know that I am one pastor of a local Southern Baptist congregation that cooperates with other churches for the advancement of the gospel throughout America and the entire world.

Therefore, I will leave it where it is: We have experienced some problems in our Southern Baptist family.

Personal Checkpoints to Consider in Getting Things in Order in Our Southern Baptist Family

The book of Titus calls us into order and to do what is good. It calls us, especially in the third chapter, to address our attitude and actions. Let’s use these as checkpoints to consider. We are called upon to:

1. Submit to leadership and authority.

Unless rulers or authorities ask us to do something that violates the Bible, we need to put ourselves under authority. We can lose our testimony in the family, the church, the workplace, the community, the government, our convention, and even in the evangelical world because we operate outside of the authorities God has placed over us.

Living under authority is living out the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is safe for all of us. Living outside of authority is unsafe and not beneficial in any way.

2. Respect all people.

In the third chapter of Titus, God calls us to act considerately and show courtesy to all people. He forbids us to slander or speak evil of anyone, or quarrel and fight with one another. Instead, God calls us to display patient trust in the midst of challenging situations and throughout the seasons in our relationships. Yes, in other words, be respectful to all people.

The Apostle Paul models this in his relationships. He mentions people by their name, calls upon the church to take care of them and to serve all people, and he even sends his love to all the people.

These are very challenging gospel claims. This reminds us that no person is below us. No person is above us. We should strive to be respectful and courteous to all people. Give people chances to fail. Determine you will never let anyone outside of your circle of love. Resolve personally: I will not lose my testimony by the way I treat other people.

3. Remember what we were before God saved us.

How can we be disrespectful to others and not treat them with the highest value when we remember what we were before God saved us? We were once disobedient to God and enslaved by our passions and pride. Then, Jesus saved us. He washed away our sin by His blood and rescued us from sin, death, and hell.

God’s mercy found us. We have now been set free once and for all from our past. By the Holy Spirit’s power, we are now empowered to live right, think right, and treat all people in the right way.

4. Assist people in need.

For those of us who live according to the Gospel, it is imperative for us to assist all people who are in need. Assisting people in need gives us a platform to share Jesus with others. This is not just about doing good deeds, but about meeting the most urgent of needs around us.

When we focus on others in need, it helps us to go forward in fellowship together.

5. Preserve unity in the Church.

We are the Church. We are told to avoid foolish controversies that can result in legalism, division, and fighting among one another. These things are useless to the gospel and to us in the Church of Jesus Christ. Refuse to get into the weeds of uselessness.

Quite honestly, we should never cause division in the Church. And we should never let anyone else cause division in the Church. The demons of hell and Satan himself will do all he can to rip us apart, tear down unity, and malign the gospel message and the gospel messenger.

Finally, let me be more than clear: These checkpoints need to be personal checkpoints. I do not want to police your life and in all reality, I really do not want you to police my life.

Now is the time we need to let God get things in order personally, so we can then get things in order in our Southern Baptist Family.

Now is the Time to Lead,

Ronnie W. Floyd
Senior Pastor, Cross Church


Dr. Ronnie Floyd is the Senior Pastor of Cross Church, founder of the Cross Church School of Ministry, and host of the Ronnie Floyd on Life and Leadership Today podcast.

To request an interview with Dr. Ronnie Floyd
contact Gayla Oldham at (479) 751-4523 or email

Visit our website at
Follow Dr. Floyd on Twitter and Instagram @ronniefloyd

The Cooperative Program and Future Baptists


Financing the work of God that we do together as Southern Baptists should never be minimized. The 51,000 plus churches and congregations that comprise the Southern Baptist Convention choose voluntarily to fund the work of Southern Baptists. Amounts and percentages are not mandated or demanded, but determined within each local church, as it should be.

Last week, when I read Dr. Jason K. Allen’s article entitled Celebrating and Strengthening the Cooperative Program, it was a tremendous reminder of many things. I commend Dr. Allen’s honest and transparent approach. As an employee of one of our Southern Baptist seminaries, he did not speak the company line, but promoted the heart of the Cooperative Program by furthering the centrality of the local church and each church’s voluntary support of our work together.

When the Church Loses Centrality

When churches lose their centrality in Baptist life at any level – association, state, or national convention, it is then that the support of the Cooperative Program stands to lose the most. An association, state convention and the entities of the Southern Baptist Convention must operate with the highest integrity and with the deepest of passion to serve the needs of the churches in carrying out their mission to reach their region, state, nation, and world for Christ. When this happens, churches will joyfully give both voluntarily and sacrificially.

I have championed the Cooperative Program for many years, but especially since I chaired the Great Commission Resurgence task force in 2009-2010, and during my recent service as President of the Southern Baptist Convention. For those who were engaged with us over those two years, you know I believe in the Cooperative Program and spent much of my time and effort toward this grand effort.

Yet, it is never something I have supported blindly, and never will.  When churches are not being heard or being assisted by denominational entities, conventions, or associations, churches will consider other ways to further the gospel. Dr. Allen superbly stated in his article,

“If a church is evaluating or trimming their CP support, let’s not cajole, pressure, or shame them. That is not a winning strategy. My assessment is not a pragmatic or political calculation. It is a biblical and theological one. Christ promised to build his church, not our denomination. Let’s clean up our vocabulary, and use words like “please” and “thank you,” and     shelve words like “should” and “must.” The Southern Baptist Convention agencies, and our state convention partners, serve the churches, not the other way around. As we serve them, they will support us.”

These words represent my heart and what I have both believed and trumpeted for years. Giving the resources God has entrusted to each church is a privilege and a responsibility. Receiving and expending these resources entrusted to denominational entities, conventions, and associations is equally a privilege and responsibility. This is not our money, our church’s money, or our convention’s money; it is all God’s money.

The Past, the Present, and the Future

The conservative resurgence began when I was in seminary. During the early years as a local church pastor, only a few of the conservative resurgence leaders were champions of the Cooperative Program. Therefore, many of us grew up with a limited to non-existent mentorship in the Cooperative Program. This was unfortunate and not to the benefit of our work together. Yet, in everything there is a season.

Over the last two to three years, we have seen the Cooperative Program turn toward growth and a future when most said it was impossible.

But also in this present reality, we are reminded of the central place of our churches in denominational life and the services extended to the churches from our denomination. It is the church that is anointed to take the gospel to the world, not a denomination. Therefore, as churches, whenever it is possible, we must cooperate with one another. To our denominational bodies of service, listen to the churches, help the churches, and represent the churches.

Relating to the future, I cannot determine what other churches do. Whatever a church’s decision, I will pray for and encourage them. I also cannot determine what a denominational entity does or does not do.

What I can do is work with my church to determine what we will do in the future. Prayerfully, we will always be given more reasons to give, rather than reasons to make us question why we should continue to give. Additionally, I am deeply committed as long it is possible for us, to mentor other churches and pastors in a growing commitment to take the gospel to the world through our financial support through the Cooperative Program.

Future Baptists will determine the future of the Cooperative Program. Pastors in their twenties, thirties, and forties will determine what the next generation will do in funding the work of God as Southern Baptists. Pastors, what are you doing now? My only charge to you is this: Your influence will never be greater than the life you and your church live together in modeling a strong commitment through the Cooperative Program. Not only in Cooperative Program giving, but also in modeling to others evangelizing the lost, reaching your community for Christ, planting gospel churches in North America, and mobilizing people to reach the nations for Jesus Christ.

Now is the Time to Lead,

Ronnie W. Floyd
Senior Pastor, Cross Church


Dr. Ronnie Floyd is the Senior Pastor of Cross Church, founder of the Cross Church School of Ministry, and host of the Ronnie Floyd on Life and Leadership Today podcast.

To request an interview with Dr. Ronnie Floyd
contact Gayla Oldham at (479) 751-4523 or email

Visit our website at
Follow Dr. Floyd on Twitter and Instagram @ronniefloyd