FIRST-PERSON: EKG is vital to resurgence
BARTLETT, Tenn. (BP)--For the past 15 years, the Southern Baptist church where I am pastor has experienced a steady stream of new believers into our fellowship with more than 1,500 people being baptized as members.
At the same time, we've been busy mobilizing our church family for sharing their faith and participating in short-term mission projects on the local, national and international levels.
More than 2,000 of our members have been involved in mission projects annually, and we are committed to strengthening other churches by sending members and resources and starting new churches strategically.
The church has continued to increase our missions giving through the Cooperative Program and our local association in our annual budget while significantly increasing our church's missions offering each year, allowing us to develop Acts 1:8 partnerships that are long-term.
Sacrifice and service are foundational themes in every area of ministry in our congregation. Our church family is more concerned about giving and sharing than taking and keeping, and we have become more concerned about advancing God's Kingdom than building our own personal empire.
This refreshing mindset and spiritual momentum for making disciples, maturing believers and mobilizing our members has been stirred by the Empowering Kingdom Growth resources offered by the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee.
Faith Baptist Church in Bartlett, Tenn., where I am pastor, has incorporated "EKG: the Heartbeat of God" and "Eternal Impact" resources church-wide. These practical studies have served as reinforcements to the clear and compelling vision God has given us to reach the whole world from West Tennessee.
Ken Hemphill, national strategist for EKG, has been our guest on several occasions at Faith Baptist as we have been involved in these studies. Each time, our church has taken a step forward in our commitment to embrace the heartbeat of the Heavenly Father to a greater degree. Our people love what Jesus loves -- people from every tongue and tribe and nation.
As our SBC messengers and leaders meet in Orlando in June, I hope the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force recommendation will include a strong endorsement of the Empowering Kingdom Growth initiative for every church in our convention.
This may be one of the golden keys to a Great Commission Resurgence among our churches. It certainly has been for the church I serve.
I wholeheartedly recommend that every pastor and church leader consider the EKG resources on a church-wide scale. Preach the EKG messages on Sunday mornings and teach the material in your Sunday School classes for a season. The results will be amazing. They certainly have been for us.
Who knows? As a convention we may even experience a reigniting of the Great Commission fire in our churches. I personally believe the heart of the GCR matter is primarily a matter of the heart.
Danny Sinquefield is pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Bartlett, Tenn.