The Florida Baptist Convention was an event that was unique and surprisingly enjoyable. I did not know what to expect when going to the Convention because I had never attended one and I had honestly never heard of a State Convention gathering of Southern Baptists. Immediately when I walked into one of the sessions I noticed a variety of styles in preaching and in music. They were ethnically diverse, a change I believe that is stirring within our congregations, but is still at its beginning stages. It brought great joy to my soul that I saw different ethnicities worshipping Jesus together, because the Gospel crosses all ethnicities, cultures and generations. This is what the body of Christ should look like and it was encouraging for me to see the State Convention’s conviction to pursue unity in the church.
There was a seasoned pastor from Arkansas that spoke at the Convention and by appearances I thought I would be completely disengaged. My presuppositions were falsely assumed and this older pastor, Ronnie Floyd, pastor of Cross Church, was probably my favorite communicator of God’s Word at the Convention. He spoke the Word with conviction and faithfulness to the text. As an aspiring lead pastor, he rebuked me and corrected future and current church leaders to not forget the commandment that Christ has commissioned us to give our lives to proclaim the Gospel. Sadly, we as the church often forget this simple truth and I am thankful that this pastor reminded me and countless others of this truth.
There are always areas of improvement for any church event, because we are a people being redeemed, but I will say that the Florida Baptist State Convention is seeking Jesus and attempting to be faithful to His Word and those changes are evident and relevant, because the Gospel was at the forefront of this gathering. If we continually remind ourselves of this reality the Florida Baptist Convention will continue to radically share the good news that will shape the future generations until Christ returns.
By Cameron Boothe, Fruit Cove Baptist Church, November 20, 2018 | Cam Boothe is a member of Fruit Cove Baptist Church and serves on staff as an intern for the middle school ministry.