Above Photo: Ronnie Floyd, Tommy Green, David Uth and J.D. Greear (left to right) discuss plans for the 2020 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in Orlando. Photo by Barbara Denman
ORLANDO, Fla. (BP) — More than 220 Florida Baptist pastors and leaders were challenged by Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee President Ronnie Floyd to mobilize messengers “for the sake of the Gospel” to attend the SBC annual meeting, June 9-10, 2020, in Orlando.
During the Aug. 21 meeting held at First Baptist Church in Orlando, Floyd asked for the pastors to “begin a journey of casting a vision” that will bring “thousands and thousands” to the annual meeting.
“It is important to make it a big deal,” he said. “The more people coming to the convention means more people will hear our message.”
Along with Floyd, SBC President J.D. Greear, David Uth, senior pastor of the host church and president of the 2020 SBC Pastors’ Conference; and Tommy Green, executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention, told of their excitement to mobilize Southern Baptists during the upcoming meeting.
With 21 million residents, increasing by another 330,000 persons each year according to some estimates, Florida Baptists are positioned to impact the world, said Green. “God has brought together the most incredible group of pastors” to the state. “Kingdom churches seeking to impact Florida with the gospel of Jesus Christ. “
Florida Baptist churches baptized 26,162 persons in 2018, Green reported, which represents ten percent of baptisms reported by the SBC. “Our churches are faithful to share the gospel to reach people for Jesus.”
Green shared that the annual Crossover evangelism event held prior to the SBC will be emphasized on a larger scale in all Florida churches — “from Pensacola to Key West…. By casting the net across our churches, we will see a great movement of God.”
Floyd told the Florida pastors that his goal is to have 12,000 in attendance in 2020.
“Let’s encourage and empower our people and say, ‘let’s do something big for the sake of the Gospel,'” he said.
Floyd urged pastors to bring laypeople to the meeting, a group that has dwindled in attendance in recent years. “Laypersons bring a reality to our ‘la la land'” where many pastors reside, he said.
The 2020 meeting, Floyd said, will celebrate the 175th anniversary of the convention meeting. He said the anniversary “needs to be a wake-up call” and “bring us back to the message, bring us back to the mission to bring the world to Jesus Christ … advancing the Gospel to every person in the world.”
Greear announced the theme of the 2020 annual meeting, “Gospel. Above All. Always,” noting that it is a continuation of the 2019 theme, and previewed the meeting’s logo. “We are a gospel people with a gospel message and the Gospel is the most important, above all.”
The nations have come to Orlando, said Uth, and the SBC presents “an opportunity to touch the nations for Jesus.”
Ninety percent of the members of First Baptist did not come from a Southern Baptist background, he noted.
He urged Southern Baptists attending the SBC to witness to very cab driver, every Uber driver and everyone they meet while they are in Orlando. He challenged pastors to demonstrate a love and encouragement for each other so churches will want to send their laypersons to the meeting.
In closing, Floyd shared the need “to transform the culture within the SBC for the purpose of reaching the world for Christ.”
He suggested “Five keys” to lead to transformation: living and breathing gospel urgency; empowering all churches, all generations, all ethnicities, all languages; telling and celebrating what God is doing; loving others like Jesus loves; and prioritizing, elevating, and accelerating generosity.