To highlight its annual picnic, a company rented two racing row boats and challenged a rival company to a race. To the consternation of the company who rented the racing row boats, the rival company quickly went into the lead and won the boat race with very little effort.
The company who lost immediately formed a task force the next Monday morning to discern why they had lost the race so badly.
After three months, they brought back their preliminary report and in essence reported that the rival company had cheated.
The task force chair said, “Our rival company cheated. They had eight people rowing the boat and only one person steering and shouting out the beat. We, however, had one person rowing and eight people steering and shouting out the beat.”
The chairman of the board thanked the task force chairman for the report and formed a new task force to prepare the company for next year’s race and develop a new strategy.
Four months later, the task force came back and reported their new strategy for victory by saying, “After careful consideration, we have developed a winning strategy for next year’s boat race. We have determined after much deliberation that what must happen to win is the one person who is doing all the rowing must row faster.”
Usually, when it comes to the work of a Baptist state convention, there are way too many people who are trying to steer and shout out directions with too few people who are rowing.
After having recently attended the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in New Orleans, let me say this: It sure is great to be a Tennessee Baptist!
We have a state convention who have many people rowing the boat out into the treacherous waters of this world seeking those who are drowning in sin and whose ships are taking on water and sinking.
On Nov. 12-15, the Tennessee Baptist Convention will gather for our annual family reunion that we call “The Summit” at the Chattanooga Convention center. What an exciting time we have planned this year.
We will launch our family reunion with the Pastor’s Conference on Sunday night and Monday. Our Pastors Conference president Ternae Jordan, along with the other officers, have put together a very challenging slate of speakers for this year’s conference which will inspire and challenge us.
On Tuesday, the business of the TBC will begin. What a privilege it will be for me to preside over the 149th annual meeting of the TBC.
Our theme is “Side by Side: Steadfast and Immovable” from I Corinthians 15:58. Together, we will do our business, sing praises to our Lord, spend time in prayer, hear about the blessings of God since our last annual meeting, spend time in fellowship, study God’s Word, dream big dreams, and execute strategies so that more people will go to heaven and less people will go to hell from Tennessee.
Also, let’s not forget the value of just networking, fellowshiping, having a cup of coffee with friends, and rejoicing together. We are the Tennessee Baptist family! Our mission is clear! Our strategy is proven! Our God is great! You and your church are valuable!
Elect your messengers and register now for this year’s Summit at www.tbcsummit.org as we prepare to gather the family. It will not be the same if you are not there with us! B&R — Hallmark is pastor of First Baptist Church, Lexington.