By Michael Ellis
TBC President & Pastor of Impact Baptist Church, Memphis
Choices are one of the primary reasons I simply love going to a buffet restaurant. I have the freedom to choose chicken, fish, pork chops, ribs, salad, desserts, and all of the trimmings. Even though I have this freedom to choose from all of the selections, there are usually potential consequences. The possibility of experiencing stomach aches, larger clothing, and guilt are just some of the possible consequences. As I think of those potential consequences, I am motivated to make good choices with selections that will help me avoid looking those and other negative consequences in the face.
We are blessed at our church (Impact Baptist Church) to have evangelistic block parties each year at our church and at locations throughout the city. During the activities, we use puppets to help with our outreach efforts. Ministry volunteers use strings to control the puppets’ every movement. I am thankful that God did not make us like puppets on a string. He has blessed us with the freedom to make choices. We choose to move in the direction of good or bad, up or down, yes or no, and obedience or disobedience. As Tennessee Baptists we have the liberty to always make godly choices of oneness, forgiveness, faithfulness, and holiness. The choice is yours!
In 1976, President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized February as Black History Month, calling upon the public to seize the opportunity and make the choice of honoring the too often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout the history of our country.
I am grateful and humbled by the historical choice of president Tennessee Baptists made this past November at our annual meeting (The Summit) in Brentwood. Messengers also made the choice to adopt the Five Objectives established for the purpose of helping to reduce the level of spiritual lostness in Tennessee. I believe choices were made that says Tennessee Baptists are a body of believers who are led by the Holy Spirit to make choices.
I am looking forward to opportunities God will present to establish relationships and build bridges to reach the lost for Christ across our state, country and the world.
The choice is yours! (Joshua 24:15).
— Ellis is pastor of Impact Baptist Church, Memphis.