Have you ever been to a big family reunion? This is a fun time for everyone to come together, fellowship, eat good food, reminisce, talk about future goals and plans and to enjoy personal relationships. At a family reunion there is a place for everyone in the family.
Of course, at every family reunion, there is also that crazy uncle who is always a wildcard!
Well, it is time for the Tennessee Baptist family reunion that we call the Summit. I hope you have made your plans to travel from all areas of the state to be with us at Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova starting on Sunday night, Nov. 13 through Wednesday, Nov. 16. From the All Nations Celebration to the Pastor’s Conference and our reports and business, we are gathering as a family to seek God and worship Him together.
One of the key events of the 2022 Summit will be a futurist team report on Tuesday afternoon, followed by listening sessions. The Acts 2:17 Vision team has been diligently meeting over the past couple of months to prepare for these important listening sessions.
The purpose of these listening sessions is to create the opportunity to hear from every Tennessee Baptist and discern together God’s preferred future around which to rally Tennessee Baptist churches.
Our goal is to stop asking God to bless our plans, but to go directly to the throne room of God and ask Him what He wants Tennessee Baptists to do as we approach our 150th anniversary celebration in 2024.
Simply put, we have discovered truth in what the hymnwriter George Askins wrote when he said, “All is vain unless the Spirit of the Holy One comes down.”
When we gather into these listening sessions, we will do so in small groups of no more than 20 people and will be led by Auxano trained facilitators from throughout Tennessee Baptist harvest fields. We want to discover and articulate four things:
• Needs to be met
• Opportunities to seize
• Problems to solve
• Dreams to pursue
I can assure you that we will value your time, involvement, and your thoughts. We need to hear from you. We want to hear from you.
As we begin to prepare for these listening sessions at the 2022 Summit, let me share with you three key questions we will be asking you. I share these with you now so that you can begin to pray and think through how you will answer these questions with brief responses. Here are the three key questions:
(1) What is a current, significant challenge your church cannot face on its own?
(2) What part of your community needs fresh thinking when it comes to gospel impact?
(3) If God has His way in our Tennessee Baptist mission field over the next 10 years, what would we be celebrating?
We are going to be seeking God’s vision and wanting to hear your voice. Help us come together and start to dream about the future and what new things and new initiatives God has for Tennessee Baptists. Also, help us seek God’s will for the things we may need to stop doing as a convention of churches.
What an amazing opportunity that is before us as we gather together as a TBC family. Be present! Be prayed up! Be a participant! Bring your praise! Be prepared for God to move! Just don’t be the crazy uncle! Ha! I’ll see you at Bellevue! B&R — Hallmark is pastor of First Baptist Church, Lexington.