Romans 11:33-36

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Convention Highlight

I have wrestled with whether to begin with the good, the bad or the ugly from the SBC Pastor’s Conference and Annual Meeting. Today is a happy day, so I think I’ll begin with the good. I’ll deal with the other things in later postings.

For me, the highlight of the convention is getting to hear from preachers with whom I am unfamiliar. This year was no exception. In an obvious attempt to appeal to younger pastors and messengers, Dr. David Platt was invited to speak. Although I had heard his name before, I was completely unfamiliar with him. At 30, he is probably the youngest mega-church senior pastor in the SBC. He has pastored the 4000+ member Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, AL for less than three years. He holds five degrees, including two Masters and a Doctorate from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Although those things are impressive, they aren’t what impressed me about him. As a matter of fact, I didn’t know any of those things when he first opened his mouth to preach. But then he began to preach….

Of all the speakers, preachers, reports and motions, it was during the two times that Dr. Platt spoke that I was most directed to the glory of God. Christ was exalted. God’s glory was boldly proclaimed. My heart was stirred to see the glory of God proclaimed among the nations. It wasn’t about numbers or programs or even the SBC. It was about God. It was about Jesus saving sinners, not for our sake, but for the sake of His great Name.

One thing that is very distracting to me during the convention is the constant movement on the convention center floor. People continually move in and out and mill about—even during the sermons. It makes me wonder how those pastors would react if their congregations were behaving that way during their sermons—but I digress. The two times Dr. Platt spoke were the only times I noticed when motion seemed to stop on the convention center floor. People were enthralled. But even though he is a good speaker in his technique and mannerism, he was no better than any other speaker there. So what made his sermons so captivating and convicting?

I am convinced it was two things. First, his utter dependence on God’s Word. He began his first sermon by reciting lengthy passages from the Psalms—from memory. But many of the speakers preached expositionally, so it had to be something else. Of all the speakers, no one elevated God’s glory like Dr. Platt. God saves sinners for His glory. God equips and enables missions for His glory. We exist for His glory. We live for His glory. We even die for His glory. If we as Southern Baptists can begin to grasp the fact that we exist for no other reason than to proclaim God’s glory among the nations, then we will begin to experience the Great Commission Resurgence we long for.

More to come….


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