Dear Church Family,

I am thankful to be a Southern Baptist. Allison and I are here in St. Louis as the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting winds down. It has been an exciting past couple of days—not mainly because of anything that has happened in particular, but because of the evidence of where the SBC is going.

This past year’s Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, which supports international missionaries in its entirety, was over $11 million more than the previous high. There were several moving, meaningful, and helpful resolutions passed regarding race and gender. Our Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission championed the Christian’s confidence in the power of the Gospel to save people by clarifying its efforts to promote religious freedom. Our six seminaries continue to grow in the number of men and women they have trained to serve the local church. After the second presidential vote ended without either candidate receiving a technical majority, one candidate deferred to the other for the sake of unity across our convention.

We have a rich heritage as Southern Baptists, but without diminishing the past, I can with confidence agree with my other brothers and sisters here to say we are in some of our best days. However, the beauty of what has been taking place here is that the foundation has been laid for even greater days ahead.

Now, this is not a rah rah speech about the superiority of Southern Baptists. I am thankful to God for the ways in which He has blessed us as a convention, but those blessings are not meant to puff us up with pride, but to bring us to our knees in humble thanksgiving. He has been good to us—often in spite of us, but we do pray that He will continue to build His Church through our convention as we seek to faithfully spread the Gospel.

Rejoice with me in what the Lord is doing and pray with me that our church would do our part where God has us to glorify His name. We serve a great God.