Floyd sees bright future for SBC
Ronnie Floyd envisions a surge of Great Commission efforts in response to the overwhelming approval by Southern Baptists of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force (GCRTF) recommendations in June. Floyd, pastor of First Baptist Church in Springdale, Ark., served as chairman of the task force and sees the historic vote as an emphatic statement about the direction of the convention.
Ultimately, Floyd believes the coming changes give hope to future generations and will free up more Cooperative Program dollars to be used for the two mission boards.
"I pray we see a major movement in church planting occur, especially in the metropolitan regions of North America," Floyd says, "but at the same time in the under-reached and under-served areas in our nation.
Because Southern Baptists also support Christ's command to go into all nations to make disciples, Floyd says, "We must make major changes personally, in our churches, and in our convention if we are going to see the nations reached for Jesus. Hopefully, in the future, Southern Baptists will move an even greater percentage of the SBC Cooperative Program dollars towards reaching the nations."
Floyd, a two-time graduate of Southwestern, sees the historic vote as a positive sign for future ministers of the Gospel and prays that God will use Southern Baptist seminaries to equip the next generation of Great Commission pastors and missionaries.
"We need major efforts in equipping church planters to occur now. Convicting challenges must be issued for us to go where the people are, especially to those places where the Gospel witness is not as known as it is in America. Our schools must prepare the next generation for being cutting-edge pastors who lead with the world on their hearts."
Floyd also has advice for seminary students: "Seize these moments! Sharpen yourself! Do not miss this moment. You are in the greatest work in the world, so prepare with all you have to be the best you can be with the gifts God has given you. At the same time, be humble, prayerful, and leave your future in the hands of God."
Additionally, Floyd encourages younger Southern Baptists to "get involved, attend our conventions, pray, give and support in every way the endeavors of expanding the Gospel."
For Floyd, his time at Southwestern shaped him for his present pastoral ministry and his denominational service as GCRTF chairman.
"Southwestern prepared me in many ways. It taught me discipline. It taught me how a rigorous academic schedule with major expectations could be achieved while pastoring a local church at the same time. It taught me to have a great heart for evangelism personally and in the church. It taught me to love the Great Commission and to do all I could with all I am to make a difference for the Gospel. Southwestern helped prepare for me the ministry, and I am grateful for its influence upon me.
As for his role on the GCRTF, Floyd sees Southwestern's influence on his life in several aspects: "First, it is in this school that I began to understand the SBC in a greater way. Growing up in a very small church, I had little knowledge imparted to me about the SBC. Second, the school taught me to love the Great Commission. I had reaching North America and the World on my heart from the time I left Southwestern. Third, it prepared me as much as it could at that time to pastor a local church. The church is where the action is, and every decision I made in GCR, I made from the heart of a local church pastor motivated by the Great Commission with my target being to reach the nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Fourth, Southwestern taught me how to communicate God's message more effectively. I will always be grateful for the wise counsel I received in helping me to be a communicator of God's Word. Without my time at Southwestern, I would not have been even close to being prepared to have led in this huge task."
Keith Collier is director of news and information for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas (www.swbts.edu/campusnews).