“Now, Who are You?”

During a few of my church visits, I have encountered some rather humorous situations, especially when the pastor and church members wonder why I am there. For some of them, visits from state missionaries are not a normal occurrence. In my case, I have had several occasions when people would say something like, “Now, who are you?”

One time, a pastor – when introducing me to his congregation – forgot my name and simply said, “And now, we will hear from the man from Montgomery.” “The man from Montgomery” sounds like an important person but, as I came to the podium, I felt the people might need to know my name and that I was a state missionary and not a representative of the governor or the Alabama Bureau of Investigation. The visit went well, and the people seemed to be encouraged by the presentation I offered concerning state missions.
Another church visit is equally memorable. I was visiting a congregation of Hispanics in a new church start in our state. As I came to the door of the church, a cute little boy saw me and, with a big grin, he turned and shouted, “Momma, the old gringo is here.” Now that is a welcome committee to remember.

More recently, I was in Lawrenceburg, Tenn., for a one-night speaking engagement. The pastor, Jeff Vanlandingham, a former Alabama Baptist, introduced me in the most complimentary fashion I can ever recall. He said to his congregation, “He is the man with One Mission, The Great Commission.”

If I have a legacy among Alabama Baptists, I would love for it to be what my friend, Jeff Vanlandingham, articulated. I would like to be known a “The man with One Mission, The Great Commission.” I couldn’t ask for a better introduction, and I am humbled by it. Thanks, Jeff, for answering the question, “Now, who are you?”

Executive Director of Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions

State Missionary Rick Lance was elected in June of 1998 to serve as executive director of the State Board of Missions and treasurer of the Alabama Baptist Convention. Rick leads state missions efforts and facilitates Great Commission Ministries for the Convention's 3,200+ churches and more than one million Alabama Baptists.

Rick and his wife, Pam, are members at First Baptist Church, Montgomery. They have two daughters.

Any requests for Rick Lance to speak in or visit your church should be directed to Billie Davis at 1-800-264-1225, ext. 253 or (334) 613-2253, bdavis@alsbom.org.

For questions about Dr. Lance's Facebook and Twitter accounts or his blog site, you may contact his social media assistant, Keith Hinson, at 1-800-264-1225, ext. 289 or (334) 613-2289, khinson@alsbom.org.