With the presidential election a little more than a year away, the candidates are busy visiting states raising funds and making speeches. A few of the contenders, in both parties, have made their ways to Alabama seeking the support of Alabama leaders in their quests for the highest elected office in our nation. Next year, the nominees of their respective parties will most likely do the same.
Alabama Baptists have what I call “a dynamic duo” visiting us on Tuesday, November 13, during the annual meeting of our State Convention. They are not seeking votes or trying to make the news. Rather, they are going to be at the state convention to help us launch the emphasis on LEADERconnect.
Who are these two guests and what is LEADERconnect? Richard Blackaby — well-known author, teacher, preacher and leader — is one of the two guests. I first met Richard more than 20 years ago when I was the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Tuscaloosa. He was the principal leader and teacher for a prayer conference at our church.
From that time on, I have been an admirer of Richard Blackaby. He combines the heart of a spiritual leader with the mind of a Christian scholar. As you may know, his famous father, Henry Blackaby, is a noted author of numerous books and studies on spiritual leadership. What you may not know is that Richard has written extensively with his father and on his own as well. Richard is truly a dynamic speaker and leader!
Steve Green is our second guest on hand for the convention. Steve is a gifted Christian vocalist who has for decades served the Lord through music. In 1999, Steve was a featured soloist for our convention, and he was so well received by the Alabama Baptist family that we wanted to invite him for an encore visit.
During the 1999 convention, we celebrated the conclusion of our partnership in missions with Spain. To honor our partners from Spain, Steve sang in Spanish for them, and they were literally tearful as well as cheerful over the kind gesture on his part. Steve Green is a humble person with enormous giftedness. The Lord has used him all over the world for His glory.
Now, what is LEADERconnect? It is a much-needed emphasis upon developing effective leadership in Alabama Baptist churches. Christian leaders are both born and grown. When we are born again, we are given gifts for service for the Lord. The Christian life is a pilgrimage which involves growing and maturing in the faith. That is the essence of LEADERconnect.
LEADERconnect is about connecting with God, purpose and others. Connecting with God is a daily exercise. It is walking with the Lord each and every day. Connecting with your life’s purpose emanates from the connectivity a Christian has with the Lord. Knowing and doing God’s will is the greatest knowledge and the greatest achievement for the believer.
LEADERconnect is also a challenge to be connected with others. The Christian life was never intended to be lived in isolation but in communion. We are saved by His grace, and we serve others for His glory. As Christians, we are to live a Christ-centered life with a people priority.
As we gather in Mobile for the Alabama Baptist Convention, we need to welcome the presence of a dynamic duo, Richard Blackaby and Steve Green, who have come to assist us as we launch the emphasis known as LEADERconnect. Pray that we as a people of faith will be connected with God, purpose and others, and also pray that we will be effective and faithful as leaders seeking “the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.”