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Perspective - January 2013
The dawning of a new year always brings excitement of new beginnings. The old year with yesterday's challenges and difficulties is pushed back to make room for opportunities of a new year.

It is good to reflect on the many accomplishments of 2012. As in every year, I'm sure we can recount mountaintop and valley experiences in our lives - physically, mentally and spiritually. If you are like me, I sometimes feel as though I'm swimming against the waves, while other times I feel as though I'm soaring like the eagles. But I always make it back to solid ground. Thank God for safe landings.

The new year will bring great opportunities in missions and evangelism outreach. I'm not one to make New Year's resolutions, but at the beginning of each new year, I am challenged to recommit to those things that are important in my life personally and professionally.

So, what is important in the life of our Convention to which we as California Southern Baptists need to recommit ourselves? I can think of atleast two - church starting and evangelism.

California Southern Baptists are starting churches with planters who have a passion to share Christ with everyone. We consistently begin at least 100 new congregations each year. Let's recommit to our efforts to start more churches to reach more people. Church starting is an effective way of reaching people for Christ.

The tagline for our convention is "Reaching the World in California." We certainly are doing that by starting churches for all types of culture, ethnic and language groups.

Evangelism is what the Christian life is about - introducing others to Jesus. Let's recommit ourselves to opening doors so many can be introduced to Christ. The latest reported statistics for the Southern Baptist Convention reveal that California ranked ninth in baptisms out of 42 state Baptist conventions and fellowships in the SBC. Let's pray and work to win more people to Jesus, not for the ranking, but for the Kingdom. We count baptism numbers, but the true numbers of conversions are counted in Heaven.

I am often amazed at how we seem to find fault with those who do not achieve "our level of success." I remember the "one sheep" that was rescued. Individuals are important to God. He left the 99 to seek the one.

I pray that during 2013 every one of us will be passionate about reaching another person with the Gospel of Christ, so there can be a celebration in Heaven.

Let us always remember that our God is in complete control and that the best is yet to come. May He grace you with His power and presence and use each of us to tell His story this year.
Last Published: December 18, 2012 10:59 PM