The SBC Needs Ronnie Floyd
On June 10th the Southern Baptist Convention will gather in Baltimore, Maryland, and elect a new president. There are three candidates as of the writing of this post. By my estimation all three are godly men, but one stands above the others in terms of being the right man at the right time. Dr. Ronnie Floyd is my pastor, mentor, and yes, my friend.
I have known Pastor Floyd since 1989 when I served at Cross Church (then First Baptist Church of Springdale) as a summer intern in the student ministry. After completing my master of divinity degree in 1996 at Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, I moved my family to Northwest Arkansas and began a nine-year stint at Cross Church serving on the Shiloh Christian School and church staffs. Those years were formative as I observed Pastor Floyd lead Cross Church and began to form a mentor/friendship with him.
I have often said publically that I have learned more about leadership from Pastor Floyd than any other person in my life. I left Cross Church eight years ago to pastor my home church in Fort Smith, Arkansas, for seven years. In the last year of my tenure at Grand Avenue Baptist Church, we blew the doors off in just about every metric at which church growth analysts look. I won’t go into all the victory stories here and I will be quick to give God all the glory, but I will also say that any role I played as a leader and the pastor at Grand was heavily influenced by the leadership DNA I gained from serving with Pastor Floyd.
And so, I am now back serving with my friend and helping him from the pulpit as a teaching pastor and also leading our new Cross Church School of Ministry. I have been a Southern Baptist my whole life and I love everything our denomination strives for when it comes to accomplishing the Great Commission. So it is with great confidence and conviction that I can say that Dr. Ronnie Floyd needs to be the next president of the SBC.
At such a time as this, the Southern Baptist Convention needs:
- A pastor who understands leadership and who has, himself, an accomplished resume of leadership within the church and within our denominational structure. The SBC can be very tricky to navigate. There is much at stake, and leading all our entities in a unified direction takes great skill. Dr. Ronnie Floyd knows the local church and he knows the SBC. No other candidate has been more engaged in both for extended tenures as Pastor Floyd. In short, he knows what he is doing.
- A leader who can stand between the generations. A great challenge of our convention of churches is to draw in and engage the next generation of pastors and leaders. They need to know they are valued and that they are needed at the table. At the same time, we have a generation of leaders that have carried the torch well through rough waters and their legacy should be appreciated and insights sought after. Dr. Ronnie Floyd stands at a point between these generations. He has the respect of those who have gone before and understands the value of those who are coming forth.
- A man who understands the times in which we live. The culture has changed. The culture is changing. The moral code of our nation is being rewritten right in front of our eyes and the local church has never been more on its heels related to these matters than now. God has gifted the SBC with some extraordinary leaders within our entity heads and what we need, right now, is an extraordinary president who can speak for our convention of churches while working in unison with our current entity leadership. Dr. Ronnie Floyd is that extraordinary leader.
- A pastor who can steer our 50,000+ churches and missions to a point of extraordinary prayer for revival and spiritual awakening and who can elevate the Great Commission to its proper place of prominence and see its acceleration unto its completion in our generation. Dr. Ronnie Floyd is this leader. I know of no other man who is more committed to prayer, spiritual awakening, and the Great Commission than he. These spiritual priorities have dominated his personal life and public ministry for more than the 27 years he has pastored Cross Church. And frankly, it is WHY Cross Church has become the church that it has.
So June 10th around 10:35 am in the morning will be a critical moment. A moment can define a season and a season can define a generation.
I am praying for my brother and friend, Dr. Ronnie Floyd. I am praying for him as God may be raising him up for the presidency of the SBC, and I will surely pray for the yoke that will be laid upon him should such become a reality.