Restored for a Purpose

Here is a quiz for you. What famous person received this criticism during their lifetime? “Alas, this man will never get anything done, for he is thinking about the end before he begins.”

If you guessed Leonardo da Vinci, you would be correct. In fact, the genius behind the Last Supper and the Mona Lisa received a number of criticisms along these lines. Da Vinci’s vast abilities and creative fluency kept him ever engaging but rarely finishing. He left a treasure trove of started masterpieces, but produced few things all the way to completion.[1]

How are you and I when it comes to follow through? How about our churches? How about our General Conference? What is our collective pattern of follow through? It is admittedly much more convenient to analyze da Vinci than to do some self-assessment on this subject.

Rather than jumping into tools to help us focus our energies and refine our priorities (which are super helpful things to do), it is primarily critical to keep first things first. When we think about our missional calling as individuals, churches, and the Conference, we need to keep the “Who” first, not the what. Os Guiness states this well:

“We are not primarily called to do something or go somewhere; we are called to Someone. The key to answering the call is to be devoted to no                  one and to nothing above God himself.”[2]

With our focus on Who, the what of our missional calling does not become an end in itself. This is critically important as we lean into the space of key ministries: church planting, church revitalization, leadership development, and gospel saturation. We need to keep our focus on God, committing our every step in prayer rather than simply strategies.

Over the upcoming weeks you will be hearing some exciting news about ministry developments amongst Seventh Day Baptists. We will be talking about steps forward in equipping healthy leaders. We will be announcing some key movement in the area of SDB church planting. As we celebrate these developments, please remain in prayer as we focus on the Who of our calling, and not simply the strategic what.

We are certainly restored for a purpose. I am looking forward to experiencing how this Conference Year theme continues to unfold across the weeks ahead!

Grace and peace,

Carl Greene

Executive Director, Seventh Day Baptist General Conference of USA and Canada

[1] Guinness, Os. 2003. The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 9.

[2] Ibid., 42.

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