BRANSON – Synergy, as illustrated in the cooperative work of Missouri Baptists to obey the Great Commission, provides the world with a powerful gospel story, Executive Director John Yeats said Monday evening in his address to messengers and visitors at the MBC Annual Meeting.
Yeats’ remarks closed out the first day of the two-day event, Oct. 25-26, at the Branson Convention Center.
“Like an internal combustion engine, there are so many things working together among Missouri Baptists to accomplish the work of the Lord,” said Yeats, who invited the presidents of several MBC-affiliated institutions to share testimonies of God’s faithfulness on Missouri Baptist university campuses, in children’s homes, and in ministries to the aged.
Messengers and visitors also heard stories of spiritual transformation through the work of Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers.
Citing the best-selling book, Canoeing the Mountains by Tod Bolsinger, Yeats said the post-Covid world is uncharted territory that requires different leadership. In contrast with the past, which often required leaders to identify and fix problems, the challenges today are more focused on conflicting values. These must be addressed with “wisdom, prudence, clarity, and even tears,” said Yeats.
Speaking to pastors caught in the vortex of these challenges, Yeats said, “Brothers, I encourage you and me to do more listening and less fixing.”
Ministry leaders are able to accomplish this when they remember the words of the Lord through the psalmist: “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted over all the earth.”
Yeats encouraged Missouri Baptists not to languish in fear, anxiety, or despair over troubling events in the world – or even in our churches: “Let us remember that we are Kingdom people. We are a royal priesthood. We are children of the King, who is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ.”
As Missouri Baptists work synergistically to carry out the Great Commission, they should look forward to the day when Christ returns and sets everything right, said Yeats. “Meanwhile, we must show people the value of living surrendered lives to the rule and the reign of the Lord Jesus,” he said.
Yeats urged listeners to follow the apostle Paul’s command to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit. Further, he said we must love one another enough to work together for the glory of God.
“We can hold our heads high because our King, Jesus, rules in majesty, holiness, and grace. And we, my friends, according the Word of God, are joint-heirs with Christ Jesus our Lord.”