2010. I’m letting that number roll off my tongue a little bit today. It’s the beginning of not only a new year but a new decade. After everything that has happened these last two years, most persons I’ve spoken to are excited to leave the horrors of 2009  in favor of the hopes that this year may offer.

Many news organizations are doing their top 10 lists, and Associated Baptist Press has done us a favor by following that trend. ABP has compiled their sampling of the most newsworthy stories in Baptist life. Read through them and see what you think, but suffice it to say that some Baptists will do anything to keep their name in the news. Still, I had forgotten about some of these people, places, and events and a reminder helps me realize that it has been a busy year once again for Baptists. And not always in the best sense.

I’m looking ahead into 2010 with a sense of hope and optimism, believing that the local church remains the greatest resource there is to advance the Kingdom of God. It is very easy to get overwhelmed by the urgent things, to the point of missing out on the important ones. I am constantly challenged by the amount of institutional oversight there can be with buildings, budgets, programs, and raising money to pay off debt. I can appreciate what Amy Butler is dealing with at Calvary Baptist in Washington, D.C.  and how she is leading her church to acknowledge its past with an eye for the future. 

What keeps me moving forward is seeing children come to faith in Christ, our church engaging our community with the gospel, and an enduring hope that God has a purpose for our family of faith. I am grateful to be Baptist, and more thankful to be in a congregation that appreciates our Baptist heritage and cooperative missions efforts both here in Springfield and around the world. I’m expecting good things, and look forward to moving into the second decade of the 21st century knowing that our Lord “will never leave us or forsake us.”