It was a real honor for me to preach for the third time at the Southern Baptist Convention last night in New Orleans. I felt very small, sandwiched between Dr. Jack Graham (my close friend, and very much a mentor in church leadership) and Fred Luter, Jr. (publicly confirmed as the first African American president of the Southern Baptist Convention, PTL). The message was reflective of my heart residing continually upon the message of Vertical Church, which releases August 1 and can be pre-ordered. (All author royalties are going to Harvest Bible Chapel 5G—so order a few. )
“Is it not in your going with us that we are distinct as a people?” (Exodus 33:16). God at the center, as the reason churches gather, is what we must come back to. If God shows up at church working miracles, it’s time to order more chairs—but we are too often content with so much less. Horizontal helpfulness or parched, lifeless orthodoxy have replaced manifest presence in most churches. By miracle, I mean ‘things that could not have happened apart from God’s intervention.’ Big and small, we have seen them all through the years. And I believe God is not reluctant, we are simply unprepared.
Here is a clip from the message I preached in New Orleans, when it was given at Harvest. It deals with practical things we can do, while we wait upon God to do a miracle. I have lived these personally and seen the miracle happen.
You can watch the full message here.