By Steve Horn, President of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, Pastor of First Baptist Church, Lafayette
Dear Louisiana Baptist Family,
By God’s grace, we have enjoyed a season of peace for several years in the Louisiana Baptist Convention. For that, we are thankful to the Lord.
Recent developments associated with Louisiana College have apparently and unfortunately disrupted our peace. I pray, however, that this disruption will be for a brief moment. However, this moment is where we find ourselves, so what do we do now?
We can let this crisis consume and divide us, or we can meet this crisis head on and pray to get through it quickly so that we move on to matters that are eternally infinitely more important.
So, again, what do we do now? Respectfully, as your President of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, let me offer a few suggestions.
First, we should pray. That goes without saying, but I am reminded that the Apostle Paul did not go without saying it. He implored the saints of his day to pray, and on one occasion, he urged them to pray without ceasing.
We must pray urgently and authentically. We must also pray introspectively. The prayer of the Psalmist ought to be part of our daily prayers as he prayed, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
Second, be careful about rumors. Our age of technology is both our friend and our foe. My heart is grieved at the rapidity with which some rumors have spread. When we repeat, re-post, or re-tweet unsubstantiated rumors as facts, we are as guilty as the author of the rumor.
Third, I would ask you to be patient. We all want this present crisis to be over today. However, as I often remind others, crises do not develop in a day and, more times than not, they cannot be solved in a day.
Though leaders and trustees may be unable to share everything to which they are privy, the lack of information or a delayed resolution does not mean lack of concern or even activity.
Fourth, to this point of patience, I would also beg Louisiana Baptists to please trust the process. We have a process based on a trustee system. Give that process the chance to bring about the best possible outcome.
Finally, as you trust the trustee process, trust the trustees. Some have alleged incredibly harsh things about the ignorance, apathy, and motives of the trustees as a whole. I want to challenge those attitudes.
Where necessary, I call you to examine those attitudes in the light of God’s word and His Holy Spirit. I challenge you to believe the best about these men and women.
I truly believe every trustee desires desperately to do the right thing. We might not agree on what the right thing is, but I believe that each trustee takes his/her role seriously.
We need Louisiana Baptists to rally around the trustees, give them the benefit of the doubt, and honestly believe that they desire to do the right thing for the future of Louisiana College.
We ended our Annual Meeting last year with great hope about reaching the next generation and every ethnic group in our state. I earnestly pray for the day when we will be able to turn our full attention to that vision. I, for one, remain committed to that task.
Keep Looking Up,
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Lafayette
President, Louisiana Baptist Convention