The Most Important Decision We Will Make


Next week, thousands of messengers from churches across the Southern Baptist Convention will gather to do the convention's business in Indianapolis. To be sure, many decisions will be made during the two-day business meeting. We will elect a new president after Bart Barber's two-year tenure ends, with six candidates to choose from. A vote will be held to ratify the Law Amendment to make it an official part of the convention's constitution. The Executive Committee may bring out a motion concerning financial transparency and Form 990, and if they don't, there will likely be an effort from the floor to do so. We will vote on resolutions, motions will be made, the question will be called, and much more.

Amidst all these important decisions, let us not forget the most crucial one. The decision to live in a manner worthy of the gospel we have received and claim to believe is not just a choice, but a commitment. As the Apostle Paul, writing from prison, urged the church in Ephesus, he was not just speaking to them, but to us, the messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention:

"I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called."

I urge fellow Southern Baptists to heed Paul's words from Ephesians 4. Much has been said and mocked over the statement that "the world is watching." The world is indeed watching and would love nothing more than to look at us and say, "You Southern Baptists talk a great talk, but look how you talk to and treat one another. Y'all are a bunch of hypocrites. How can you say you are for and love the world when you don't even love each other?"

Here is the harsh reality: Our words are corrupted by our lives. When that happens, it means the power of the truth, which we proclaim behind our pulpits, our personal lives, and on social media, is disproved by our lives and our words if we do not walk worthy of our calling.

Let's keep the main thing, the main thing. You and I may prefer different candidates, see some issues differently, and not agree on every resolution presented. However, we do agree on the gospel and its sending to the nations. Let's remember that throughout the Annual meeting.

An excellent way to show this is true is to prioritize our presence at the IMB's sending celebration on Tuesday at 10:00 AM. At the beginning of this article, I referenced why we are showing up to Indianapolis to do the convention business. The main business of the convention is sending missionaries to the ends of the earth and planting churches across North America. That is why we exist, and that is our mission. Let's not lose sight of that this coming week, and let's decide now that we will walk in such a manner.

I eagerly anticipate our meeting next week and the opportunity to shake your hand. May this week be a foretaste of heaven, and may our unity around the gospel of Jesus be unmistakable. As we gather, let us remember the potential impact of our actions and decisions. More importantly, we should consider how our speech and actions will be seen as we make those decisions. May it be in the Southern Baptist Convention as it is in heaven, for the glory of God and the salvation of the nations.

Jared Cornutt

Jared Cornutt

Jared Cornutt serves as Pastor of North Shelby Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL. Jared’s motion to amend the BFM2000 made at the 2023 Convention was overwhelmingly adopted, the first amendment to the BFM since its initial adoption. Jared graduated from the University of Alabama in 2013 and from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2015 with his Master of Divinity. He is currently a student at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, MO pursuing a PhD in Historical Theology and will also earn a ThM in the process. Jared is a regular speaker at D-Nows, camps, revivals, and other church related events. Jared is married to Kandace and together they have four children. He is a founder and leadership team member for The Baptist Review.