Midwestern Seminary Hosts Annual For The Church Micro-Conference During Annual Meeting

Posted June 14, 2022 by Lucas Hahn

On June 14, Midwestern Seminary hosted For the Church Anaheim, a micro-conference titled, “Six Humble Affirmations,” featuring short talks on key issues from denominational leaders.

Speakers Jason Allen, Al Mohler, Kevin Ezell, Paul Chitwood, Mark Dever, and Matt Carter addressed more than 900 attendees on a range of relevant issues for the Southern Baptist Convention, with worship led by Matt Boswell.

Jason Allen, president at Midwestern Seminary, opened the event on the topic, “It’s Your Denomination: Why We Need Pastors & Churches to Engage,” encouraging pastors and ministry leaders to steward their leadership well in a time of instability.

Reflecting on three reasons why pastors should remain engaged in the SBC, Allen shared, “Pastors should be involved in our convention because of the resources God has entrusted to the SBC, because our times necessitate it, and because our convention polity needs it.”

He concluded his talk with a call to engage, stating “We will be stronger, healthier, and greater as a convention when people, pastors, and churches are more intentionally engaged in this collective cooperative work.”

Following Allen’s address, Paul Chitwood, president of the International Mission Board, called attendees to action with his talk, “Remember the Mission: Why the Great Commission Remains Priority #1 for Southern Baptists.”

As he stated, “The Great Commission must remain our number one priority because it was the number one priority in the life of the Lord Jesus, in the life of the church He established, and should be the number one priority of all disciples.”

The conference’s third message was delivered by Mark Dever, senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church, and was titled, “It Starts at Home: Why Healthy Churches are Essential to a Healthy Denomination.”

Dever exhorted pastors to reflect on their church polity as he recognized how many churches have lost sight of what it means to be a church.

“With single site, single service, and church membership gone in many of our churches, “he said. “we’ve left little of the church that remains biblical or Baptist.”

Next, Matt Carter, pastor of Sagemont Church, addressed a rising concern, “I’m All In: Why I Moved Toward the SBC, Not Away From It.” He encouraged attendees to reflect on the impact of the Southern Baptist Convention on their lives as he reflected on the convention and its churches and ministries on his own personal life.

As he shared, “We should move towards the SBC because I’m convinced the International Mission Board is the greatest missionary sending organization on earth, the North American Mission Board is the greatest church planting organization in North America, and the culture is changing for the better.”

He admonished attendees to remember that “there are thousands of faithful pastors keeping their hands to the plow, serving Christ, and lifting high His name.”

Kevin Ezell, president of the North American Mission Board, encouraged attendees with his topic, “It’s Working: Why Church Planting is Key to Reaching North America for Christ.”

During his micro-talk, Ezell spoke on the importance of living rightly, being responsible with the places we go, and being cognizant about the friends and community we enjoy.

Finally, Al Mohler, president of Southern Seminary, concluded the conference on the topic, “A Center & A Circumference: Why & How the BF&M Defines our Fellowship.”

Mohler expounded on the importance of the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 saying, “it is what ties us together.” He continued by explaining that just like set theory in mathematics, the Southern Baptist Convention must be a convention that is “centered and bounded… not one that is fuzzy.”

As Mohler concluded by paraphrasing Dr. Suess by saying, “The Baptist Faith & Message means what it says and says what it means.”

Each address at this year’s FTC Anaheim will be accessible on www.mbts.edu in the coming days.


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