Tim Cox, President, Alabama Baptist State Convention

A word from the state convention president

By Tim Cox
President, Alabama Baptist State Convention

Greetings, Alabama Baptists! I thank God upon every remembrance of you.

To say this year has been challenging is a gross understatement. In fact, it has been brutal for many — socially, mentally, financially, relationally and even spiritually.

Most of us have never experienced such a disruption in life and ministry. As ministers, we didn’t have a seminary class to tell us how to lead a church through a global pandemic. Yet across the state, I witness the body of Christ holding fast to the mission during these uncertain and constantly changing days of 2020.

Though the norm of ministry was disrupted for churches and entities, the reality of ministering in the name of Jesus was unstoppable. The people of God remain resilient during difficult days.

Gospel overcomes

I am reminded that the word of God is not bound, and the power of the gospel overcomes. We may not have all the answers, and sometimes we don’t know what to do, making it up as we go along, but this one thing we know — we are not without hope or help. Our God is able!

Our clarity in the midst of uncertainty is that we have one mission, the Great Commission. Our confidence is in His promised presence and power as we strive to stay faithful stewards of the gospel in our lives. Thank you, Alabama Baptists, for remaining faithful during these days!

I also want to say thank you to Dr. Rick Lance and our all-star staff at the State Board of Missions who continue to give courageous and compassionate leadership to pastors and churches. You have made thousands of ministry contacts during these days, and we are the encouraged recipients. You are leading well, and we are strengthened by your steadfast and Spirit-filled guidance. I thank God for the privilege to serve alongside you for Kingdom purposes. You are the best!

Finally, let me end with a good word from God’s word. The Bible says, “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad” (Prov. 12:25). Before this global pandemic, anxiety was already a common struggle. Now we can look in people’s faces and see the weight of worry. Or maybe we experience the weight of an anxious heart in our own life.

Fellow pastors, we are not immune. Our anxiety may be about what the “Post-Covid Church” is going to look like. Who’s not coming back? Indeed, anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down.

‘Kingdom focus’

In Matthew 6:33, Jesus gives us a good word: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Jesus exhorts His followers to embrace a “Kingdom Focus” as we leverage our lives for the sake of the gospel.

Jesus says three times in this passage, “Do not be anxious” (vv. 25, 31, 34). Jesus understood the struggle, but He desires His followers to be free of such anxiety. The worry/anxiety Jesus zeroes in on is a loss of focus that results in a lack of trusting God. When the concerns of this world cause us to lose perspective on life, we get weighed down with anxiety and we wrestle with worry rather than trusting God. As we navigate through uncharted times, may we spur one another on to:

  • Resist worry that is characteristic of unbelief (vv. 25, 30–32, 34).
  • Remember God’s faithful provisions by observing even the birds of the air and flowers of the field (vv. 26–30).
  • Refocus daily and “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” believing that “all these things will be added to you” (v. 33).
  • Rest in His mercies being new for each day (v. 34).