Fall breaks are wrapping up, state convention annual meetings are in full swing across the nation and we are turning the corner for the final sprint toward 2023.
If we’re not careful, we can easily become overwhelmed with all that’s already on the calendar, not to mention the countless pending requests awaiting our reply.
While we do need to plan ahead in some areas, staying focused on this week and what’s due next always helps.
By now the candy and games are prepped and ready for church fall festivals and trunk or treats. Children in your community will soon be enjoying the events. If you need a few last-minute ideas, however, see pages 7 and 12 for Halloween-related outreach opportunities.
Pray for the persecuted
With November coming quickly, be sure to take a moment to remember our brothers and sisters in Christ around the globe who face extreme persecution for their faith. Aftab’s story on page 6 is both heartbreaking and inspiring.
Living in a society where we are free to worship and share about our faith sometimes means we forget the difference between true persecution and what might be considered mistreatment or inconvenience.
November 6 is designated as a Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.
Along with resources provided by the International Mission Board, we work to keep the stories of persecuted believers before you in each issue of The Baptist Paper so those suffering for the cause of Christ around the globe receive our consistent prayers.
October and November also allow Baptists across the nation to gather for their annual meetings to hear reports on how God is working through their missions and ministry efforts as well as to adopt the coming year’s budget and elect new officers.
Messengers in many state conventions also will hear from leaders of their specific Sexual Abuse Task Force.
These groups were appointed in 2021 to review the policies and procedures of Cooperative Program-funded entities related to handling sexual abuse allegations.
The move for official reviews surfaced following the recent findings at the Southern Baptist Convention level and have filtered throughout state conventions, associations and churches across the denomination.
To read the full coverage related to the sexual abuse investigation, visit thebaptistpaper.org.
We also will share an update following the state convention annual meetings, the last of which wrap up the week prior to Thanksgiving.
It’s true, Thanksgiving is about a month away, and then our focus shifts toward Christmas shopping, decorating our homes and organizing family times, special meals and holiday-themed events.
I love this time of year and feed off the energy. It’s nonstop and so much fun.
I’ve also learned through the years the importance of pacing ourselves and determining ahead of time what we will prioritize in all the areas vying for our attention.
With so many good things pulling at us, we can easily minimize our focus on the greatest gift and ultimate purpose for why we should be doing any of the things we do — Jesus.
Professors Mark Rathel and Stefana Dan Laing remind us in an upcoming issue of The Baptist Paper of the importance of consistently meditating on God’s word and how He speaks to us, teaches us and guides us.
Even if you don’t use the particular Bible study lessons that correspond with the commentaries we publish in each issue, the content offers another opportunity to learn and grow. I’m always challenged by what the writers share.
For instance, Rathel’s suggestion of regularly reading Philippians 4 grabbed my attention because I challenged myself to do that very thing years ago and realized I’ve not read the passage lately. Philippians 4:4–9 describes how we should rejoice in the Lord, hold tight to His peace and focus only on “whatever is true … noble … pure.”
Every issue of The Baptist Paper should surface an idea, a prayer, a reminder, a next step or helpful, clarifying information. Most likely, you’ll find several of these in each issue.
What jumps out at you as you read through The Baptist Paper? What seems to be missing? Are there ways we can better help you navigate the various seasons of life?
As you look toward those New Year’s goals in a few weeks, keep us in mind as a friend and a resource — and let us know how we can better serve you.