Monday, July 03, 2006

"Seven Questions with Dr. Morris Chapman"

1. What were some of the key issues that led you to serve in a denominational position?

With the Lord’s help, I attempted to be faithful in the ministry opportunities God gave me, and He graciously opened greater doors of opportunity. Coming to lead the Executive Committee was simply the result of following the sovereign call of God on my life and for His ministry.

2. What is your greatest passion?

My greatest passion is Jesus’ passion – to seek and to save those who are lost (Luke 19:10) and to see them become Great Commission Christians who make disciples, baptize disciples, and teach disciples (Matt. 28:18-20).

3. In your opinion what is the main thing that must happen in the SBC to build momentum for Kingdom growth over the next 5 years.

We must harness our passion and resources toward the single priority of the Great Commission, we must do it individually and collectively, and we must do it in the power of the Spirit of God. Unfortunately, we are masters at getting distracted by politics and peripheral issues and even finding good things with which to occupy ourselves, but we need to put first the call of Christ to take the Gospel across the street and around the world.

4. At the 2006 SBC Convention Southern Baptists made a renewed commitment to the Cooperative Program. Why should a church support the Cooperative Program and how does it impact your area of ministry?

The Cooperative Program is the most efficient and effective funding method for accomplishing the Acts 1:8 mandate to be Christ’s witnesses to the ends of the earth. Since no one individual or single church can fully realize this mandate alone, our predecessors wisely decided that we can do far more together by pooling our collective resources and strategically distributing them through the Cooperative Program.

Because of the faithful giving of Southern Baptists through the Cooperative Program, together we are able to:

• launch disaster relief teams to places of desperate need
• dispatch medical missionaries to AIDS-ravaged Africa
• repair inner-city homes all across America
• offer hope to hardened hearts in our nation’s prisons
• speak on behalf of righteousness in the halls of government
• train, equip and send out armies of pastors, chaplains, ministers and missionaries from our seminaries
• start 63 new churches every day
• baptize 1 person every 37 seconds

The Cooperative Program enables Southern Baptists to participate in all of this, and much, much more. Yet everything we do has the same goal, aim and mission -- to show and share the love of Jesus Christ with every person in every part of the world.

5. If you could give one word of encouragement to every Baptist minister what would it be?

Love the Lord, love your family, love your people, and lead out of that love (John 10:14-15; 1 Peter 5:2-3). Preach the inerrant Word of God, in season and out of season; preach the whole counsel of God, but preach His truth in love (2 Tim. 4:2; Acts 20:27; Eph. 4:15). Do the work of an evangelist and be a personal soul-winner (2 Tim. 4:5; Prov. 11:30). Be faithful to the ministry to which God has called you, no matter the size (Luke 16:10) . Too many pastors spend their lives dreaming of a bigger and better church, and too few give themselves to the church God entrusted to them to serve. Bloom where you are planted, and God will take care of your promotions (Gen. 39-50).

6. What has been the secret to your success as a denominational leader?

If there is anything praiseworthy about my service, it should go to the one who loved me and who gave himself for me (Gal. 2:20). He is the one who gives me the wisdom to lead and the courage to do what is best for the Southern Baptist Convention. Apart from Him, I could do nothing (John 15:5).

7. Over the next year what are some things you hope to accomplish and how can my readers and I be praying for you?

I plan to continue to call Southern Baptists to the priority of the Great Commission and promote the ministries and missions supported through the Cooperative Program. Pray with me that all Southern Baptists will not only take pride in what we are able to accomplish through the Cooperative Program, but also feel a renewed sense of urgency to give systematically and sacrificially so that together we might do more than ever to advance His Kingdom.

Dr. Morris H. Chapman is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee. You can visit his website at


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