Friday, August 04, 2006

"Seven Questions with Dr. Emil Turner"

1. What is your greatest passion?

My greatest passion is seeing people saved. Since my early days as a Campus Crusade for Christ staff member, I have been motivated by leading people to Christ, and facilitating churches in reaching lost people.

2. 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.

I think the SBC must move beyond the limitations imposed on us by individualism. Corporately we will start more churches, reach more lost people, and penetrate more godless cultures (both at home and internationally). We should not believe our individual churches are able to reach the world without other Southern Baptist brothers and sisters being involved. It is both arrogant and inefficient. We will reach more when we reach them together.

3. What type of relationship does the state convention have with Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary? Why should someone who feels called to ministry think about attending seminary?

All state conventions have the same relationship with all the seminaries. State conventions promote and raise the Cooperative Program dollars that fund the seminaries. The seminaries then train those whom God calls to ministry. Specifically, The Arkansas Baptist State Convention has had a long and fraternal relationship with SWBTS.

When someone tells me that he or she feels that God is leading toward ministry, I tell that person to go to a seminary where the Bible is taught as inerrant, where evangelism is a priority, and where controversy and politics will not be distracting.

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

Learn to build and maintain relationships. Ministry is based on relationships. Most problems in churches are relational problems. Biblical relationships lead to healthy churches and growing churches.

5. As an Executive Director of a state convention, in your opinion, what are some ways a pastor can lead his church to become more evangelistic?

A pastor must lead by setting the example, training others to do Biblical evangelism, and by creating an evangelistic environment in his church.

6. What is one trend in Southern Baptist churches that has given you reason for concern? What is one trend in Southern Baptist churches that has given you reason for excitement?

My concern: More and more Southern Baptist leaders and church members have mistaken criticism and conflict for holiness. This keeps us from reaching a lost world. The holiest people I know are more critical of themselves than of anyone else. This penchant for conflict keeps us from being effective in reaching the lost people in our communities.

The most exciting trend I see is the willingness of younger adults to be both innovative and sacrificial in their attempts to reach lost people. I believe that in ten to twenty years, these men and women will have positioned as a Biblically compassionate denomination that reaps a great harvest of souls.

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

Over the next year, my prayer is that the Arkansas Baptist State Convention grows in its level of responsiveness to our churches, and that we become the primary partner of Arkansas Baptist churches in their efforts to reach the world.

Dr. Emil Turner is the Executive Director for the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. For more information visit the their website.


Blogger kevin said...

Nice blog. Did you try to email me from my website?

God bless,

Blogger OKpreacher said...


I don't remember. I have tried to get in contact with two Kevins. Kevin Bussey and Kevin Stilley. I wanted to share some encouragement and let them know that they do a great job with their blogs.



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