Friday, April 03, 2009

No National Founders Conference in 2009

The National Founders Conference will not not meet this summer. Though we will miss the fellowship, instruction and encouragement that the conference has generated over the last 26 years, there are good reasons behind this decision. Let me list several of them:

1. There are now many excellent conferences based on the doctrines of grace that are regularly held throughout the United States. Last year we counted over 50 such gatherings. That was not the case over a quarter of a century ago when the Founders Conference first began. The revival of the doctrines of grace has spawned this new era in which it is relatively easy to find a good conference to attend nearly any time of the year. We are grateful to see this development and encourage Founders supporters to consider attending one of the many Christ-exalting gatherings that will be held this year.

2. As announced at last year's conference we are in the process of working on a church planting initiative that will involve future networking and gatherings of like-minded church leaders and planters. Taking a break from the national conference this summer allows us to keep moving forward with this and adequately to prepare for such efforts. I am very excited about what God is doing in this regard and believe that it has the potential to further the advance of the gospel in significant ways.

3. Our regional conferences continue to meet annually and are doing a great job. Currently we have 4 conferences that are meeting: Arklatex (Shreveport), Southwest (Ft. Worth), Deep South (Jackson) and Midwest (St. Louis). These are excellent conferences that collectively serve several hundred people each year. Additionally, we continue to host an annual Founders Breakfast at the Southern Baptist Convention. This year's speaker will be Dr. Danny Akin. The breakfast will be on June 23, 2009 in the Crowne Plaza Hotel Coronet Ballroom A/B in Louisville, KY at 6:30 AM. (watch for further details and tickets to go on sale soon).

4. Though Founders has hosted dozens of conferences over the years and has seen the Lord use them to accomplish great things, we are not in the "conference business." We are in the "reformation business." Our goal has always been to see biblical reformation take root in churches throughout our nation and into the nations of the world. We have articulated this by declaring that we are committed to the recovery of the gospel and the reformation of local churches. We want to see the simple gospel of Jesus regain its place of preeminence not only in the work of evangelism but also in work Christian living and church growth.

5. We may periodically host future national conferences as the need and opportunity arises. We also may partner with other groups to sponsor gatherings and share resources that will further the advance of the gospel in our day.

Through the efforts of Ben Cripps, 16 years' worth of the past Founders Conference messages are available online. These, together with the wealth of material available on our website (maintained by Stan Reeves) will continue to provide loads of resources that are readily available to anyone who cares to access them.

It is encouraging to see what the Lord is doing in our day. Founders Ministries remains committed to to pray and work for ongoing reformation and revival. We are deeply grateful for the partnership, encouragement, support and prayers of those who share our vision to see vital Christianity returned to our churches that will result in renewed devotion to spread the gospel throughout the nations.

These are exciting days for all who love the gospel of Jesus Christ. God is doing a work of restoration among us. From what can be observed, this is obvious. But it I am convinced that there is far more taking place than can be observed. So let's keep pressing on as we look forward to even greater displays of His glory being manifested among us.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Gospel and Founders Ministries

From its inception 26 years ago, Founders Ministries has been concerned about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We want to see the Gospel recovered and proclaimed far and wide. Our conviction is that the Gospel is what unbelievers need to be saved and what believers need to stay saved. In other words, what God has done for us in Jesus Christ is essential not only for our regeneration and justification, but also for our sanctification and glorification. We never advance beyond the Gospel.

The following video was put together by my daughter, Rebecca, as a tool to help introduce Founders Ministries to folks who don't know about us. It was supposed to be included in a presentation I recently gave to some business and ministry leaders, but was inadvertently left out. God overruled that glitch to enable me simply to preach the Gospel to those present, for which I was very grateful.

But the video does express something of the heartbeat of Founders, and it is worth sharing.


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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Interview with the Pathway

Scott Lamb recently interviewed me for The Pathway. The questions focused mostly on Founders Ministries and the Southern Baptist Convention. They have recently posted part of the interview on their website. Here is an excerpt with a link.

In what direction do you see Founders Ministries heading in the coming years?

Founders Ministries intends to continue encouraging Southern Baptists to be faithful to the Scriptures and working for the recovery of the biblical Gospel and the spiritual renewal of local churches. We also plan to become more involved in helping churches become actively involved in planting new churches. We will continue to expand our internet ministry, both in the materials that we make available through (which is receiving over 800,000 hits per month) and our online Founders Study Center.

Do you see any encouraging trends in the SBC?

I am greatly encouraged to see how the conversation in the SBC has turned toward issues that Founders has been talking about for the last 25 years. It is gratifying to hear denominational leadership admitting publicly that most of our churches are in real trouble when it comes to the issue of regenerate church membership and biblical church discipline. At some point, the dialogue must necessarily shift to an honest consideration of how we got into this mess. Then, many of the unbiblical and unhealthy approaches to evangelism that have crept into our denomination can be reassessed.

Do you plan on submitting a resolution at the SBC annual meeting in San Antonio?

(read the rest)

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