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Guest blog: GBC president Hattaway calls Georgia Baptists to pray for revival

(Below is a guest blog post from Dr. Don Hattaway, pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Cartersville, and president of the Georgia Baptist Convention.)

DonHattawayRevive 2014: A Call to Prayer

A message from Dr. Don Hattaway, President of the Georgia Baptist Convention

The Georgia Baptist Convention has been greatly blessed by God. We have some of the most dedicated pastors and leaders in the history of our convention, excellent educational opportunities and resources, and the technological ability to deliver our message to the masses. In addition, we live in a state with over 7 million lost people desperately in need of the Gospel. Considering these factors, you would think we would be making great strides in reaching our state for Christ. Sadly, the opposite is true. Baptisms are down. Giving is down. Church attendance is down. Despite all of our efforts, we continue to lose ground in the battle for the souls of men, women, boys and girls across our state. If this downward trend is to be reversed, the problem causing it must first be determined.

I have come to believe that the greatest problem facing our convention is of a spiritual nature. We are in desperate need of revival. As the president of the Georgia Baptist Convention, my vision is to see spiritual renewal experienced in the churches throughout our state. This can only happen when we humble ourselves and seek the face of God. The time has come for all Georgia Baptists to cry out to the Father in confession and repentance of sins. When we are right with God and each other, God will be able to use us to impact our state with the Gospel.

If revival is going to be experienced throughout Georgia, prayer is where it will begin. Since there is no such thing as a prayerless revival, I want to call upon all Georgia Baptist pastors and leaders to begin to pray fervently for revival in our state.

Throughout this year, I will travel across Georgia encouraging the formation of prayer groups that will regularly meet to seek God’s face for spiritual renewal. I hope to see the momentum of prayer and spiritual expectancy build throughout the year leading up to our annual convention at Ingleside Baptist in Macon, Georgia. Our theme will be “Revive Us Again!” The Scriptural basis for this focus is Psalm 85:6, “Will You not revive us again so that Your people may rejoice in You?”  This emphasis is so important I have chosen to refer to this year’s convention as “Revive 2014.”

When messengers leave “Revive 2014” in November, I want them to be able to say they have experienced God’s power and presence in their lives.  My ultimate desire is for Georgia Baptists to come away with a renewed cleansing from God, a unified fellowship among God’s people and a restored passion to worship God and reach our state with the Gospel message. 

Before Jesus ascended into heaven, He instructed His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit descended to empower the Church. After ministering alongside Jesus for three years, the disciples were not ready to do ministry because they lacked the power of the Holy Spirit. Once the Holy Spirit descended on the Church at Pentecost, Peter preached the Gospel and 3,000 souls were saved.  The Church, ministering in the power of God, turned the world upside-down for Christ. We, as believers, have the Holy Spirit living within us. However, sin grieves the Holy Spirit and limits His power in our lives. God wants to demonstrate His power in and through us.  For this to happen, we must humble ourselves and pray for a fresh encounter with God.  Only then will we be able to minister in the power of God and impact our state for Christ.

Will you join me in consistently praying for a spiritual renewal throughout Georgia in 2014?  We must not delay.  God wants to do a new work in us and in our convention.  Let us join Him in His work.

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(If you see a video ad below this post, please understand that I have no control over these ads, and that I do not necessarily endorse the product. If you see an inappropriate ad, feel free to contact me, Bob Rogers, at brogers@fbcrincon.com.)

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About Bob Rogers

Jesus follower. Forgiven sinner. Hospital chaplain in Mississippi. Formerly a pastor for over 30 years in Mississippi and Georgia. Avid cyclist, history buff and writer.

Posted on January 14, 2014, in Prayer, Southern Baptists and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I feel sometimes that I am just now learning the importance and the power of prayer… thank you for sharing this!

    p.s. I have to smile that the GBC is being held at Ingleside this year–besides FBC Rincon, it is my other “home” church!

  2. The repentance should start with Georgia Baptist Conventio leadership for the sin of hiring the charlatan Ergun Caner as President of Brewton-Parker college and expecting faithful Georgians to fund this institution with cooperative program money that comes from the collection plates of every Georgia Baptist Church.

  3. “The time has come for all Georgia Baptists to cry out to the Father in confession and repentance of sins. When we are right with God and each other, God will be able to use us to impact our state with the Gospel.” Amen. God is faithful, and He will bless the work done by His people. But the confession and repentance of sins MUST happen. I couldn’t agree more with the other commenter, Mr. Dunn. There is an enormous, ugly scandal of lies and cover-up going on involving Ergun Caner. The SBC and GBC leaders seem to be acting more like politicians, protecting each other, circling the wagons, rather than calling for truth and repentance. Baptisms, giving, and attendance will continue to go down as long as we treat the convention like a club for the influential, rather than a work of God. Our youth can see this, and they want no part of it. We MUST be faithful to God, and repent of being man pleasers. Please have the courage to stand for what is right. The future of the GBC will be determined by whether the leaders are faithful to Christ, or cower to man.

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