ALBUQUERQUE (BNM) - Ronnie Floyd, president and CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee, will speak at the Baptist Convention of New Mexico’s Annual Meeting, Oct. 23 in Portales.
The Baptist New Mexican spoke with Floyd in advance of his Annual Meeting visit. Floyd responded to questions on several topics of interest for New Mexico Baptists: faithfulness in ministry, Cooperative Program giving and the future of Hispanic ministry in the SBC.
BNM asked Floyd how he would advise younger pastors on remaining faithful in ministry. “[One’s] personal walk with God is the absolute, number one key to being able to remain faithful in ministry. I even think it contributes to longevity, even in a local church,” Floyd said. “Their walk with God creates a fluidity in their life - a willingness to change, a willingness to do whatever the Lord wants you to do.”
Floyd also spoke about his passion for the Cooperative Program in his inaugural address, as he became president of the EC. He said, “I believe God wants me to call upon and to help mobilize a convention of churches and millions of Christians who have massive resources to do one thing: ... reach every person for Jesus in every town, in every city, in every state and every nation across this world.”
BNM asked Floyd to explain the importance of CP. He said that CP giving churches connect “their commitment to reach their own region, their commitment to reach their state, their commitment to reach their nation, and their commitment to reach the world.” He emphasized how it enables churches of any size to do Great Commission ministry. “The Cooperative Program helps equip our local churches ... [to] reach their town, to reach their city, and to reach their state with the Gospel, as well as invest in what God is doing in America and across the world,” he said.
He also noted how working together increases possibilities. He said, “The family of God is big. And, when we pool the resources that God has given our churches, and we leverage that influence and leverage those resources for Kingdom purposes, we can do mighty things to the glory of God.”
Tithing to one’s local church, Floyd said, is where the impact begins. He described the CP pattern of people giving to their church, churches giving to CP through their state convention and, finally, state conventions sending a portion to the SBC. That process allows churches to reach communities, state conventions to help churches, and the SBC to “touch the nation and to touch the entire world with the Gospel,” he explained. “Nothing moves the heart of a Baptist more than giving through the Cooperative Program to see our missionaries mobilized to take the Gospel where the Gospel’s never been before,” he remarked.
BNM also spoke with Floyd about Hispanic ministry, considering New Mexico’s sizeable Hispanic population. There are approximately 45 Spanish-speaking churches affiliated with the BCNM. Many English-speaking churches also have Hispanic members.
During the 2019 SBC Annual Meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, Floyd spoke at the first national Southern Baptist Hispanic Leaders and Pastors' Celebration on June 10. During the meeting, he said, “I don’t know a group in the SBC that has more potential for growth over the next decades than the Latino family.”
BNM specifically asked Floyd how he will work to advance the Gospel among Hispanics. The interview also explored his opinions about the need for more Hispanic pastors, churches and church plants in the state and across the United States.
Floyd responded, “The greatest opportunity [that] the Southern Baptist Convention has is to mobilize as many church plants as possible to help us reach the Hispanic peoples.” He noted statistics predicting that, by 2043, the U.S. population will have no majority. They estimate that Hispanics will grow to 30% or more of the population. “They’re going to impact the future of the nation in every way over the next 25-50 years,” he said.
Floyd summarized his hope for reaching Hispanics by citing four needs. First, we need to share the Gospel with them. Second, we must help them flourish as Christians. Third, we must help every one God calls respond to the call to vocational ministry. Fourth, we must help as many of them as possible to plant churches - even among their people.
“When you think about the lostness among all peoples, Hispanic people are just like Anglo. They’re just like African-Americans. They need Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior,” he said. “That will affect not only the spiritual lives of people, but it will affect even the future of the state of New Mexico. And, it will affect the future of the United States. … I would call upon New Mexico Baptists to lead the way.”
Floyd told BNM that he hopes to announce outreach efforts among Hispanics within the “next three or four months.” He added, “I am hopeful that [the Executive Committee is] going to do everything we can to try to really champion this cause.”
Floyd also voiced anticipation for his upcoming visit to New Mexico and mentioned a connection to the state. His wife, Jeana, lived in Lovington for three years during her childhood while her father pastored there.
Floyd expressed gratitude for BCNM Executive Director Joseph Bunce and other New Mexico Baptists. “I love Joe Bunce, [and] I appreciate all that he’s done for the Lord, for the Gospel,” he said. “I have a real fondness for the people in that state because I know they’re doing what they can for the Gospel. Many of them are really committed to that, and I’m very grateful for that.”
New Mexico Baptists “are committed to the Word of God,” Floyd said. “I think they want to see the people in their state reached for Christ. ... I want their people in their state reached for Christ as well. And, I’m very appreciative of everything that they’re doing to do that.” He said he was “grateful that we have a partnership [and] that we have a good relationship.”
Floyd will deliver the final message of the 2019 Annual Meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 23, on the grounds of the New Mexico Baptist Children’s Home and Family Ministries, Portales. During and after the sessions, New Mexico Baptists will celebrate the home’s 100th anniversary.