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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Jimmy Draper: A Stand-Up Guy

Jimmy Draper, exiting President of LifeWay, has been an encouragement for me as of late. With a seemingly growing antagonism and disdain towards many in leadership in the SBC, Draper has stood out and stood up amongst his peers. For example, it was heart-warming to see him extending comfort and prayer to Don Elbourne, whose church was completely destroyed. To see him shoulder to shoulder with those struggling to rebuild was especially meaningful (at least to me). Secondly, Draper has made definitive attempts to reach out to the younger generation in the SBC. From casual conversions with guys my age, it is evident that many are breaking away from denominationalism, especially the SBC (having seen and heard the politicizing of the church). In the latest version of Facts & Trends, Draper makes some very important and necessary statements. For instance, he says, "I'm banging this drum of younger ministers because I do not believe God is finished using the SBC, and that our best days lie ahead." I agree with him as well. Again, Draper says, "They've [young SBCers] have asked for a seat at the table and LifeWay is pulling up some chairs. I encourage every church and entity in the SBC to do the same." I think Draper has proven himself a great example and forerunner in this regard. Finally, in the same issue, Draper recommends Piper's warning against "professionalism" in ministry. Once I did a devotional on the first chapter "Brothers, We Are Not Professionals", and it made a profound difference in the trajectory of my ministry. While the point is that it should motivate you to stay, it proved to be the very catalyst that brought me to seminary. How ironic! In a day where many SBC leaders are shooting from the hip and throwing theological cheap shots from their stardom and platforms, it is refreshing to find a man like Draper who is in touch with the younger generation to whom he passes the baton. Consequently, I believe he will have a voice that reverberates far louder and longer than the biggest microphones in the biggest convention. Thanks Draper for being a stand-up guy and reaching out and standing up for the little guy.

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