Posted on : Tuesday October 7, 2008

It’s hard to believe that another Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware Annual Meeting is upon us. Time sure has flown by quickly this year. For some of us, this has been a wonderful year filled with victories, celebrations and accomplishments. For others, this has been a difficult and discouraging year filled with loss and broken dreams.

I’m sure you know and appreciate the value of the Annual Meeting. Many will attend the sessions in Dover to hear good preaching and enjoy dynamic worship. Others will show up to meet the invited speakers and high-profile personalities of SBC life. Staff presentations keep us updated on what God is doing through BCM/D. The bookstore and BCM/D exhibits are always a big hit. Free candy seems to appeal to most of us. And of course there is great value in the business sessions as we seek His wisdom on important issues. These are all good reasons to attend the Annual Meeting on Nov. 10-11.

May I offer, in my opinion, the best reason to attend this year? We simply need to spend some time together as brothers and sisters in Christ. I have had the wonderful privilege of speaking with many of our BCM/D pastors and leaders throughout the year. There is a common theme to most of the conversations. We are lonely. We are discouraged. We are overwhelmed. We are tired. We need to spend some time together!
I have attended enough annual meetings to realize that the most important “item of business” addressed is often the need for fellowship and encouragement. The time spent sharing a cup of coffee or enjoying a meal is sometimes more valuable than even the printed agenda. We need to spend some time together!

The writers of Hebrews suggested, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” He continues, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Discouraged, tired, lonely and overwhelmed people seldom accomplish the work of the Lord for long. Perhaps the most important item of business on this year’s agenda is encouragement. Pastor and leader, I hope you plan to attend. Church, I trust that you will make it possible. The Day is approaching. We need to spend some time together!

I want to take a moment and thank all of you for the joy of serving these past two years as your convention president. I would also like to thank my church family at Dunkirk for your patience and understanding. I love serving my Savior in Maryland/Delaware with you all!

By Rick Hancock, BCM/D President and Pastor of Dunkirk Church