Lengthen the cords, strengthen the stakes

by Linzy Slayden

As our Fellowship embarks on a journey into a new year and a renewed emphasis, I can say that our future is as bright as the promises of God. There is a great word from God for our Fellow­ship in Isaiah 54:2: “…lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes.” God said to the nation of Israel, You are in a tent. It is my tent that holds my people. You should be constantly lengthening the tent and strengthening the tent. I can make that application to our Fellow­ship. The BBFI has always been marked by soul winning, church planting, world missions, and a strong emphasis on the Word of God. These emphases, with a unique local church flavor, God has blessed and used in a wonderful way.

Today we still need to lengthen our cords and we still need to strengthen our stakes. In light of that, I bring four priorities to my tenure as president of this Fellowship:

In the area of missions, I want to challenge every pastor of the BBFI within the next two years to take at least one mission trip somewhere outside America. Pastors should schedule at least one mission trip with people in their church so that they might come to know firsthand the opportunities of sharing the gospel with a world in need of a Savior.

My second priority would be in evangelism. I am asking our state fellowships to focus on encouraging and equipping for evange­lism in their meetings. Let’s help one another build churches.

My third priority is to move and motivate our Fellowship to develop a strategy to reach the next generation.

Finally, I have a burden that we begin to reach out to the next generation of pastors. We must move and motivate our younger pas­tors and those who would be future leaders in our Fellowship to take interest in and to understand the importance of our Fellowship.

Let’s embrace a new day for our Fellowship. Now is the time to arise and build. Now is not the time for division, now is the time for cohesion. Now is not the time for retreat, now is the time to charge this world with the sword of the Spirit and the gospel of Jesus Christ. Now is not the time to break ranks, now is the time to join ranks and to go for God. I don’t expect everyone to dot every “i” that I dot, nor cross every “t” that I cross, and neither can anyone else in our Fel­lowship. I can sleep at night knowing that some pastors do things differently than I do. But I say to all of my fellow pastors, we can get together on the Word of God, we can get together on the gospel of Christ, we can get together on the love of Jesus, and let us length­en our cords and strengthen our stakes until everyone has had the opportunity to enter into the tent of the grace of God.