Recently news came out that a Pastor from our state (Maryland) will be nominated for the position of president in the Southern Baptist Convention. This Pastor is Dennis Manpoong Kim, from Global Mission Church in Silver Spring. I have met Pastor Kim only in extremely brief circumstances back a couple years ago. I was serving previously as chairman for the order of business committee for our Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware. Our annual convention in 2012 was being hosted at Global Mission Church. This was an exciting conference for our convention because it was being hosted at the largest church in our convention. Further, because of the host location we were able to display the beautiful diversity of our 500+ churches throughout MD/DE in a way that we usually do not always do a well enough job.
During my time in touring the facilities at Global Mission Church, meeting Pastor Dennis Kim, the pastoral staff and some of the members there I came away impressed.
My being impressed with Pastor Kim and Global Mission Church was not because our then admired state executive director David Lee spoke glowingly about Pastor Kim. My being impressed was not because of the large campus, building space and sanctuary. My being impressed was not because they have over one thousand people attending worship services each week in a very diverse multi-cultural and multi-faith and very liberal area of our state. My being impressed was not because the church has seven worship services which Pastor Kim preaches most every one, and most every week. My being impressed was not because the staff was made up of various generations old and young. My being impressed was not because of the warm and extensive hospitality they offered to myself, the members of our committee and then later the hundreds of others at our state convention. My being impressed was not because of the delicious Korean and international food that they provided one of the meeting evenings.
I came away impressed with Pastor Dennis Kim and Global Mission Church because they were
people of sincere and persevering prayer. Seriously. They pray. Around the clock. Each week.
Pastors, staff, and church members sign up and commit to coming to the church building to enter a dedicated prayer room each week for a set number of hours. They intercede for multiple requests throughout the church ministries as well as personal requests made from people at the weekend worship services. Periodically they have gathered times of corporate prayer. Pastor Kim has led the people of Global Mission Church to authentic discipleship in devotion to our Lord and in dedication to advancing God’s kingdom through persevering prayer and faith-filled action. Pastor Kim and the pastoral staff attribute any spiritual effectiveness or perceived success due to their dependency upon the Lord on their knees.
If you listen to his state convention address “We Cannot Stop Praying” you will hear more specifically about Pastor Kim’s heart for people, for prayer and for penetrating the darkness with the light and love of Jesus Christ. In this message you can capture his vision, passion, intelligence and full capability to lead God’s people and Southern Baptists on mission with the Lord Jesus.
Many pastors, church members, churches and entire denominations talk about the importance of prayer. I have observed that our Korean brothers and sisters in the Lord do more than talk about it. Our church, Severna Park Baptist has hosted a Korean church plant, Abundant Life Korean Baptist Church for the last 6 years. This same value for prayer is evident among their pastor and people too. We have benefited greatly from their prayers and partnership in gospel ministry to reach our own community.
Certainly, the election of Pastor Dennis Kim, Pastor Ronnie Floyd, or any other person for the office of president of the Southern Baptist Convention is not going to automatically transform Christianity or the Evangelical world. There is only one mediator between God and humanity, the man Christ Jesus (1Timothy 2:5). There is only One whom can free a person from sin, fill the church with His presence and truly fuel us toward advancing the kingdom of God. But it is that One who chooses to use flesh and bones to become co-laborers in His purposes.
Imagine. Southern Baptists have the potential to elect a Korean pastor as its convention president; a minority in America; a man of genuine faith that results in prayer and spiritual impact to make disciples of other nations; a man who sincerely cares about his community, our country and our convention.
Imagine. Southern Baptists follow the convention’s first black President in Fred Luter with electing another ethnic minority. More than a dream? More than a single token candidacy? Could God be leading Southern Baptists to reflect the kingdom of God of “every tribe and language and people and nation” within our convention leadership?
Imagine. Pastor Dennis Manpoong Kim, President of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Imagine. Southern Baptists becoming a people of genuine prayer resulting in Great Commission resurgence.
See you in Baltimore.