Jimmy Baughcum invited to join Atlanta Business Chronicle Leadership Trust

Atlanta Business Chronicle Leadership Trust is an Invitation-Only Community for Top Business Decision Makers in the Atlanta Region

Atlanta, December 4, 2019 — Jimmy D. Baughcum, Executive Director and Lead Strategist of the Atlanta Metro Baptist Association, has been invited to join Atlanta Business Chronicle Leadership Trust,

Jimmy was chosen for membership by the Atlanta Business Chronicle Leadership Trust Selection Committee due to his experience, leadership and influence in the local business landscape and beyond. Jimmy is leading churches and organizations to multiply a positive gospel movement in Metro Atlanta and beyond which requires a robust leadership development strategy and culture.

“Atlanta’s thriving business community is powered by leaders like Jimmy,” said David Rubinger, president and publisher of Atlanta Business Chronicle. “We’re honored to be creating a space where the region’s business influencers come together to increase their impact on the community, build their businesses and connect with and strengthen one another.”

As an invited member, Jimmy will contribute articles to the Atlanta Business Chronicle website and participate alongside fellow members in Expert Panels. He will connect and collaborate with a vetted network of local leaders in a members-only directory and a private forum on the group’s mobile app. Jimmy will also benefit from leadership and business coaching, an Executive Profile on the Atlanta Business Chronicle website, select partner discounts and services and ongoing support from the community’s concierge team.

Jimmy states that “being a part of the leadership trust community of Atlanta provides amazing opportunities to connect and collaborate to help strengthen the influence of the metro Atlanta region and accelerate his own leadership development.” Jimmy continues, “I want to be a part of the conversation that shapes the trajectory of leadership and leadership development in the metro Atlanta region.”

The Atlanta Business Chronicle Leadership Trust team is honored to welcome Jimmy to the community and looks forward to helping him elevate his personal brand, strengthen his circle of trusted advisors and position him to further impact the Atlanta business community and beyond.

About Business Journals Leadership Trust

Atlanta Business Chronicle Leadership Trust is a part of Business Journals Leadership Trust — a collective of invitation-only networks of influential business leaders, executives and entrepreneurs in your community. Membership is based on an application and selection committee review. Benefits include private online forums, the ability to publish insights on bizjournals.com, business and executive coaching and a dedicated concierge team. To learn more and find out if you qualify, visit trust.bizjournals.com.

Posted in Leadership

A Way Forward for the Southern Baptist Convention

To my Southern Baptist friends and family. Some may ask: Do you see a way forward for the SBC? Yes, I do. The way forward leads us to filter all decisions and direction through Scripture while lovingly refusing to devour one another.

We have a mission. We must not get off the wall of mission. Consider Nehemiah and his work on restoring the wall of protection for the people of Jerusalem. Through the onslaught of false information, scare tactics, and evil motives, Nehemiah kept the people focused on the mission of completing the wall. Clearly, we must acknowledge that those we differ with in the SBC ARE NOT OUR ENEMIES. Our enemy does not come from flesh and blood, but from an evil one who seeks to devour us and he wants us to devour ourselves.

We have a mission much greater than the wall of Nehemiah. Jesus indicated early in His ministry our mission: “And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men’” (Mt 4:19, ESV). One expositor noted that Jesus indicated that a disciple was one who follows Jesus, is changed by Jesus, and is on the mission of Jesus. Let us be found following Jesus, allowing Him to change us, and get on with His mission of reflecting His kingdom and reaching others by making the gospel known.

In the midst of the mission, Jesus called disciples to himself. Scripture indicates that the disciples were not always in agreement, but He chose and used them anyway. If we have repented and believed in Christ, we are of the family of God.

As family, we do not always agree, but we must remain tightly woven as family. We may want to muzzle some family members and encourage others to speak, but we are family nonetheless. I choose to love my brothers who want to muzzle or encourage me. I ask you to do the same.

We cannot stoop to misrepresentations, half-truths, or lies about our brothers. The same Jesus who stated, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth (Jn 17:17, ESV)” also prayed “that they may all be one, just as you, Father are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (Jn 17:21, ESV). By our unity, we show our sanctification. In simple terms, if we cannot love one another, we cannot stand in truth.

Now, we as Southern Baptists have already answered the question amongst ourselves as to what is truth; however, let me ask it again: What is truth? Truth is no more than the Word of God. God’s Word, the Bible, is truth without error or equivocation. The Scripture is sufficient. We have no higher expression of truth that reflects the living Word, Jesus.

Southern Baptists, can we acknowledge that we are people that hold dearly to the sufficiency of Scripture? I hold that belief and seek to live my life reflecting that truth. Everything else is filtered through the lens of Scripture.

We have our issues. Every family does. We cannot sweep those issues under the rug of denial nor do we need to become one-issue focused. Just in the last two years, we have struggled with several issues: Critical race theory, racial tensions, a failure to properly hear and support those who have suffered sexual predation, protecting the vulnerable in our churches, disagreements about processes, and many others. I will not have capacity to list all of our challenges.

What I do know is that we must be just like the leaders and elders in the early church who gathered in Acts 15 to deal with a significant issue in their midst. They talked, prayed and acted. All of us, including me, need to remove our fingers from the computer keyboards and our thumbs from the cellular devices and look one another in the eyes, and communicate. Let us communicate warmly, lovingly, and truthfully. Let us acknowledge that we often see differing facets of the same diamond with refractive light that confuses our view. I need to hear you and I hope you want to hear me. We are family. We challenge one another, hold one another accountable, and love one another.

To remain a family that honors one another with truth, loves one another as family, holds diligently to the sacred Scriptures, and stretches our energies and resources toward the fulfillment of our mission, we must make significant commitments to one another and our Lord.

Let’s commit to hold to the sufficiency of Scripture.
Let’s commit to hold to the unity of the faith together.
Let’s commit to the primacy of sharing the gospel.
Let’s commit to live a life reflective of a disciple of Jesus.

I personally commit to reaching out to my family of faith to resolve any broken relationships and differences of opinion as we each seek to be obedient to Christ and press forward in mission.

How do we resolve the fault lines in our SBC relationships? We need to talk with one another. We need to seek to show care for one another. It is past time for those with significant concerns and differences to get together without phones, recorders, or keyboards to simply seek to understand one another and forge a direction together that reflects the truth of Scripture. I dream of a time when we can settle our differences in the room, face to face, instead of in the parameters of social media or blogs.

Whoever wins the presidency of the Southern Baptist Convention will have my prayers and my willingness to strive toward a cohesive partnership together for the gospel. I simply ask our new SBC President to commit to lead with the Scriptures as the foundation and the unity of the family of God as a key value.

If we can protect the unity of our faith together that is founded on the Scriptures and if we can move forward together on the mission Jesus has given us, we can see a strong future together. Our future is not for us, but for the glory of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

If we cannot protect the unity of our faith and continue to talk at one another instead to one another, we will continue to decline in influence for the gospel and be able to fit in the dingy that is deployed from a larger ship. If we splinter, we can only hope for survival and not thriving in the mission we are called to pursue and accomplish.

I do not know about you, but I am ready for a future committed to the sufficiency of Scripture and the unity of the faith together with our family. Let’s get to our mission. I believe God will be glorified with or without the Southern Baptist Convention because He is God. I for one want to experience his blessing on our denomination as we fulfill His calling on our lives.

Posted in Uncategorized

Leadership and Tough Decisions

Often as a leader, one must make difficult or even unpopular decisions. Decisions that are unpopular are often the most difficult. How can we make better decisions when faced with differing pathways?  I’ll offer seven (7) insights on making better decisions:
  1. Remember that good decisions are birthed more from understanding God’s will instead of our preferences. 
We must trust in the Lord to take care of the consequences of decisions we have come to with His guidance.
  1. Lean on God’s knowledge of the future.
God is God and we are not. We need to remind ourselves of that truth often. When we need to make difficult leadership decisions, we need to remind ourselves that often more is at stake than what we are interested in at the time.
  1. When making decisions, we don’t depend on our first emotion. 
Our hearts can deceive us and our emotions are not trustworthy. Sometimes our own musings are not trustworthy. Refuse to make decisions based on emotion or as a quick response.
  1. Decisions are better with good, godly counsel from others. 
We need each other. We need to build a team of godly counselors that have the freedom to speak openly and honestly into our lives. With these in our lives, we will find that our decision-making will grow stronger.
  1. Fear has no place in good decision-making. 
Sometimes we fear the outcome of our decisions. Sometimes we fear that we will make the wrong decision; however, we must ultimately face the fear and make the best decision we can based upon the Word of God, our time with our God, and the influence of others that we have grown to trust. Make the decision.
  1. Study those who have historically made good and long-lasting decisions. 
Learn from the mistakes and victories of others. Experience is good, but evaluated experience is better. I prefer to learn from the experience of others as I move forward in my leadership journey. Evaluate the steps those you study took to make good decisions and distill a list for yourself.
  1. Make the decision and move forward humbly. 
We create more difficult decisions when we fail to make the necessary decision today.
Posted in Uncategorized

Three Catalytic Shifts in Metro Atlanta that May Shape our Mission

Three catalytic shifts have occurred in Atlanta’s recent history that should inform our strategy for reaching the metro Atlanta area with the gospel of Jesus Christ. These shifts notably occur in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.


  1. Neighborhood Planning Units—Creating a Grid for Influence and Communication


The first shift was precipitated by the election of the first African American Mayor of Atlanta, Maynard Jackson, in the 1970’s. Mayor Jackson sought to involve more of the Atlanta constituency in the influence of city government instead of the select few who retained the influence and leadership at city hall. He divided the 242 neighborhoods of the city of Atlanta into twenty-five (25) neighborhood planning units. These units opened city planning and decision-making to the grassroots level of the neighborhoods of Atlanta.


  1. The 1996 Olympics—Introducing and Welcoming the World to Atlanta


Atlanta won the bid for the 1996 Olympic games against almost insurmountable odds. After winning the bid, the city and region began to see how unprepared the city was for hosting the world for the Olympics. On the shoulders of the visionaries that helped win the bid for the Olympics, the city began a massive move to create sustained systems and structure to successfully welcome the world. The city of Atlanta became a welcoming place for the international community through the Olympics. The international community continues to find Atlanta welcoming to this day with a bulging population of diverse backgrounds living together in Metro Atlanta.


  1. The Atlanta BeltLine—Connecting the Neighborhoods and People of Atlanta


In 1999, Ryan Gravel submitted his Master’s Thesis to Georgia Tech calling for a renewal of the twenty-two mile stretch of mostly abandoned rail lines around the city of Atlanta into a walkable, more livable, and connective trail that would transform Atlanta into a more pedestrian friendly group of neighborhoods. The BeltLine project finally gained traction after Metro Atlanta region failed to meet standards for the clean air act of the United States. In the middle of the first decade of the twenty-first century, visionary leaders began to see the value in a strategy such as Gravel’s. Now, Atlanta experiences seismic people movements and redevelopment around Atlanta’s growing BeltLine. This BeltLine project creates more connectivity and vibrancy between neighborhoods than has been historically noted in Atlanta.


How do these shifts or catalytic decisions, projects, or events help us to develop a gospel movement in Metro Atlanta? I’ll offer three ways.


  1. Develop a Bite-sized Strategy for Metro Atlanta.


Utilize a gridded approach, such as Maynard Jackson’s neighborhood planning units to segment all of Metro Atlanta into “bite-sized” pieces that may be more locally understood and more strategically engaged, neighborhood by neighborhood for the gospel. I argue for a neighborhood-based strategy that leads us to leverage our resources for the sake of every heartbeat in every neighborhood of Metro Atlanta. Every established, gospel-centered church will adopt at least one other neighborhood that most closely represents their passions and giftedness to invest their efforts of engagement for the gospel. That’s bite-sized strategic planning.


  1. Build upon Metro Atlanta’s diversity by fostering an even greater welcoming environment.


The churches of Metro Atlanta must substantially extend themselves into the surrounding neighborhoods of Metro Atlanta to develop their welcoming graciousness. This welcoming graciousness was modeled by Metro Atlanta during the Olympics.


While developing a bite-sized strategy that utilizes the church’s present strengths, each church needs to stretch themselves into a growing awareness and willingness to welcome those of other cultures in biblically faithful ways. We will not reach Metro Atlanta without becoming more hospitable for the gospel of Christ. Let’s learn of other cultures. Become students of diversity. Hold loosely to our own culture and find ways to understand other cultures and how the gospel of Jesus supersedes all of our cultures.


  1. Take advantage of the drive for connection and the growing population shifts for the gospel.


With the momentum developed around the connective nature of the BeltLine Project in Atlanta, the churches of Atlanta must work to “ride the wave” of connection while we have this rapid people movement in the city and region. People are moving in and others are seeing drastic changes to their communities due to the BeltLine Project. People express more openness to spiritual change when everything else is in flux around them. Let’s leverage this propensity to change through connecting on the BeltLine and in the surrounding communities for the cause of the gospel of Christ.


In conclusion, let’s ask ourselves the following questions:

  1. What additional neighborhood is my church engaging for the gospel?
  2. How welcoming is my church to those needing to know Jesus? What can I do to make that stronger?
  3. Will I influence others in my church to connect with and engage those around us for the gospel?
  4. Who is my one person that I will seek to know, pray for, and reach with the life-changing gospel of Jesus?


Seeking to engage every heartbeat in every neighborhood for the gospel of Christ,


Posted in Uncategorized

My Response to the New Zealand Massacre

The news from New Zealand on Friday, March 15, caused my heart to grieve. I grieve that someone would intentionally target others for destructive violence. I grieve that we, as humanity, so easily embrace stereotypical perspectives about others. I grieve that we do not take the time to know and understand those that are different than we are. 


I’m a Christian and condemn any form of human thinking that claims supremacy for their own culture or race. I cannot avoid the grief that envelopes my heart when those gathered in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, were violently attacked by a self-avowed white supremacist. Let’s be clear: Not one of us is supreme and no race is supreme. As a white-supremacist, the attacker appeared to be seeking to protect his white supremacy and European isolationism through violence against those that were different than he.


The question arises for me: What must I do to reveal a welcoming heart and display the love of Christ to others? The metro Atlanta area has welcomed many from different nationalities, ethnicities, religions, and philosophies. How do I, as a believer in Jesus and a holder of biblical truth, relate to others different than I? I build relationships. I welcome others into my world. I reach out the hand of hospitality. I become a friend to those around me. I reveal the graciousness of my God and King, Jesus, in my conversations and activities. I must follow what God instructed the Israelites to do in Leviticus 19 and “…treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God” (Lev 19:33—34, ESV). We are to be welcoming as believers in Jesus.


How do we reveal the graciousness of our God and King in our conversations and activities with those around us? I want to suggest five ways: Be hospitable; become curious; seek to understand; bless others; and, remain faithful to truth. 


Be Hospitable

Hospitality does not have to be difficult. Being hospitable begins with a smile and a simple acknowledgement. Let’s see the people around us, in the markets and in the streets. Let us become genuinely concerned for our neighbors and show them the gracious hospitality that we want to receive. The writer of Hebrews states: “Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (Heb 13:1—2, ESV).  


Become Curious

Learn about those that are different than we are. We naturally gather around those who are like us. Let’s break that natural tendency and get to know those around us. Let’s listen for ways we can link in relationship with our neighbors. We will connect better with our neighbors when we become curious about how we can get to know them better. Be a student of culture. Learn from others.


Seek to Understand

Listen to those around us. Our neighbors may be living in fear, may have something to celebrate, or may have a need that we can discover. In the days since the senseless attack in New Zealand, motivated by hate, those that hold to the Muslim faith or who are from other nations around us, may be living in fear. They may fear that we may feel the same hatred toward them just because of their background. Let’s seek to understand that potential and seek to understand their concerns, their lifestyles, and their hopes and dreams. Only by understanding may we build the trust necessary to have positive faith conversations that lead to gracious gospel witnesses.


Bless Others

Let’s take a posture of blessing rather than a posture of superiority. The call to Abraham, in Genesis, was to be a blessing to all nations (Gen 12:1—2). We cannot influence those we are not willing to bless. Blessing others does not mean that we agree with them or that we adopt their culture. Blessing others allows them the freedom to be in our circle of relationships. We engage them in conversation, meals, events, and friendship. This posture toward blessing remains the most beneficial position for those that want to influence others positively.


Remain Faithful to Biblical Truth

Being hospitable, curious, understanding, and a blessing does not necessitate us forsaking our understanding of biblical truth. With a heart softened with the graciousness and love of God and the mind enveloped with biblical truth, we forge out into different cultures and build friendships that will ultimately be a blessing. I am convinced that people do not react so harshly to us holding to biblical truth, but to us claiming to hold truth while spewing hateful glances and spiteful comments. 


Remember that what is inside the heart will spew forth eventually. Become so intimately related to Jesus that we can be touchable to those around us without sacrificing the truths we hold dear. I believe that others should come in contact with followers of Jesus and discover that it did not hurt. So, go and be hospitable, curious, understanding, and faithful to biblical truth as you become a blessing to all our neighbors.

Let’s Be Great Neighbors, 


Posted in Uncategorized