Some SBC Reflections—a Short Series

The 2016 SBC annual meeting saw a lot of good.

The SBC annual meeting is the human equivalent of a potluck dinner. A unique assemblage of small and large church pastors, deacons, heads of local church WMUs, bi-vocational pastors, seminary professors, mission board presidents, and “everyman” church members, with every business session an Open Mic Night at Laugh O’Rama with at least one motion—guaranteed—that makes absolutely no sense to anyone in the room, and at least one resolution nearly everyone wishes hadn’t been offered.

Some years it’s easy to look back after two days of preaching and two days of business and reports and think, “Did we do anything of eternal value at all?” Other times it’s clear God has done a work and we were privileged to be a part of it.

This year, we were blessed to be in the second category.

The Pastors Conference

This year a group of small church pastors proposed a different strategy a couple of months before the annual meeting: small- and medium-sized church pastors would make up the entirety of the program. No “celebrities” would be on the card, nor would any non-SBC pastors.

They hoped to reflect the makeup of the vast majority of Southern Baptist churches.

They ultimately drafted Iowa pastor Dave Miller (who moderates the blog where the proposal was first made public). Miller won the election on the first ballot, to the surprise of many in SBC leadership.

Now, I think Dave may have a tiger by the tail, since an event like this costs hundreds of thousands of dollars (and the pastors conference does not charge attendees), but it’s a reminder that Southern Baptists are a denomination of small, rural church pastors. Sometimes leaders can forget that and this should be ...

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