May 22, 2019 • Adam Wyatt
Today we are beginning a three part series on the 2019 Southern Baptist Convention being held in June in Birmingham, Alabama. Today, Adam Wyatt share what he hopes to see at the convention this year.
5 Things I Hope to See at SBC19
The SBC Convention is upon us. In a couple of weeks, several thousand people from all over the world who converge in Birmingham for the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. Much will happen: business, votings, elections, and, unfortunately, drama. There is always some sort of drama that happens at the annual meeting but, thankfully, Southern Baptists usually work it out.
The Annual Meeting is a great thing for our Convention and I look forward to it every year. That being said, I thought it would give Small Church Shepherds a great opportunity to look at a few things. This is the first of a three-part series on the Annual Meeting. In this part, I want to present 5 things that I hope to see at this year’s Annual Meeting.
Reelection of JD Greear
I am extremely encouraged by the past year of the SBC under the direction of Greear as president. It has been a bit of a bumpy ride to be sure but I am excited about him as our president. Personally, I would have loved to see him become the president of the IMB but his leadership this past year has been solid. He has increased diversity within the committee structures and in positions on our SBC boards which is a good thing. He has attempted to call out the lack of effort in our convention in regards to sexual abuse allegations. He has done many other things; I will be proud to cast my vote again for him this year.
More ethnic diversity
Each year at the Annual Meeting (it seems like) we do something to highlight the SBC’s commitment to racial reconciliation. This is needed. However, this past year we saw several of our institutions need new presidents (IMB, Executive Committee, SWBTS, NOBTS, and Lifeway) and none of them were filled by anyone other than an white guy. Now, I want the best qualified and called person in these positions. But if we continue to address our need for racial reconciliation while never giving any of our qualified brothers and sisters of color a seat at the leadership table, we simply sound like a “noisy gong or a clanging symbol.” We have one position left to fill: Lifeway. Pray they make a good decision.
We do something to deal with sexual abuse in our Convention
This is an understatement. A few months ago a bombshell report came out from the Houston Chronicle detailing decades of sexual abuse and cover-up within our Convention. I am all about local church autonomy but this cannot stand. We have to step up and step up big because the world is watching on this. I do not have the answer on what we should do but this must be addressed in a meaningful way.
The Missionary Sending Service
If you have not been a part of this you are missing out on one of the main reasons we are Southern Baptists. Seeing the commissioning of our missionaries is a truly moving experience. We see dozens of these folks going around the world to share the gospel. We see many of them behind screens because their faces cannot be shown because they are going to darkest corners of the world for the sake of the Gospel. This is what makes us Baptist: cooperation. We gather to cooperatively share our resources and send out missionaries. I cannot wait to see this again.
Lastly, I really look forward to reconnecting to family. The SBC is a large organization with people around the world. I always look forward to reconnecting with pastors, professors, friends, former church members, but most of all, family each year.
The Annual Meeting is like a family reunion of sorts. There are always some crazy cousins and uncles but, no matter how crazy they are, they are your crazy cousins and uncles and I cannot wait to see them.
Hope to connect with you at some point in June.