Cries(es) of Leadership

Seth Godin considers the new leaders to be heretics. (Tribes) In religious settings we eschew the label heretic. Although, the word becomes an incendiary device hurled toward anyone who does not espouse “my” orthodoxy, which of course is “the” orthodoxy.

Ed Stetzer is on record noting another malady – drawing lines over praxis. Southern Baptists have long had a hierarchy of acceptable leadership practices – orthopraxy meant “movin’ on up” the denominational ladder. Preaching out those notorious hetero-praxis purveyors of new forms of leadership/methodologies became a pastime.
Leadership orthopraxy tends to be determined by prevailing practice. Fifteen years into the CR it was determined those continuing to press the battle needed to replace a seminary President. After finally electing trustees sympathetic to the cause and willing to practice the prevailing leadership orthodoxy, the SWBTS board secured enough votes to oust Dr. Russel Dilday. On a fateful day in 1994, one day after a positive personnel review, Dr. Dilday was locked out of his office and escorted out of the building. An entity head was deposed.

Even if you contend it (firing Dilday) was the right thing, you must admit it was the wrong way. It certainly would not be the Jesus way.

Fast forward fifteen years. A VP at the Executive Committee is asked for his resignation. Some report Dilday like treatment. If it is the case, it may have been another case of a right thing done the wrong way. Both of these illustrations would be hetero-praxis.

My point is the prevailing leadership orthopraxy created the loam from which our current leaders emerged, save for a few who well knew of the way things worked “back then.” Rising from the compost of former decisions these new leaders face a conundrum. They know the past. They know the prevailing leadership orthopraxy, which is really heterodox if it does not comport with the way of Jesus.

The question begging to be answered, “Is it possible a leadership “heretic” will emerge? May we emerge leading in a new way? May we become the heretics to lead the “tribe” of Southern Baptists still interested in the future of the denomination?

Spending our time announcing there will be no “old wars” fought will not make it so. Creating a safe environment for challenges to heterodox forms of leadership by someone considered a heretic may well keep the GCR on track.

One small fly in the ointment that may well tip the hand of where we are going. Re-read the recent interview with Ronnie Floyd in BP. Then go over and listen to Danny Akin at the Founder’s Breakfast. If you listen carefully we may already be witnessing differing perceptions of the role of the GCR Declaration. Either it does hold the parameters for the group or it does not. Listen/read carefully.

About the Author
Husband to Patty. Daddy to Kimberly and Tommie. Grandpa Doc to Cohen, Max, Fox, and Marlee. Pastor to Snow Hill Baptist Church. Graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Reading. Photography. Golf. Colorado. Jeeping. Friend. The views and opinions expressed here are my own and should not be construed as representing the corporate views of the church I pastor.

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