Today marks the beginning of the Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. One of the issues up for discussion/debate will be Johnny Hunt’s proposed Great Commission Resurgence. I suspect we will approve the matter and gain another code word for, “one of the good guys.” I think David Phillips told me Mac Brunson suggested that no one was against the Great Commission. I remember the days when others would say, “No one is agains the Bible,” in Southern Baptist life. So, as it goes we will ferret out the pretenders, those who refuse to sign or announce they are for inerrancy Great Commission Resurgence.
Part of the GCR, anyone more in love with acronyms that the SBC, notes the bloated bureaucracy need for better management. Those for and agin’ will line up at microphones and wax either nostalgic or poetic. One suggestion will not be heard but should be read. It is offered by David Phillips. Take a read and interact there or come back and announce your agin’ it.
3 comments on “Talk is Cheap – SBC and Structures”
I use to be a member of an SB church, married a member of an independant baptist church and I think they’re idea on missions is much better than the convention. Missionaries have deputation and go around to churches to raise support. We have a missions conference each year and everyone prayes and asks the lord what he would have them to give each month to missions (Faith Promise). Our church of only an average attendance of around 100 will give a total of 47,000 to missionaries this year. We support nearly 30 missionaries at $100/month and then help them out with special needs that they have on the field as well. I absolutely love the way this is done. Each missionary sends a monthly letter letting us know what is going on on the field as well as any needs they have…we know exactly what to pray for. Not only that we have missionaries coming through routinely and we actually know each of our missionaries. I love our missionaries and am thankful for the work they do and their dedication to the Lord.
I am familiar with “deputation.” Southern Baptists used to practice the “society” method wherein this practice was the norm. The personal features you describe are missed by some in the SBC. But, for others that is not the case. They each have churches with whom they have relationship but often not as deeply as you sense from your experience.
The “society” method required/s missionaries to leave the “field” to return home to raise support. While this helps with connections at home the SBC became convinced it often broke ministry continuity as the return home could be for months at a time. The CP was developed, in part, as a means to keep missionaries working and from being viewed as “fund raisers.”
The unfortunate turn in either case is to view missionaries as “professionals” who do the work for us. It is better to view them as working with us as partners. One method is not better for this than another. The matter is a matter of the local church and how it views missionaries.
I am glad for your experience and trust you will continue to partner with missionaries and in that partnership find yourself doing the work of a missionary as you learn from them.
I couldn’t agree more on viewing missionaries as “professionals”. I guess it’s all in how people view the ministry. We all have to be involved in our local church and our local church absolutely needs to be involved not only in world-wide missions but sharing our Lord Jesus Christ and ministering to our communities! Missionaries are, after all, just everyday people who are following God’s call in their life, and we are to do the same!