Tag Archives: Southern Baptist Convention

Steve McKinion on the SBC and the GCR

Here is a sample:

GCR-type SBs see little need for yet another conference on how to grow your church through Sunday School (or Bible study formerly known as SS).  Why are CP dollars, they wonder, supporting local staff who consult with churches when networking is a much more relational, natural, and, it is argued, effective way to brainstorm, inform, and transform.  If these SBs are already building organic networks with other SB churches that help them do the work of the Gospel better, then why give sacrificially to programs and initiatives that have outgrown their usefulness.  Becoming Gospel-driven in their churches has led them to be Gospel-driven in their cooperation.

A movement is afoot among the churches of the convention.  Christians have become consumed by the Gospel and are therefore consumed with the Mission of the Gospel to the nations.  They will no longer support denominational efforts that do not reflect that priority, just as conservative SBs refused to continue to support a denominational bureaucracy that was inconsistent with their view of the Bible.

Check out the rest of the article here.

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Posted by on May 4, 2010 in Uncategorized


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My Great Commission Resurgence Thoughts

The Video above is a panel discussion about the Great Commission Resurgence (GCR) at Southeastern Theological Seminary.  The panel, made up of various GCR members, addresses various concerns that are being made concerning the first draft of the GCR released some weeks ago.

Basically much of the heat centers around a dissolution of contracts between the North American Mission Board (NAMB) and Southern Baptist State Conventions.  NAMB sends back a portion of its Cooperative Program dollars to the State Conventions for various mission endeavors within each state.  So as you can imagine, many of the State Conventions are not high on the GCR.  One only needs to read Baptist Press editorials or state paper articles to see their opinion about the current GCR proposals.

Additionally, in my opinion, the increase of articles in the past three months focused on how young pastors are embracing the Cooperative Program and the increase of articles highlighting CP ministries is no accident.  It seems to paint the picture that those who are aligning themselves with the GCR initiative are not pro-CP.  This is completely false.  I am pro-CP, but this does not mean that the CP does not need to be re-examined and revised when necessary from time to time.

Some will say one-liners like “if it (the CP) has worked well for (fill in the __) number of years then there is no need to change.”  The problem with this is for years states have adjusted the amount of dollars they send to the Southern Baptist Convention.  The CP then has been adjusted in the past, so it is not out of the norm for present day adjustments to be made.

The basic rememdy, I keep hearing from the State Convention side is just give more money.  That is the solution according to many.  Sorry, but this isn’t going to work.  It is not compelling enough.  When organizations like the NAMB keep having trouble at the top and there is little consistency with its leadership, churches are not excited to give.  When I hear Al Gilbert (on the panel) say that Baghdad, Iraq has approximately the equivalent population as the State of North Carolina and at the same time the International Mission Board is cutting back its missionary appointments because of a lack of funding, I am left very frustrated. 

When I hear that a very significant portion of NAMB appointed missionaries are being sent to work in the south where the majority of our churches exist, I am frustrated.  It is past time for our churches and our entities to start putting together strategies for reaching the unreached places of our country and our world.  And if it means taking away funding from State Conventions in the South, then I think we must. 

If one puts forth a compelling vision and a good track record of faithful ministry, then people will come aboard and give more money.  However, if the status quo is maintained, the SBC will continue to fade.  I agree with Danny Akin, when he states that if hard changes are not made soon, in 10-20 years much more difficult changes will be upon us, and we will be forced to change.

While I do not think the first draft of the GCR proposal went far enough in its recommendations, I believe it would be a step in the right direction.

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Posted by on May 1, 2010 in Uncategorized


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Around the Blogosphere

At the Together for Adoption site, they have posted summaries of the speakers who spoke this past weekend at their conference in Franklin, TN.  The audio will be up shortly. 

Beginning at 5 PM Central time, Trevin Wax will be live-blogging the Southern Baptists, Evangelicals, and the Future of Denominationalism conference hosted at Union University in Jackson, TN.

Russell Moore explains how David Letterman can teach us about the Gospel.

William Mounce on double-tongued deacons and translation theory.


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Posted by on October 6, 2009 in Uncategorized


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Southern Baptist Convention 09, Part 5

This will be my last post on the SBC.  In this last post I want to address a significant problem within Southern Baptist life.

The chief reason why Southern Baptists cooperate with one another is to fulfill the Great Commission.  We do this primarily by pooling our financial resources together to fund our mission endeavors.  On the national level, we have two missionary agencies, the North American Mission Board (NAMB) and the International Mission Board (IMB).  The most important of the two in my estimation is the IMB.  The majority of the non-Christian population lives outside the Unites States and Canada.  The greatest need for church planting is in regions where Christianity has little to no presence.

It was reported in a Baptist Press article last May that the IMB was going to suspend and cut back on various ministries because of a lack of funds.  This has left an unsatisfying taste in my mouth.  It is frankly unacceptable.

Now there are various ways to correct this financial shortfall.  Churches can give more to the Cooperative Program.  Churches can also give more to the Lottie Moon offering, which goes 100% to support the IMB’s work.

Yet, I believe the shortfall raises questions about why the IMB is enduring a financial shortfall.  Have Southern Baptists gotten their hands into too many ministries?  Is there duplication and redundancy in our ministries?  Should some ministries and positions be cut in order to fund ministries of greater priority?   Sometimes, the answer is not just give more money.

Much discussion over the past years has centered around the allocation of Cooperative Program dollars given to Southern Baptist causes.  The Cooperative Program is the historic mechanism by which Southern Baptist dollars are collected and dispersed to support State, National, and International mission efforts.

To many younger Southern Baptists, as we have learned more about the allocation of Cooperative Prgram dollars, we find disappointment.  The disappointment is this: Almost every Southern Baptist State Convention receives more Cooperative Program dollars than our National entities, which includes IMB and NAMB.

Now I am not an anti-State Convention guy, but I cannot for the life of me agree that the majority of my money designed to support missions in the most unreached places is not getting to those people who serve in those areas.  Now I hear that the IMB is suspending programs which undoubtedly would send out missionaries who are needed to reach lost people in espcially dark regions of this world.

Why does my own state convention (Tennessee) and previous (South Carolina) receive the greater portion of my mission dollars than the IMB and NAMB?  I know there is much work to be done in these two states, but we have 1,000’s of Southern Baptists in these two states.  There are also 1000’s of other solid evangelical churches in these states as well.  Yet when you compare the need of the gospel to be spread to other nations and peoples, there really isn’t any comparison where the bulk of our money should be going.

Here is a list of the breakdown of 2008 CP dollars kept by State Conventions in the South where the base of Southern Baptists are located:

Alabama 58%, Arkansas 58%, Florida 61%, Georgia 59%,  Kentucky 64%, Louisiana 65%, Mississippi, 66%, North Carolina 71%, South Carolina 58%, Tennessee 58%.

Only two state conventions forward more nationally than they keep, the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention and Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia.  Yet both these states have two state conventions and the other two keep an exceedingly high amount of CP dollars.

So for example in my own church and state here is our breakdown.  Westwood Baptist Church gave 7% of our budget to the CP which amounted in 2008 to $16,784.  How much then of this money went to International Missions funded through the IMB?

$9,735 or 58% was kept by the State Convention

$7,049 or 42% was sent to the SBC, and of this total the IMB by allocation receives 50% which amounts to $3,525.  So the greatest area of need only receives 21% of the money we send.

It just does not add up.  This does not excite the younger Southern Baptists I know.  I do not think it excites the members of my church either.

My sincere hope and prayer is this may be reformed quickly.  I hope we can bring changes in unity rather than going our different ways.  But as Dr. Albert Mohler said recently, churches should make Southern Baptist entities earn their money.  Ultimately I and the church I pastor will give account of the stewardship of our finances.  And we want to be graded well.


Posted by on July 23, 2009 in Uncategorized


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Baptist 21 Video, Part 2

Dr. Mohler addresses gospel cooperation, tribal identity, and Acts 29.

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Posted by on July 15, 2009 in Uncategorized


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Baptist 21 Video

Dr. Daniel Akin on the Great Commission at the Baptist 21 Panel Discussion during the 2009 SBC.

Sorry for the poor camera work.

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Posted by on July 14, 2009 in Uncategorized


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Southern Baptist Convention 09, Part 4

thumbs-upI wanted to highlight some of the good things I experienced at the 2009 Convention.  I’ll try to point these out as they occurred chronologically.

1. The Pastors’ Conference: I was not present for any of the messages on Sunday or Saturday morning.  Every message I heard was encouraging but was particularly blessed in the messages of Luter, Jr., Platt (see Post 1), and Hunt.

2. 9 Marks at Nine: On Monday and Tuesday evenings at 9 PM, 9 Marks ministry facilitated two talks (one by Mark Dever and one by Danny Akin) followed by panel discussion and audience questions.  Free literature was passed out (more was offered daily by 9 Marks at their booth).  The room was packed with young attenders.  I wondered though, with the Convention being in Louisville whether there were a number of seminarians present.  Either way, the influence exerted through these times was good.

3. Baptist 21/Sojourn Church Panel: Baptist 21 sponsored a panel of influential SBC leaders (Mohler, Akin, Dever, Platt, Stetzer, & Montgomery).  Many free books and resources were given away to attenders.  The panel discussion was very lively and informative.  I hope one thing which hit home to the largely young attenders is the need for them (and myself) to stay and influence SB life.  Also, a special thanks to Pastor and President Johnny Hunt who paid for all our lunches and personally came and greeted us in the midst of his very busy schedule.

4. Convention: I enjoyed many of the Convention messages I was able to hear and many of the reports from the various agencies especially the ones by Lifeway and the IMB.

5. The Great Commission Task Force (see Post 2).

6. The Sesquicentennial Celebration of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary: The convention location was a positive in many ways.  Not only was it drivable, but I had the opportunity to go back to where I lived for three years and to the school which had such a dynamic impact on my pastoral preparation and spiritual formation.  I had the opportunity to see some professors and thank them for their good labors in the gospel.   

I got to visit with some former classmates and spouses at the luncheon and be present for the presidential address.  I picked up two new books associated with Southern. The first, by Gregory Wills, is a history of the school titled Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1859-2009.  The second is a new book by Tom Nettles titled James Petigru Boyce:  A Southern Baptist Statesman, who was a founder of the Seminary.


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Posted by on July 6, 2009 in Uncategorized


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Southern Baptist Convention 09, Part 3

DSC01270My youngest daughter, Karis, visualizes what so many Southern Baptists feel in their souls over what is spoken at Conventions from both the floor and from the platform.

There was a call for Pepsi to be boycotted. 

There were calls for our entities to refrain from having speakers who drink alcoholic beverages in moderation.

There were calls for Lifeway to remove books by Mark Driscoll which led to another call for more books to be removed (I think done in jest over the first call for removal).

One messenger even wanted the Convention to address a theological movement in NY(?) where people saying Jesus Christ is returning in 2011(?) and will render all churches meaningless.

Still another wanted the Christian Flag to stand as the visual symbol of of God’s people (I think the Lord’s Supper is sufficient and more biblical).

I suppose one should just become expectant to these realities.  Unfortunately these things reflect what so many people think are vitally important.  This is scary.  Fortunately, we typically have theologically astute and gospel centered men and women who serve in leadership of the Convention.

What is more surprising though is when a SBC leader takes the stage and completely misrepresents many brothers and sisters who are a part of the Southern Baptist life.  Executive Committee President, Morris Chapman lambasted those in Southern Baptist life who do not believe personal repentance and faith in Jesus Christ is necessary and vital for salvation.  Well, the problem here is that there is nobody in the SBC who thinks this.  Although, he never said the word Calvinist, everybody knew he was directing these words towards Calvinistic brothers and sisters in the SBC.  While I expect this kind of ignorance or intentional misrepresentation from the floor at the SBC (which happened again this year), I do not expect it from one who fills the post which Chapman holds.

Hopefully this too will change one day.

When I returned back to Murfreesboro, and shared some convention news with a few members, one said that (infighting) is why they disliked participating in the conventions.  But I reminded everyone that if gospel centered Southern Baptists do not show up and steer the ship carefully, it will eventually sink.  And there is so much good in Southern Baptist life worth preserving.  So my recruitment speech for 2010 began.

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Posted by on June 26, 2009 in Uncategorized



Southern Baptist Convention 09, Part 2

gcr1One of the significanct actions which took place the 2009 SBC  was the passing of a motion to appoint Convention President Johnny Hunt to create and select a Great Commission Task Force to investigate how Southern Baptist Churches can better steward our resources to more effectively fulfill the Great Commission.

There are many within the convention who believe we are not maximizing Southern Baptist resources and we need Southern Baptist leadership to positively influence Southern Baptists in different sectors to embrace a needed change (I will speak to what I think should change later).  The task force will bring forth its recommendations to the 2010 Convention in Orlando.

It is important to understand that the task force can only recommend change.  Messengers at national conventions can bring change to national entities.  Changes, though need to come to State Conventions and Local Associations.  One item which many Southern Baptists would like to see changed is the Cooperative Program allocation at the state level changed (I’ll talk about this more later).  But in order for this to happen, Southern Baptists within each state at their annual state conventions will have to vote to change the formulas.  This effort will be more difficult than merely getting a motion passed at the SBC.

This Great Commission Task Force is rooted in the effort of Daniel Akin’s call for a Great Commission Resurgence.  You can find many resources about this call through the previous link including the document.  Many of us desire to see structural change come to the SBC life, but at the heart of this document is a call for Southern Baptists to fix their eyes on Jesus and follow his command to take make disciples of Jesus Christ from all nations.


Posted by on June 26, 2009 in Uncategorized


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Southern Baptist Convention 09, Part 1

2009%20LOVELOUD_FINAL%201The 2009 Southern Baptist Covention in Louisville makes my third convention attended as a messenger.  I attended previous conventions hosted in Greensboro 06 and San Antonio 07.  I left this convention more optimistic about the future of the SBC.  But vastly more important for my ministry as a local church pastor is the way my heart is now aflame for fulfilling the Great Commission.

If I could point to one single moment at the convention that so captured my soul, it was the sermon preached by David Platt at the Pastor’s Conference on Monday.  All I could do was pray that God would give me a brokeness for the lost and that God would continually burden my soul non-Christians.

Specifically, this message has spurred me to lead the local church I pastor to think more about what we can do to reach the lost by giving more money to the cause, become involved in church planting, and by implementing annual international mission trips.

The story Daniel Akin, President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, told about the 12 and 13 year old girls prostituting themselves in Thailand along with those spoken by Platt have me disastified with my own personal efforts to make Jesus Christ known.  God has given me 31 years and I have wasted so much of it.  I do not want to waste anymore of it.  I do not know how many more God will grant. 

I hope the sermon will be eventually made available for free, but for know if you desire to hear the Platt sermon, you can order the DVD or CD for $9.oo.  It’s worth the price and then some.


Posted by on June 26, 2009 in Uncategorized


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