This week I will be attending the Pastors’ Conference and Annual Meeting of the South Carolina Baptist Convention in Columbia, South Carolina. I have to admit that I love these days of preaching and denominational meetings. I grew up going to these events with my father and I hope one day to take my children to them as well. The Annual Meeting is a time where we can see how and where our Cooperative Program dollars are being used. Also, the Pastors’ Conference and Convention is a great time of encouragement and fellowship with other pastors as we hear some of the greatest Bible preachers and church leaders anywhere.
I’m praying for Ty Childers as he leads this years Pastors’ Conference. He is a godly man with a great heart for people. I know that he and his team have done a great job preparing to minister to pastors and church leaders from across this state. It was one of the greatest honors of my life to lead the Pastors’ Conference last year and I plan on being there tomorrow to support this year’s president and conference as well as spend time with my pastor friends from across South Carolina.
Tuesday the Annual Meeting of the South Carolina Baptist Convention will offically begin, and all reports indicate that there will be no shortage of discussion, debate and disagreement as the GCR Task Force brings their 11-point recommendation to the messengers for discussion and deliberation. You may read the Task Force’s report here.
I have read through, prayed over and discussed the report with trusted mentors and friends. While I applaud and agree with the desire to get more money, resources and personnel to the unreached areas of the world, and understand the tightening budgets due to our current economic and cultural conditions, at this point I can not support the Task Force’s recomendation. I will be there Tuesday night, along with Temple Baptist Church’s maximum number of messengers to register our disapproval of this 11-point recommendation and seek a better way in which to get the gospel to the “uttermost parts of the earth” without weakening our ministry to our Jerusalem and Judea.
There are three men who have allowed their names to be placed into nomination for President of the South Carolina Baptist Convention. At this point there are two men who have recently been named and as of now I do not know for which one I will case my vote. From what I know of these men, they are good and faithful pastors, supportive of the ministry of the SCBC, are committed conservatives and would reflect my and TBC’s concern with the GCR Task Force’s proposal. I hope to have some time to talk to these two men Monday or Tuesday to help me make my decision.
These are truly important times with great challenges to face and decisions to be made as a convention. I am not opposed to change, but I do believe that many of the recommendations being presented on both our state and national levesl will ultimately prove to have a negative impact on our mission and strength as Southern Baptists as we seek to win the lost and build strong, healthy, New Testament churches for the glory of Jesus.
I will post updates this week as I have the opportunity. Pray for our leaders and messengers that God’s will be done and our actions honor our Savior.