Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Southern Baptist Convention Part 1

Ok, some basic thoughts on the SBC, referring to the Convention itself, not to the denominational aspect:

1.) For various reasons, we continue to feel that it's necessary to get together in person to have this annual meeting. I understand that. I don't agree that it's as necessary as some people think, but, ok, we do it. Fine. But I didn't travel 600 miles to watch videos, half of which I've already seen on your website. Get up there, make your report, and be done. If you have video you'd like people to see, webcast it. Pass out a DVD. Make a video podcast. Something, but don't have people sit there and watch a canned video. Eliminating video presentations might be impossible, but limit them. No more than 10% of the total time of the Convention. If you really only have 20 minutes worth of report, don't use up the balance of an hour showing us video clips and automated powerpoints. Shorten the meeting time. It would be welcomed by families.

2.) On the family note: the childcare workers and children's conference people were excellent. Being a one-vehicle family, I don't travel to out-of-town, overnight conferences or conventions without my family. However, most conferences would have me leaving my wife in a hotel room with 3 bored kids. Instead, the SBC allows she and I both to participate. That's a good thing.

3.) Let's rethink the schedule. First, think about the time savings by giving out a DVD will all of the pre-canned presentations. Second, why do we not meet Wednesday afternoon? It would seem better to meet Wednesday afternoon, and eliminate a night session. I'd welcome it, as would many parents that bring the whole family to the Convention. Unless we wanted to move to all of the business being handled in the 2 night sessions, allowing for more local laypeople to be involved. This would be balanced by the moving of Convention locations. But, I don't see that. So, let's think about the Wednesday afternoons, ok?

4.) I think maybe we should require all motions to be twittered in to the chair. Would force some serious brevity. Except we would have had : "moveth that we doth not use any translations save that which @jamesvi approveth" Instead of a second, the chair would ask "is there anyone who will retweet?"

5.) I don't think, even when renominating for a second term, that any officer nominations should be made from the platform. Or, barring that, all officer nominations should come from the platform. Dr. Hunt got re-elected, no opposition. No big deal, but an officer nomination from the platform seems to be "official" versus an "unofficial" nomination. Perceivable as favoritism or good ol' boy networking.

6.) I'm glad the Great Commission task force is approved. I think we need to examine things in how the SBC operates. I am struggling, though, that it seems Dr. Hunt had already picked out his task force before it was approved. I know you need to move quickly, but we shouldn't be picking out committees that aren't approved until they are approved.

7.) A motion that was ruled "out of order" did raise a valid question. One of the (unnecessary) videos shown used The Who's song Baba O'reilly (theme from CSI:NY). Can we not write music in Christian circles? I'm not just trying to knock secular music, but do we, with the Holy Spirit of the Creator in us, not have any creativity? We used secular music, copied secular advertising methods, and have this tendency to borrow the world's ideas. Shouldn't we be the creative ones?

8.) I'm a little troubled that we have to re-invent other wheels, while borrowing wheels that should be re-invented. We pulled out of the BWA, so that we could try and fund a complete new global network on our own? I'm not convinced that the BWA theological issues were of depth enough to pull out and to spend Cooperative Program money to rebuild a global network.

9.) I'd like to see the reason behind why resolutions are "declined." And yes, it's because my resolution was declined. I'd like to know if they thought it was unnecessary, redundant, stupid, or if it was declined because I'm a nobody in the SBC, and only important people get to write resolutions. I am curious why we'll talk about strengthening missions work, but won't even ask churches to strengthen their funding of our current system while we try to figure out how to fix it. Perhaps it would be too uncomfortable for the 'great ones' of the SBC to have a spotlight pointed towards their comparative lack of support of our cooperative efforts? We'll never know.

10.) All in all, it wasn't a bad convention. I'll share a few more thoughts in a different post, including one about the Great Commission Resurgence idea and where it goes next. I do think that we remain a personality driven operation instead of a Word-driven group of churches. May that change soon.

Yes, many of those are complaints. Sorry about that. I would say I can't say enough good about the volunteers that made the childcare stuff happen, but I can't say enough good about them. Our kids were safe and secure, and had a good time. I'd like to see better childcare options during the minister's wives luncheon, since trying to keep up with all 3 kids and stand in line to get lunch would have been impossible. Otherwise, it's one thing the SBC was better about than the ABSC, where childcare was only available for up to age 5. We'll have 6 and 8 at the ABSC this year, and if there's no childcare for children that age, I'll have to either keep them entertained through the whole convention or leave them at home. Which means me staying home too.



1 comment:

  1. Came over from Ann's. LOL at #4! Twitter will soon take over everything. :) I've enjoyed reading your take on the Convention. As a AR Baptist PK who has lived in New England (yes, the land of heathens) for almost a dozen years it's interesting to see what's going on back in the Bible Belt.

    I wonder what Jesus thinks about all this fuss on how to "do" the Great Commission.


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