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Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by SaggyWoman, May 22, 2010.
Are conventions and their meetings a thing of the past?
As we move towards a more post-denominational style of ministry, they have already become less important. Most of my friends who are starting churches or assuming senior positions in churches now are dropping serious denominational affiliations for networks and other associational ties.
Most of the younger crowd (I guess I include myself here) are more prone to go to conferences and attend meetings geared towards learning about doing something in local churches than to sit through the administrative mess of so many denominational meetings. Its not a bad thing. There is one conference in Atlanta that comes to mind as being referred to as the largest gathering of Southern Baptist pastors...even larger than the pastors' conference.
The annual meeting has a place but it is silly in these modern times to require people to travel thousands of miles, spend thousands of dollars, to accomplish little that affects actual local ministry. We can, and should, do it better.
I think it is important, because it is not about local ministry, it is about cooperative ministry throughout the world. I don't need a pastor in Chicago to help me reach Osprey. But I do need him to help me (us) reach Mongolia.
A good word lest we forget why we cooperate.
Actually many SBC churches participate in the Partnership program, where an established church will help a new church with finances and other needs the new church may have; such as the larger church sending a team up (5-25 people) to help out in Vacation Bible school - would be one example.
Cooperation (especially for missions) is still essential, but the logistics of the annual convention leave much to be desired.
I'm all for cooperation. I actually have chosen to remain a Southern Baptist because of the absolute genius of the cooperative program. I believe missions is best done cooperatively in terms of long term, sustainable global/national missions.
That said, we don't need an annual meeting of likeminded people to accomplish that. What is really accomplished at the gathering that couldn't be accomplished by other means (video conferencing, regional satellites, digital reports, etc.)
There is a group called Converge who are helping like minded evangelicals start churches. That avoids having a church from each convention in the same area that can hardly exist.
A few years ago the Southern Baptists came into town and setup a website to say there were not any evangelical churches. That is a lie and the locals knew it too. The Southern Baptists came into town and left about as fast as they came in. Those folks did more harm than good.
Of course, that depends on what the locals define as evangalicials...
Are the Navigators evangelicals? The SBC folks did not seem to think so? One of the top Navigator ministries in the U.S. is here.
This really isn't about the original post. But are Navigators starting churches?
The problem with a broad spectrum of "evangelicals" starting churches is that the churches they plant are pared down to the bare minimum of distinctives. If I am going to be involved in starting a church, it is going to be a church with a distinctively Baptist doctrinal statement.
Baptist doctrine is not as distinctive as scripture so why waste your time promoting Baptist doctrine? Scripture is inspired by God and Baptist creeds are not. Creeds are statements about what man believes about God. Scripture is what God teaches about Himself. Creeds have changed over time in the same convention and denomination.
When was the last time you saw Lk 14:26 and Lk 14:33 in a doctrinal statement?
Lk 14:26 "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple."
Lk 14:33, "In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple."
I believe that most Baptist distinctives are taught in Scripture, that's why I am a Baptist. If I didn't think that, I'd be whatever group I thot did go most closely in Scripture or go completely as an independent church.
Baptist distinctives are not exclusive to Baptists. History teaches that the early Baptists baptized infants. I would hate to limit my doctrine and practice to present Baptist distinctives. Creeds are about what man thinks about God and that is very limited and finite. I cannot begin to explain an infinite God with any creed. Scripture proclaims what goes beyond any creed in Hebrews 11:8.
Faith is leaving the creed, and meeting God face to face. Too many today are holding to a creed and do not know God. James wrote of that practice.
Please keep to the OP, please.
OP - is that code for Operation Pharisee
Stefan referred to the logistics of the SBC, and I agree. There have been modest improvements lately, but the powers that be still need to get a better grip on it.
Stefan, what would you improve?
If they would leave the south and do ministry somewhere else it would help.
I would say that the SBC sends out over 5,000 missionaries throughout the world not to mention the over 2,500 missionaries throughout the North America but that would be off topic.
If you're going to complain about the SBC - and there is stuff that stinks - at least know what you're saying.