Diversity Experiment at SBC Pastors Conference

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Jerome, Sep 9, 2016.

  1. Jerome

    Jerome
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    Baptist Press

    "The 2017 Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Pastors’ Conference in Phoenix is expected to highlight the contributions of the convention’s smaller churches and celebrate the diverse landscape that makes up the SBC. To that end, Pastors’ Conference officers are seeking nominations for event speakers who represent these churches."

    "The online nomination process opens Sept. 12 at sbcpc2017.com. Nominations can be made through Sept. 30."

    "Nominees should be the pastor of a Southern Baptist church with about '500 or less in average attendance' who has not preached at the annual meeting in the past five years."

    "The leadership team encourages nominations representing the ethnic and geographic diversity of the SBC."

    "this is meant as a one-year opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of smaller churches. They have no designs on having a small church pastor lead every year."
     
  2. Van

    Van
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    Giving others a seat at the table seems like a good thing.
     
  3. Baptist Believer

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    And there's my issue with it.

    I don't necessarily want a small church pastor designated to lead every year, but it should happen frequently. Unfortunately many in the SBC loves large churches and judges a persons capabilities and ministry on the size of the church membership.

    I pastored a small church in a county in West Texas where the total population was just over 8,000, with about 5,500 in the county seat where I was located. The active membership of the church grew from four to about 35 people when I completed my time there after nearly two years. When I went to the Convention and/or spoke to other pastors throughout the state, I consistently received unsolicited advice to shut down the church because the membership is too small or, worse yet, was informed that there was something wrong with the way I did ministry since I didn't have a numerically-large congregation. Since we had a small congregation, I received very little salary and even buying food and gasoline so I could live there was a big challenge every week.

    After a while, that sort of thing got me discouraged and I decided to figure out what size church I had compared to the "experts" in terms of percentage of the population. I realized that I had .6 percent of all persons in the city within the building every Sunday morning, and there were numerous church in town - including three other Baptist congregations of various types.

    If I were to take that percentage and apply it to my current city of residence, I would lead the equivalent of a 5,000 active member congregation, which would excite a bunch of folks in the SBC.

    I have never been about the numbers, but it seems that in the religious world, numbers are revered and pastors are judged superficially. Now it takes a certain skill set that I might not have to shepherd a congregation of 5,000, but the Lord places us where He chooses, and I'm afraid we don't respect the small church pastors like the Lord does.
     
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  4. TCassidy

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    Some of the most faithful Shepherds of God's flock I have ever known have been Godly men laboring unrewarded in small towns and rural areas in tiny little churches. But their reward in heaven will be great. Perhaps even greater than the pastor who had the riches of this world due to a large salary from a large church. :)
     
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  5. Baptist Believer

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    One thing you can sure of - they are not doing it for earthly fame and fortune. Many of them are working other jobs so they can afford to minister to the small congregations.
     
  6. Sapper Woody

    Sapper Woody
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    In a similar experience, when I was a teenager, my dad pastored a small church. Our max attendance was around 70 on a Sunday Morning. However, our town literally had a population of 10. Not a typo. Ten.

    So, he had a church that was 700% of the population of the town. Small churches ought not be automatically dismissed. Especially in light of the growth. The church doubled in size in only about five years there.

    Sent from my QTAQZ3 using Tapatalk
     
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