IFB to SBC or SBC to IFB

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Mexdeaf, May 31, 2006.

  1. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
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    How hard is it for a pastor to transition from IFB to SBC or vice-versa? Pit-falls? Positives? If you could would you do it again or not?
     
  2. TomVols

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    In my area, I don't see any SBCs moving to IFB, but we see a lot of "temporary" shifting from IFB to SBC. These critters come into a SBC church, claim they've been evangelistic and missionary all their lives, really believe SBC doctrine, just so they can get a church. They tap into SBC retirement plans, stay a little while, then bolt back to their IFB fold where they return a hero for claiming they have tried to straighten out some horrible church but got run off or took a stand for the Lord and left...meanwhile, their SBC retirement account grows and they'll one day cash a check from the SBC sponsored retirement plan. It has caused much harm to SBC churches here. Some have wised up. Some haven't, to their shame.

    Before I ever took a church, as an 17 year old, in fact, I went from IFB to SBC because of my conviction that the IFB church I was part of was not Scriptural and things preached there were not Scriptural. The SBC seemed closest to the Bible, so I became a Southern Baptist. I do not regret making the move becase I was moved out of fidelity to the Bible.

    I recommend a pastor "shifting" only because they have a clear cut convictional reason to do so. If you change, you need to take some time to understand the group you are aligning yourself with. I would not recommend a pastor leaving an SBC church and going right to an IFB church. I think a time of testing and waiting would be appropriate before assuming a pastorate. Just my opinion.
     
    #2 TomVols, Jun 1, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2006
  3. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
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    Tom,
    Great post. Must go with the name :tongue3:
    I made the same trip because I saw a more cooperative effort in Acts than I was seeing in the IFB. My big problem was theological at first. But those concerns have worked themselves out as I saw the SBC become an inerrant based denom.

    I am thankful I made the switch. When I talked with Dr. John Sullivan the Executive Director of the Florida Baptist Convention. I told him I was coming from an independent background. He told me something I haven't forgotten. He said, "All Baptists are independent. Some just choose to cooperate."

    It had nothing to do with a retirement program. It had everything to do with theology.
     
  4. North Carolina Tentmaker

    North Carolina Tentmaker
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    I have been both more than once. I was saved in an IFB church, baptized in an IFB church, called to preach, licensed, and ordained in a SBC church. I have degrees from IFB schools and certificates from Seminary Extension. I am currently enrolled in a program with Master’s Divinity school and most of my instructors seem to be Presbyterian.

    I have pastured both IFB and SBC churches. The last church I pastured was SBC. I am currently a member of an IFB church. I was interim for a SBC church for a couple months last year. They had no problem with my IFB membership while I helped them. Most church members either way have never given me any trouble.

    Other pastors and missions directors on the other hand have. Every SBC missions director is always convinced I will try and take one of “his” churches out of the convention and most IFB pastors I know accuse me of selling out to liberalism when I so much as fill in at a SBC church. My current pastor is an exception to that. He is very supportive of what I do. In fact we had a joint service with a local SBC church recently when their power went out. SBC and IFB in the same building and nobody got cut, imagine that.

    I have always been bivocational and have never participated in a retirement plan through any church. (I have my own IRA, that’s all, and retirement at my secular employment). It had nothing to do with any benefits I have just tried to follow what God wanted me to do. There is more theological diversity within SBC or IFB than between them.

    It is not original to me but: I am a Christian with a capital C and a baptist with a little b.
     
  5. North Carolina Tentmaker

    North Carolina Tentmaker
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    To answer Mexdeaf more directly:

    Is it hard? No, not for me it was not.

    Pit-falls? Missions directors and other pastors will call you names and hate you. Serve God and your flock and don’t worry about it.

    Positives? Staying in the center of God’s will for you life.

    Do it again? Yes I would and probably will.

    If you feel God’s call to a particular church that is much more important than the denominational sign out front. Go with God.
     
  6. TheWinDork

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    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: TOO FUNNY! :applause:
     
  7. TomVols

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    That quote is exactly right!:thumbs:
     
  8. TomVols

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    I would never try to justify you being mistreated. However, I personally know and have talked to directors-of-missions of many associations in many states. When you ask them about their biggest problems, always near the top or at the top of the list is the problem of "hostile takeovers" from IFBs. Their concern is justified on the surface. No DOM should mistreat you or fail to trust you once they get to know you (you seem like a good guy). As far as other pastors giving you a hard time, it reminds me of a situation we had here about 8-10 years ago or so. An IFB brother had become quite popular in IFB circles by his criticism of SBC churches. However, the local IFB "preachers' fellowship" booted him when his church built a family life center. He was no longer welcome at their meetings. When he tried to fellowship with SB pastors, they naturally were not ready to receive him with open arms since he had made a living calling them names and bashing their people. I felt bad for the fellow, but it's a reminder that we need to make our words sweet...someday, we may have to eat them :type:
    That is an extremely wise observation. :thumbsup: I believe IFBs and SBCs have much more in common than we'd probably like to admit :smilewinkgrin:
     
    #8 TomVols, Jun 2, 2006
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  9. Tom Bryant

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    I remember when I first got into ministry hearing IFB pastors talking about starting new churches, reaching people with the Gospel and strengthening churches. As time went by - in my experience - the emphasis changed to a more political message.

    When I went to the first pastor's meeting as a new SBC pastor, guess what they were talking about? That's right: starting new churches, reaching people with the Gospel and strengthening churches.

    I know that associations vary with locality, but it made the transition very easy for me.
     
  10. North Carolina Tentmaker

    North Carolina Tentmaker
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    I agree with you 100% TomVols, their concerns are justified. I have worked with DOMs in three different cities and two of the three got to know me and it was not a problem. [the 3rd still does not like me but thats ok]. You have to remember who these guys work for. I understand their concern.

    A lot of the IFBs that are hostile against the SBC are so because of their own personal history. Many came out of the SBC under bad conditions and carry a lot of resentment around. I also understand their concerns.

    Hey I don't feal mistreated, misunderstood for sure but never mistreated. I don't let it bother me. That is one of the advantages of being bivocational, I am not dependent on a church or denomination to pay the bills so it is easier to let it go.
     
  11. j_barner2000

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    I was saved through a parachurch outreach run by pentecostals. Found an IFB church,met my wife,and spent many years as an IFB. When we moved to AZ in 99 we felt led to attend a SBC affiliated church, and actually joinedand served as youth director, and then went to another church to serve as pastoral intern and Children's ministries director.

    Candidated at acouple of SBC churches which approached e and the Lord placed me in an IFB church. IFB,,, SBC,,, etc... Be where He sends you. Biggest differenceI have seen is the level of cooperation between churches.

    I consider our local D.O.M. to be a friend and he has been supportive, even though our church will likely never affiliate with the SBC and we both know it. However, I have and will continue to lead our church to cooperate with other churches in our area as we feel led by the Lord.
     
    #11 j_barner2000, Jun 5, 2006
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  12. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
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    So far the responses are pretty much in line with what I thought they would be.

    I am not from a SBC background. Would one of you be so kind as to explain to me the relationship between a DOM and the church or pastor?

    Thanks so much!
     
  13. Baptist Believer

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    The Director of Missions (DOM) supports the local pastors and helps coordinate cooperation between SBC churches in areas of mutual interest. They handles the administration of the local associations and help churches (if they ask for help) locate interim pastors and staff. The DOM also keeps his eyes open for potential ministries in the association and opportunities for the planting of new churches in underserved portions of the association.

    A common misconception among non-SBC people is that the DOM is somehow the boss of the local pastors, or makes decisions for the churches in the association. Nothing could be further from the truth. SBC churches are autonomous (independent). A church's relationship with the association can be very close or very distant, depending on the level of involvement the local church wants to have.
     
    #13 Baptist Believer, Jun 10, 2006
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2006
  14. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
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    Thanks so much for clarifying that relationship, BB. :smilewinkgrin:
     
  15. TomVols

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    Some folks mistakenly believe that a DOM is like a district superintendent or has ecclesiastical authority over pastors or churches, like a bishop.
     
  16. Baptist Believer

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    Very true. When I was in the pastorate in Central Texas, I'd often have IFB pastors tease me about having to answer to the Director of Missions. I'd chuckle, but then explain how the DOM (and the local association itself) is a servant to the churches, and they would roll their eyes.

    I suspect they thought I was somehow making excuses, when instead, I was explaining the way of Southern Baptists more accurately.
     
  17. Paul1611

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    I just spoke with a pastor of a Southern Baptist Church last Saturday at his office, and he cleared up many misconceptions that I had about the Southern Baptist Convention and its relationship to the churches. I was under the impression (due to some things I have heard preached and read) that the pastor of a SB church had to answer to some denominational leaders and follow orders from them. I also was under the impression that the church HAD to give so much money to the convention or they could lose buildings and property. This pastor cleared up many things for me and explained how their giving and involvement with the convention was strictly voluntary, and that their church was just as autonomous as the IFB church that I attend. For 4 yrs I have heard the opposite from some IFB preachers. Although he did say that he has been in churches where some of the congregation were "hardcore convention supporters" meaning that the church had to do every new thing the convention came up with or even talked about, which he said has caused some problems for the pastor. But I have seen IFB churches that run with certain "clicks" and associations. But anyway he cleared up many misconceptions that I had about the SBC.
     

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