I decided to post my response to some comments by Lee Saunders to my post on the new Executive Director of the BGCT “A New Day Dawns”. Lee and I both hoped for a new Executive Director who would have had stronger public ties to the “constructive conservative” churches of our convention. Below are a few of my thoughts on this issue. I believe our best course of action is to get behind Dr. Everett and to help him lead us to be all God wants us to be.
Thank you for your comments. I intend to blog on the issue of the budget in the coming days. I agree with you completely Dr. Everett has been set up for a major crisis in the area of finances, and the situation will not get much better if he is perceived to be a strong moderate leader. Our BGCT churches who had connections with the SBC want change and to be included in the power structures of the convention. I hope Dr. Everett will strongly encourage our BGCT officers to fill the study committee mandated by the last convention with a strong majority of BGCT/SBC leaders and new faces. This would send a clear indication that we will not be dealing with business as usual.
Concerning your desire and my desire for a leader more closely aligned with the values of many of our conservative churches, I believe in the light of our current situation that we need to be pleased, and committed to help Dr. Everett succeed. The Search Committee was a blend of good people. I believe they want what is best for our convention, but they were trapped in a very difficult situation. The power structures and values of the BGCT over the past 20 years have been strongly moderate. Fundamentalist continue to create a cloud of fear and suspicion. Interpreting the last convention in Amarillo was a test for even an OT prophet. Was it a Panhandle fluke? Do those of us who have started the movement to bring the BGCT back toward the SBC churches in our convention mean business? Do we have what it takes to broaden the tent and to get the majority of our churches to send messengers to the convention to establish meaningful change? Is the TBC still the moral/values conscience of the convention or have the winds of change truly began to blow?
In light of these uncertainties I believe they made a wise choice. Dr. Everett can work with the present power structures (i.e…TBC, CBF leaders). However, if Dr. Fish is right about him, and I trust Dr. Fish, Dr. Everett has a Kingdom view that can embrace the values of the “constructive conservatives” among us. If Dr. Everett is pragmatic, and practical it will be a “no brainer”. He will realize that 90% of the resources come from BGCT/SBC churches. He will realize that his two top giving churches and their pastors are strong SBC guys (Green Acres/FBC Midland). He will see that we must stop the financial drain immediately or we will severely compromise our ability to do what God has called us to do.
In light of these realities, those of us we want to see meaningful change need to step up the plate immediately. We need to show him we are friends, not foes. We need to prove by our actions that our agenda is Kingdom First, not control.
The ball is in our court. We can help him and our convention succeed, or we can throw stones and suspicion and allow this great Kingdom enterprise to die a slow, agonizing death. I choose to get behind him, and to fan the winds of change.