Welcome SBC Churches?

In a recent article in the Baptist Standard Jan Daehnert, who serves as the interim executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas urged our convention leaders “to continue welcoming those who align with the Southern Baptist Convention.” It appears during his brief tenure as our interim Daehnert witnessed the disconnection between the top levels of leadership in the BGCT with its rank and file member churches. Rightly Daehnert noted that “the overwhelming majority of churches working with the BGCT are what a pastor friend, Danny Dowdy from First Baptist Church, uses to describe his church—‘we are historically a Southern Baptist church’.”

It still strikes me as odd that a vast majority of our churches can feel out of place in the “home” they built and continue to support financially. From my perspective the vision and direction of our convention leadership has too often been reactionary and negative toward the work of the Southern Baptist Convention. Often there was no need for the BGCT to react to the follies of the SBC and its leadership. In our efforts to distance ourselves from Fundamentalism and its grip, we have inadvertently created a perception SBC churches whom are member churches of the BGCT are out of step. Personally I believe much of this is nothing more than a misperception because many conservative leaders serve on the boards and agencies of our convention. We have a public relations problem that must be addressed.

I am confident and hopeful Dr. Randel Everett will help us take huge strides forward in this area. I believe as he travels the state and establishes relationships with key leaders from the various interest groups he will be working to help us work together as one team to reach this state and the world with the good news of Jesus Christ.

Granted we have had problems in the past as we struggled to find our place in the Kingdom. We have lost hundreds of churches to the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention. However, we have a bright future as seek ways to continue to work together.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Welcome SBC Churches?

  1. The church I am serving as Intentional Interim, just completed work on the identity portion of the process. They now describe themselves thusly:”We are a Southern Baptist Church, affiliated in Texas with the Baptist General Convention of Texas.” Seems to me that would describe a huge percentage of our BGCT-aligned churches.

  2. Lee

    There are a few things that can be done almost at the outset in order to help those churches in the BGCT that still uniquely support the SBC, and I’ve heard that number to be in the range of something like 80% of them, and I think they are all things that can be done without stomping on anyone else. It may just be a cosmetic touch, but I think one of the best gestures that could be made would be the lifting of the restriction on a Southwestern Seminary exhibit at the annual meeting. That was one of those tit for tat moves that is, frankly, nothing but pettiness, and the fact that the BGCT leadership didn’t take the high road on that small issue makes them look as badly as they think the fundamentalists appear to be on the other side.

    I really believe, if we could step back and look at things as they really are, we would find that we are not as far apart as we may think, and that a lot of the controversy and disagreement that we have experienced as both Southern Baptists in the SBC, and Texas Baptists divided, is far more related to the egos of the personalities who are involved. If some egos were to back down and move out of the way, I think we might realize that we are not as far apart theologically as we may think we are, and that we could really cooperate in terms of mission and ministry. Most of our disagreements get couched in theological terms, but they are more about turf protecting, and peddling influence to protect personal interests. As long as the focus is on who runs the show, and who is in control, missions and ministry will be neglected and there will be dissention.

    If the focus was on advancing the Kingdom, and preaching Jesus, the SBTC and BGCT might even be able to get back together.

  3. kfgray

    “In our efforts to distance ourselves from Fundamentalism and its grip, we have inadvertently created a perception SBC churches whom are member churches of the BGCT are out of step.”

    I don’t see what’s inadvertent or perceived about it.

  4. kfgray

    My comment was harsh and abrupt and I want to apologize for it.

    I was upset at the time, having read one too many broad brush stereotypes about SBC churches and their members. I know and love so many of these people, they used to be in my BGCT church. It hurts to hear the broad brush, negative stereotyping of them from the Baptist Standard to David Currie to some blogs.

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