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.