BGCT Presidential Journal 3

On the BGCT presidential front I had extremely busy week at my “day job” as pastor of FBC Canyon, and a relatively slow week on the convention front. Like history has taught over and over again fighting on two fronts for change can be very difficult and taxing. One of the greatest challenges I have discovered in this role as president revolves the constant struggle for balance. Making choices between the good and the best are the order of the day and I fear too often the best for my wife and daughters is where I have failed. Saying “no” has never been my strong suit. I rose to leadership in ministry driven by the insanity of trying to please all the people all the time. In recent years I am seeking to hear the voice of “one” and seeking to please the Lord by seeking his counsel and guidance above all, but I must confess too often my inner voice for approval, and the cries of the crowd drown out His call.

Two Years Too Late

This week I had a brief conversation with the pastor of a large county seat BGCT church that made the deliberate decision to leave our ranks and to join our Southern Baptist of Texas Convention brothers and sisters. Shortly after my election members of our Executive Board staff had the opportunity to plead our case for cooperation to the congregation as well a leader from the SBTC. I had called the pastor to share my sense that the winds of change were blowing and that much of what concerned him was changing, but before we had a chance to talk his church had already voted and taken action. One of his comments struck a cord with me he said, “I wish you had called two years ago.” I do too.

Meanwhile last week I received news that one of our large flagship churches in the DFW Metroplex voted to dually align with the SBTC. I personally have no fight against the SBTC. I believe their mission like ours is to implement the Great Commission of our Lord, but my deep concern revolves around the brutal facts that we cannot continue to lose churches and do all God has uniquely assigned us to be and do.

My simple plea is this: every one of us who claims to serve under the banner of the BGCT needs to take responsibility for his brothers and sisters. If you know of a leader or church standing on the edge of leaving our ranks for whatever reason, talk to them, listen to their story, and encouraged them to get involve in the solution. If there is a pastor or church that feels like they have no voice in our future tell them to call me or to call Randel Everett. We cannot be passive any longer. If our cause is noble and right and I believe it is, then it is a cause worth the struggle and our active engagement. Tradition will no longer win the day. We must win the hearts of our people with a renewed vision of tomorrow. I believe Texas Hope 2010 sets the tone for who we long to be. It is not a desperate last ditch effort it is a signal call of a new day.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “BGCT Presidential Journal 3

  1. Lee

    First of all, I appreciate your referring to those in the SBTC as our “brothers and sisters.” I don’t hear that very much among the core BGCT supporters. They seem to prefer “them” or “fundamentalists.”

    There is some lag time for some churches as far as sensing the new wind that is blowing in the BGCT. The seeds that were sown in the past which lead churches to consider changing their state convention affiliation are still growing in some places. The wind may not have reached into some areas. There are several churches here in my area who are waiting to see what your first list of committee nominees looks like before they decide what they are going to do.

    I think some pro-active moves are in order. Repairing the BGCT’s relationship with NAMB would be one good place to start, opening the door to some new partnerships. Continuing to repair the relationship with Southwestern would be another place.

    I’m sure your plate is quite full. I’m praying for you.

  2. Lee,

    Thanks for your comments. Concerning our SBTC brothers and sisters, I call it like I see it. They are still family at the least in terms of the Kingdom if not closer. I deeply regret we have two conventions today, but it could be in many ways that God is using us inspite of ourselves to advance His Kingdom.

    As you remember in Acts Paul and Barnabus had a major parting of the ways, and the end result was two missionary teams in the place of one. Who knows possibly this division of labor will mobilize more people in Kingdom work and stream line the red tape.

    Geoff Hammond and I served near each other in Lewisville in the 1980’s. I received a note from him a few weeks ago. His heart is to join forces with like minded believers to reach our nation for Christ. I believe we can find common ground in missions, church planting, and evangelism. Those have been core values of all Baptists for decades. In fact in Lubbock there is currently a joint effort of the BGCT, SBTC, NAMB, and Lubbock Baptist Association to share the hope of Christ this year to everyone in Lubbock county. I commend Larry Jones, the Director of Missions, for his leadership on this matter.

    Finally, thank you for praying for me. I need it more than you might imagine. Positive change is good, but it can be trying at times. For there to be positive movement there must be friction if you don’t believe it try driving on ice like I did this morning in Dallas.

  3. spiritualsamurai

    Dear Dr. Lowrie,

    I, too, thank you for remembering that those who once helped keep us balanced (SBTC) are still brothers and sisters. As a black sheep I love it when other people are pulled out of the triangle (I hope you are still engaging systems thinking).

    I know there is the unmentionable. Have you learned anything you can share. You are seeking truth I have no doubt, but forgive my doubts. Has the executive board leadership and Dr. Everett asked its legal representation to help all others involved in this mess? I am sorry to bring this to your public platform, but as a small church pastor who is really hurting from the last seven years I was so hoping you would bring transparency to the BGCT (my own triangle, sorry).

    Again, forgive my multiple comments.

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