Once again the BGCT will be gathering in Amarillo for its annual meeting. This year the convention will test drive its new format which has been modeled after the Catalyst Conference with fast paced sessions featuring key leaders and speakers encouraging and challenging the messengers and guests. Mixed in with the inspiration will be a couple of important business meetings that will set the course for the convention in the coming year.
Personally I am looking forward to the changes with great anticipation. I am especially excited that Bob Roberts and Ed Stetzer will be speaking. When I was president I had hoped to have Stetzer join us but his schedule would not permit his participation. I believe Kyle Henderson and his “green hat” team did an excellent job in moving our annual meetings forward into the future.
The business sessions will prove to be lively this year with a number of issues coming to the floor for the messengers to debate on and handle. First, the convention will be asked to choose between two exciting presidential candidates. It has been announced by the Baptist Standard that Jerry Carlisle, First Vice-president of the convention, and pastor of First Baptist Church of Plano, and Randy Wallace, pastor of First Baptist Church of Killeen will be nominated. We cannot go wrong with either candidate. Each one of these men love the convention and have demonstrated their commitment to our cause by their involvement. I count both as friends. I must admit this will make my decision a bit harder, but I will vote with a smile because to be frank this was the kind of scenario I dreamed about a few years ago when I threw my hat in the ring. I don’t believe we are returning to the “good ole’ days” but I like the way the future is turning out. People believe they have a voice and they are using their voice. We have much to be thankful for.
In addition, Jeff Johnson and Byron Stephenson will also be nominated for the v.p. spots. Both are capable leaders. Who knows there may be a number more qualified candidates nominated in Amarillo. In my book the more the merrier. Texas is a big state with many capable leaders, so if you are reading this and you have someone you would like to nominate for an officer, do it, win or lose it will be good for us to have more capable leaders to choose from for our future leadership teams.
Baylor will be a hot topic at the convention. Baylor and the BGCT have renegotiated their special agreement, and the BGCT Executive Board will be proposing a new funding plan for our educational institutions that will reduce Baylor’s funding significantly, while raising the funding to all the other schools. This plan has been met with mixed signals. The convention will weigh in on this issue in Amarillo.
Another issue facing the messengers will be the approval of a new plan for the selection of the trustees of our educational institutions. The new plan which was approved in McAllen, and faces its second approval for ratification will give our affiliated schools the opportunity to select up to 49% of their trustees. Currently these schools can select 25% of their trustees. I intend to write on this issue in a future blog before the convention, but in short I believe this is a good move for our schools and will grant them the opportunity to make the most of their board appointments.
As you can see Amarillo will proved to be a very exciting and eventful gathering of Baptist. There are still rooms available. Jump in the car and join us in the Panhandle.