Wednesday, April 11, 2007

"As I See It" Part 3

After a great comment posted by PreachRwife on my last article I decided to make my response the focus of this article. One of the biggest problems of the Southern Baptist Convention is a lack of connection between SBC leadership and the people who sit in the pews every Sunday. The SBC brags about being the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, but when most of the people who make up that denomination don’t know what’s going on, there is a problem. The consequence of this disconnection is ignorance or even worse apathy on the part of the average member. How do we start building the bridge of connection?

The first step in building that bridge is to make our message clear and our voice heard. Here is the problem, how many answers would there be if we asked every Southern Baptist, “What is the main focus of the Southern Baptist Convention?” There would probably be millions of different answers, but I bet the number one answer would be, “I don’t know.” Whether it be missions, the Bible, Baptist Faith and Message, God, Christ, Church, Worship, Ministry, or fellowship the SBC needs to communicate a central core value that denominates and demonstrates everything Southern Baptist are about.

Then the role of the pastor in the Southern Baptist Convention is to take that core value and promote it to the individual member. If the individual member commits themselves to the same core value then a connection is made. So the first rule for the SBC core value is it has to be something that every Christian can commit themselves to. For example, if the Southern Baptist Convention were to make a statement that their main value and focus is evangelizing the world. Pastors, then must promote missions in their church and to their individual members. Each member should realize that missions is more than what we do with out tithe in December, April, and September. If each member doesn’t see their life through missions then a disconnection carries on. The life focus of each Baptist should be the same as the key focus of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Where to begin? As a Convention we need to simplify our message. What are we really about? We need to decide. Then we need to show the average member that their life will have meaning if they will live by these same values. I will tell you why I believe the conservative resurgence happened. It was simple and focused. It was over the Bible and most Christians understand the importance of the Bible.

We need to simplify again and begin to communicate with one clear voice what it means to be a Southern Baptist.

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