The Southern Baptist Convention: Louisville 2009

Today and tomorrow the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention is being held right here in Louisville, Kentucky.  I attended the afternoon session, but unfortunately I had to miss out tonight when it appears that all the good stuff happened.

But I’m glad to see that Michael Spencer has provided an excellent summary and analysis of what happened tonight.  The Southern Baptist Convention is changing as it transitions to a younger generation of leaders.  I see the shift as a positive development.  Younger leaders typically have little or nothing to do with the “boycott” mentality the SBC has been famous for recently.  They are typically more focused on the gospel and on local churches than they are on culture wars.  They are more likely to support a statement like the recent call for a Great Commission Resurgence than they are to support a resolution rebuking Pepsi. 

Tonight was a good night for the SBC and a new generation of SBC leaders.  But this is not the time for triumphalism, as Michael Spencer points out:

 Younger leaders: You won today. Now be mature. Be gracious. Be kind. Build bridges. Heed wisdom and heal riffs. Watch Danny Akin and do what he does the way he does it.

I agree.  In fact, there are three people I would point to who have been models of gracious and effective influence in the SBC recently: Southeastern Seminary’s president, Danny Akin; the current president of the SBC, Johnny Hunt; and the director of Founders Ministries, Tom Ascol.  I think those of us who belong to the younger generation of the SBC should look to these men as models of gospel-centered ministry.  There are a number of differences in theology and style between them, but they are all three united by a common vision for local churches to fulfill the Great Commission by partnering with one another and taking the message of Jesus Christ crucified to the nations.  I hope and pray that the future of the SBC is defined by this vision.


5 Responses to “The Southern Baptist Convention: Louisville 2009”

  1. Marc Whitman Says:

    Not so much a comment on this post…although, I pray for the success of the SBC (not that I know much about it being in the spiritually bankrupt portion of the world called the Northeastern United States)…I just wanted to say that I haven’t checked in on your site in a while, thanks for keeping it up and it was good to read your thoughts and commentaries.

  2. fenderpooh Says:

    Thanks, Marc. Despite the relatively low number of comments (especially compared to a couple of years ago), I know there are people who are still reading.

    In fact, a friend of mine from high school whom I haven’t seen in 10 years just told me the other day (at my 10 year reunion) that he follows my blog. Go figure.

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