Five More Observations about Younger Southern Baptists: A Response to Trevin Wax

Trevin Wax wrote an article the other day called, “Five Observations about Younger Southern Baptists.” It was an excellent article examining the tendencies of Southern Baptists who are younger than me – pretty much everyone these days. If you haven’t read the post, please do. Great insights.

However, I was thinking of some other observations I’ve made about younger Southern Baptists that go beyond what Trevin enumerated. Trevin is a nice guy and his observations were mostly positive. But I’ve got a few more observations I’d like to share, not being the kind of nice person like Mr. Wax!

1) Younger Southern Baptists mask their insecurities with facial hair. 

C’mon, you hippies. Don’t try to affect a fake masculinity with facial hair. There are a few good beards out there, but mostly you guys need to get a pair of scissors, lop that nasty stuff off, then get a clean, close shave.

All this “real men wear beards” stuff is ridiculous. Real men are secure in their masculinity without needing a security blanket on their faces. Of course, there are bad examples out there, like Ed Stetzer, with his “mother of all goatees.” But you can appreciate his research without imitating his ridiculous facial hair choices.

2) Younger Southern Baptists dress silly.  

Can I share something with you guys? There are fashion choices beyond just an old pair of jeans and an untucked plaid shirt. I realize that the “Bart Barber Coat and Tie” brigade is still out there, and I’m not expecting everyone to hang a noose around their necks and sweat in a suitcoat every day. But guys, variety does not mean owning 12 plaid shirts in different colors.

And, honestly, guys, just get a real haircut. If you have to use “product” in your hair, you need to get a new “style.” If your hair looks like a porcupine, go get a haircut. Men have hair and combs. We don’t have hair styles. We just have hair. (Or not, in some cases.)

We didn’t fight communism to see a generation of young men using hair product.

3) Younger Southern Baptists falsely think themselves sports pundits. 

Two cases in point. Young whippersnapper Matt Svoboda opines on sports like he’s Stephen A or Skip. And he actually believes that the consistently mediocre Nebraska is still an elite NCAA football program. I have often tried to mentor him on sports, but he cheers for the wrong teams and will not learn from his mistakes.

Another whippersnapper-blogger, Mike Leake, gives football predictions that defy logic and reason. Even an Iowa weatherman is not wrong that consistently. He cheers for the Kansas City Royals and the Cleveland Browns, but still thinks he should talk publicly about sports.

These men have the right to cheer for any team they wish. But they should not engage on social media as if they are experts when the evidence speaks loudly to the contrary.

4) Younger Southern Baptists eat like rabbits, not Baptists. 

Frankly, one of the things I like about going to the SBC Annual Meeting is that I am not the guy with the worst BMI in the room. Baptists eat fried chicken; we are NOT vegans. We do not shop organic or free range – that stuff will mess up your digestive system. Baptists do not eat kale. Honestly, folks, what on earth is kale?

You guys need to get with the program. Being a Baptist requires one to at least make an effort to have a coronary in your 50s. How do you measure who has given the most to the ministry if not by coronary bypasses?

5) Younger Southern Baptists are gonna be running the show one day. 

Wow, that is scary.

I remember the time I was sitting around at a BCI pastors meeting talking to a group of young pastors. Suddenly I realized that I was no longer the young buck but had morphed into the wizened veteran dispensing advice. It happened before I realized it. When did I become the old guy? One of these days, these snot-nosed Baptist kids are gonna be the voices of wisdom and reason. Hard to imagine, isn’t it?

Did you know that there is a cure for being a Younger Southern Baptist? It’s 15 to 20 years. One of these days these whippersnappers are going to be convention presidents, entity heads and denominational leaders. It is up to us grizzled old fogeys to stick with the kids, to give them advice, to overlook their faults and bear with their youthful arrogance and all that. Few of these kids are as arrogant as I was at their age. We need to do more than keep them in their place and complain about their wardrobe and facial hair choices (as bad as those are). We need to mentor them, train them and encourage them to be all God has called them to be.

Youth is a curable disease. I wish I was going to be around to see what these young whippersnappers are going to be like when they are running the show. Should be quite an adventure.



  1. Dave Miller says

    Sometimes you just have to tell the truth no matter how much it hurts.

  2. Greg Harvey says

    What’s that I hear coming from Mike Leake’s house?


    • Dave Miller says

      I think he’s excited about Josh Gordon mentoring Johnny Football.

      Oh wait, never mind.

      • Greg Harvey says

        See!! You have something in common with Johnny, Mike!! He doesn’t handle success well, either…

        • says

          Ha Ha. After the latest news with Josh Gordon I’m confident that Johnny won’t bring success to Cleveland. Cleveland will bring failure to Johnny.

  3. Matt Svoboda says

    Lol. Nice.

    I feel like I am in good company when an Iowa Hawkeye and Yankees fan is coming after me!

  4. William Thornton says


    But…I asked two whippersnapper pastors this week about the convention. Both essentially replied that they would just as soon stick a shard of glass in their eye as do that.

  5. says

    Some of us younger Southern Baptists are sports pundits because we actually spent time working in the sporting industry after studying the discipline in school. Otherwise, some of these things I agree with, especially the dress part. :-)

  6. Tarheel says

    1. I wish I could grow one. I admit I suffer from beard envy. 😉

    2. So? Get over it. Lol. Comfort rules. I’d wear jeans and T-Shirt/plad shirt literally all the time if I thought I could get away with it…lol.


    4. I agree!

    5. I’ve had te blessing of several older saints (not all of which are pastors) to provide great guidance.

    Fun article, David.

    • Jeff Johnson says

      The latest plastic surgery trend is the beard transplant. Seriously. There is hope for you yet.

      • Tarheel says

        Lol….I saw that on the news last week….I told my wife out it (just in conversation) and she lovingly said….

        “Please tell me you’re not considering that stupid surgery”

        I had to be honest….I had. Lol. Untill they said the average cost is 10-15k. 😉

  7. Greg Harvey says

    I have just one question about this article: why can’t I come up with 200 to 300 comments I luckily never post like I can with the typical controversial topic?

  8. Jeff Johnson says

    Beard, plaid, sports punditry: Guilty as charged.
    Rabbit food: Ain’t happening. My favorite vegetable is mac & cheese.
    Future convention leader: Scary.

  9. says


    I never dreamed I would say this, but I agree with your fine assessment. Who would ever have thought you would get this. Next thing you know you will announce that you are coming to North Carolina so you can be closer to me.

  10. says

    Beard: does a well trimmed goatee count?

    Plaid and sports: you bet!

    Rabbit food: I like meat…but I like fresh veggies too

    Future convention leader: not interested at all

    Thanks for a good laugh on a Saturday Dave!

  11. says

    You forgot #6: They don’t wear lime green suits.

    And in light of #2, I wear cargo pants and an untucked short; unfortunately I don’t have enough hair to have a silly haircut, but I think there’s enough in back to get started on a mullet. I’ll tend to that immediately.

    And please give it up on #1. I don’t have NEARLY enough facial hair to mask all MY insecurities.

  12. Dean Stewart says

    Concerning # 2 no store I have ever shopped in offers those pointed shoes that resemble the ones the Shriners used to wear in the Christmas and Homecoming parades when I was a kid. Where do young Southern Baptist find those things? I think long pointed toe shoes are a requirement to be a church planter now a days.

  13. John Wallace says

    In the interest of mentoring our younger pastors in the value of diversity, I’ve decided to reconstitute the leisure suit and the anglofro.

    • Dave Miller says

      There is a fire-engine red leisure suit in my size on eBay. I’ve been trying to decide…

  14. Dee says

    Jesus has a beard. Does WWJD mean nothing to you? Other than the unclean meats Jase and Phil are as close as you get to real men. Willie is too yuppie.

      • Tarheel says

        Bacon = a little taste of heaven here on earth. It’s just a glimpse of the good things that are yet to come! 😉

        • says

          Tarheel, man oh man, not the bacon again. We have no pigs in Montana, just beef, deer, elk, moose, prairie squirrel (antelope for you Southern boys), bear, buffalo and rattlesnake Now that’s man’s food!!

          No squealing in Montana. :-) :-)

          P.S. One of my pastors will even fix you up a mess of skunk!!

          • Tarheel says

            I’ve eaten and enjoyed all of those foods you mentioned….except skunk…and that ain’t happening. 😉

            You guys don’t even drink sweet tea out there, so don’t talk to me about delicacies!

          • says


            Yes that’s true…no sweet tea. I guess you can’t have everything. Let’s see…sweet tea or the Rocky Mountains….life is full of choices.
            Cracker Barrel has introduced grits to Montanas.

      • Dale Pugh says

        I have a beard. I eat bacon. Then I eat the bacon that’s left in my beard.