What events from this past year will have a lasting impact on the life of the SBC? Here is my attempt to answer that question. This exercise is sure to invite criticism and I am open for your correction in the comment section.
1. Decline In SBC Giving: While membership numbers can be inflated and baptisms can fluctuate, the real measure of our denominational mission has always been our missions offerings. That is what the SBC does – cooperate for missions. So, when that slides it should catch our attention. This story broke in early October but was largely ignored. The quote, “Cooperative Program receipts for the year were down .65 percent and combined giving for the year was down .87 percent . . . This is the first time in 15 years that both Cooperative Program and combined giving have not surpassed the previous year.” Some effects are already being reported.
2. Economic Woes Hit Seminaries Endowments: In the last weeks of the year we learned that the capital markets had damaged the balance sheets of at least two of our seminaries. Read about SBTS here and SWBTS here.
4. Johnny Hunt Is Elected President Over A Field Of Six: The convention choose a candidate well known for his passion and evangelism. Read about it on Baptist Press.
5. Resolution On Church Membership Is Adopted: After all the talk, we finally affirmed what should have been safely assumed. Many hope this will encourage churches to do the right thing. You can read the statement here.
6. Decline In Church Membership Is Confirmed: As Ed Stetzer wrote, “You cannot miss the fact that a dubious historical milestone has been reached—and it needs to be noted in denominational and church offices across the country.”
7. SBC Fails To Move Presidential Election: The political clout of Evangelicals suffered under the Bush Presidency and our pro-life case did not prevail.
10. You Pick: What’s your opinion, what item would you add to this list?