If you are at the Convention this year, don’t miss the Task Force report on the SBC’s progress on Racial Reconciliation on page 2 of part 2 of the daily bulletin.
I have always been appreciative of a denomination where a single messenger has a voice and any messenger can initiate and be part of the process in the workings of our denomination. Our ability as messengers is limited, though, as many find out each year as their motions are ruled out of order. Similarly, reports are just reports, resolutions are just resolutions, and though either may contain helpful recommendations and action steps, reports and resolutions have no real authority for change. I personally would love to make a motion that would somehow give teeth to this report and require our elected leaders and trustees to act on them. So, if such motions were proper and in order, I would make a motion to this effect:
I move that the president, trustees, committees, entity heads, state conventions, local associations and churches move forward aggressively to achieve to goals set out by the Executive Committee report. That we would move decisively, aggressively, and quickly to see ethnic/racial representation at every level including on our trustee boards, committees, entity staffs, and senior executive leadership.
That we see proportional representation at every level in the next five years.
The bottom line for me is that though this report charts progress, it had been a progress that is too slow. We’ve now been at this business of racial reconciliation for 20 years. If we are not decisive and deliberate in taking action, it may be another 20 years before we see true shared leadership and operate as a truly multi-ethnic/multi-racial denomination. I believe the heart is there among Southern Baptists and Southern Baptist leaders to see such partnership come to fruition. I would call on all our leaders to make this shared leadership an urgent priority. But I cannot make such a motion, at least not one that would not be ruled out of order, I can only ask. Please, SBC decision makers – please, committee on committees, please, committee on nominations, please, presidential search teams, please, completely autonomous decision makers, take deliberate action. Let us not wait for the slow wheels of change. Let’s move decisively and intentionally to achieve these goals quickly. I can’t vote to make you make diversity and shared leadership happen, but I pray you will.
After hearing and voting on the committee on committee and committee on nominations reports — a big “well done” to President Floyd and the committees for your progress on moving toward shared leadership. Let’s continue this trend!