William: "You there with the ear ring, the cutlass, and your hair on fire; you've got problem with women pastors in the Southern Baptist Convention? Pirate: "Aaaargh! Dadgum straight I've got a problem with it. It's a big problem." W: "Yeah, a big problem? How many women are there in the SBC who lead churches as pastor?" P: "I don't know of any who are senior or lead pastors, but..." W: "Hold on right there, swashbuckler. There aren't any women senior pastors in the SBC?" P: "Well, no, but..." W: "Hold the 'but' Blackbeard. I want to be sure I'm hearing you right. There are … [Read more...] about Interview with a pirate about the SBC and women pastors
Dave Miller's insightful article about his and his church's recent travails was excellent. It was also paradigmatic of thousands of SBC churches. Dave's church was not a small or average-sized church and I'm thinking here of the average-sized SBC church, somewhere around 125, and the median sized SBC churches, somewhere around 70. Generally, these are churches that can support a full-time pastor and most of the opportunities for being THE pastor (senior pastor, lead pastor, etc.) are in churches of this size. There are tens of thousands of SBC churches in this range and below. Many of them … [Read more...] about Can these average sized and below SBC churches survive?
Here in Georgia there are pick-up trucks and there are redneck pick-up trucks. I have driven one of the latter for a decade or so. You can drive a sparkling new Ford King Ranch, maybe $80-90,000 truck and turn it into a redneck truck if you fly a Confederate Flag. If you spend that much on a truck just to cruise around, you could fly an "I'm an idiot with too much money" flag. If you have a gun rack and a bunch of deer stickers on the back window, you got yourself a redneck truck no matter what kind or how new it is. Your humble hacker and plodder blogger came by his redneck pick-up … [Read more...] about I am liberating myself from my redneck pick-up truck
Baptist Press general article ERLC: How to talk to your church about the SC decision ERCL explainers: Here, here, here Faith leaders divided... (includes quotes from Brent Leatherwood, ERLC) __________________ … [Read more...] about SCOTUS decision
Well, I suppose I voted for the thing a couple of decades ago. The "thing" is the last remaining monument to the foolhardy faith of SBCers in an endlessly upward trend line; that is, we just expected more churches to give more money to the Cooperative Program year-after-year. Millions of new people were moving to my state, Georgia, and surely our several thousand churches would grow along with the influx of population. Our Georgia Baptist leaders sold our old headquarters building and built this new one: It's … [Read more...] about Are SBC state conventions doomed and just surviving is the goal?
Try not to yawn. This isn't as controversial and contentious as the database or survivor fund (delayed until next year) but may be more helpful in addressing the sex abuse issue. The Sex Abuse Task Force issued five "challenges" to state conventions. State conventions are in a better position to handle many issues with churches because (a) they are closer to them, and (b) there are actual evaluations of churches before they are allowed to be a part of the state convention. No church has to affiliate with a state convention but almost all do. Here are the things the SATF requests of the … [Read more...] about Overlooked: SATF “challenges” for state conventions
As I have followed and read about abuse in SBC churches, the subject of "the SBC" funding some level of compensation for survivors has often been discussed. The Guidepost report calls this a "Survivor Compensation Fund Program" and has a recommendation in this regard, page 268: Establish a Survivor Compensation Fund Program: We recommend a Survivor Compensation Fund Program be created, to be overseen by the Commission and administered by the Administrative Entity (if created) with the assistance of an independent Fund Administrator or Special Master to direct the compensation of funds to SBC … [Read more...] about Guidepost’s recommendation of a “Survivor Compensation Fund”
I join my colleagues here in expressing sorrow and lament for so many victims of horrible abuse in churches and entities of our convention. We may differ on some aspects of recommended changes but not on that. _____________________ Last year after some disastrous Zoom meetings many were calling for the SBC Executive Committee to revert to relative obscurity, to be led by an efficient administrator and to return to properly and quietly carrying out their responsibilities. With the Sex Abuse Task Force, Guidepost investigation, report, recommendations, and reactions, it appears that the … [Read more...] about Our 86 member Executive Committee and sex abuse in the Convention
...and it's a well-deserved, well-aimed roundhouse kick against remote voting. For the umpteenth time, the Executive Committee had a motion referral that asked for an examination and approval of a form of remote voting for the SBC Annual Meeting. Yawn, here we go again. You have to register and be approved as a messenger, receive your ballots to be optically scanned (a technology at least as old as I am), get your physical self into the convention hall at the time a vote is taken, cast your paper ballot and await the results. No phone votes. No votes from the hallways. No proxy votes. … [Read more...] about Remote voting for the SBC Annual Meeting gets yet another kick in the teeth…
If you want to see autonomy in action, look at all the footnotes from the 2021 Annual Church Profile. The ACP is collected by the state conventions, 41 of them. Fully ten states don't collect some of the data and the vocabulary and terms used for some categories differs. No big deal but each of the state conventions is autonomous and doesn't have to do what LifeWay asks. The states could collect data on left-handed clergy if they wished, not a bad idea. And no church has to give all data or any data. Carol Pipes has an informative story on the 2021 ACP here. Generally, all statistics … [Read more...] about 2021 SBC data is out; round up the usual suspects but note a few quirky things