You read the Baptist Press article, Greear to state execs: ‘How may I serve you?’, a piece that was carried in a number of the state papers. Some state execs and editors wrote separate, positive articles. I like the tone that Greear sets here with his offer to be a servant.
Some years ago, our longtime DOM retired. He was recycled to our association for his last few years. A very good man but bereft of energy and any new ideas. His replacement was one of the leading pastors in the association for whom the position was a terminal career opportunity. But one thing he did early on gained my support. He met with the pastors and leading laypeople of the association and stated, “I am your servant.”
Would that every person on the denominational payroll had this posture. Most all will say it but years of observations lead me to a bit of skepticism (OK, maybe more than a bit) that such is genuinely the case. It is almost inevitable that execs serve leading pastors and major, funded institutions. But, I am persuadable. Show me, individual-by-individual.
But lay that aside for now. J. D. Greear hit the right note on this.
David Hankins, executive director of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, told BP the Atlanta meeting was characterized by “a great spirit, camaraderie and willingness to work together.”
Hankins, who endorsed Ken Hemphill during June’s SBC presidential election, said Greear “really wants to move forward” the same types of initiatives “I was interested in during the recent campaign”: “the Gospel for everyone,” “growing support for the Cooperative Program” and “cooperation among the various levels of Southern Baptist life.”
If we can get together on the right focus and leave behind the Calvinist/Traditionalist wars, everyone will win.
There are still substantive issues to face but failure is assured only if we take our separate paths.
Cooperation is a good thing. Serving one another is a good thing.
I borrowed Baptist Press’ image of Greear being prayed over. Maybe this could be a theme of the next year and beyond.