I’ll add my voice to those who have commended all three candidates in this year’s presidential election. I don’t have anything negative to write about Crosby or Gaines. I even blogged in a recap of last years convention about the positive experience I had meeting and talking with Steve Gaines at last year’s convention. I appreciate what I know of both of the other candidates. But as I try to picture a healthy SBC in 10 years, there’s no doubt in my mind that J. D. Greear is the best choice to lead us in that direction.
12 years ago Jimmy Draper launched an initiative to engage and develop young leaders and pastors in the convention. That was a hugely encouraging step back in those days. I remember it as a time when many of us were disillusioned and felt disconnected from the convention itself. I was 24 years old and my first convention was Nashville in 2005. I went away from the pastor’s conference wondering if I was even wanted in the SBC. We have come a long way in ten years. Jimmy Draper saw then, and we should see now, that developing, engaging, and recruiting young leaders is one of the keys to a healthy future. I say that as someone who’s nearing, or maybe has already passed the young demographic. I need to be involved in helping engage those younger than me.
Greear is the best option to engage young pastors in SBC life. He’s led Summit to invest heavily in our cooperative work, with an emphasis in international missions. This along with church planting and theological training, are the elements that will continue to drive the renewed interest we’re seeing among leaders.
If we could have asked, back in 2005, what kind of young leaders we would like to develop and see take on leadership in the years ahead, you couldn’t have painted a more compelling picture than the work Greear has done at Summit Church.
He’s been a helpful voice in convention life for a number of years now. He’s refused to get involved in the Calvinism divisiveness. He’s invested his own life in taking the gospel to the nations. He’s modeled healthy cultural engagement, speaking graciously while standing firm on biblical principles.
When you consider the SBC—not only in 2016, but also in 2026 and beyond—it’s clear to me that Greear models where we should be going. And he’s the best choice to lead on the journey to get there.