My name is Fabian Portunato and I am a Send Network planter in Miami, FL, in my 3rd year of this plant.
This will be my 4thconsecutive year attending the SBC. It is a commitment I made to myself and my church, that if we were to be Southern Baptists then we would be involved in Southern Baptist life at the local, state and National level.
The first year I attended was part of a requirement for my Baptist History class at SEBTS. It was pretty wild seeing characters from the books I had read about the conservative resurgence and it was like seeing those stories jump off the pages into real life. Seeing Judge Pressler at odds with the convention on the issue of the Confederate flag was interesting, to say the least. The next couple years had their own respective dramas. Now leading up to this one we are again embroiled in controversy. Part of me thinks that this how the SBC likes to keep things interesting and keep people wanting to come to the convention. The other, more realistic side of me, is sobered to the reality that this is the nature of being in such a diverse group of believers, who whatever their differences, are committed together to the great commission.
Though I must admit, I was almost so disenchanted with everything, that it was not until this week that I bought my plane tickets and reserved lodging to attend. My convictions of wanting to cast my church’s vote and be part of the continued history and heritage of the SBC won out. It is my prayer that the congregation that is the SBC family would come out, and that the majority would win the day, and the rest be happy and fall in line with however things pan out.
There is a lot of work to be done in the SBC, but as I see it, as there are no perfect churches, neither is there a perfect denomination. Let’s celebrate differences, let’s embrace humility, and let’s come out of this as the Lord wills. I am not ashamed of the SBC because of its brokenness, for it is still a light on a hill to an onlooking world. They may look on in contempt, but I would persuade you all to know that all families have their crazies, but we deal with our problems, we call them out, and we mend and heal together.
God bless you all. Looking forward to Dallas.
Fabian Portunato is a Send Network church planter and the lead pastor of Revolution Church in Miami, Fl. He holds an M.Div. from SEBTS. You can connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.