Pity the exalted, yet poor group of “SBC Elites.” Seems the group is always in the bulls eye for one dissenting group or another. They get to sit at the cool kids table at lunch, and, if critics are correct these folks only deign to talk to each other. Communication with lesser SBCers is made by pronouncements, instructions on how to think and act, and by divine fiat.
We aren’t a convention of churches, as we’ve been told ad nauseum. We are a convention of pastors, and other clergy who are on the denominational payroll. An elite, self-selected group among these drives the SBC bus.
Who are these guys (and they are all guys in the old school usage of the term, males).
Megapastors. You get yourself a megachurch and you’re in the club. Check the composition of important SBC committees and boards. Uh huh, heavily loaded with megapastors (or their wives, or staff, who answer to them). Until Bart Barber came along last year and got himself elected as SBC President, the SBC presidential parade was a parade of megapastors.
SBC Entity heads. Some more visible and heard more often than others but all among the elites. After all, there are only a handful of SBC entities. Automatic membership in the club.
Some SBC state convention heads. Since we’ve got 41 individual state conventions, not all of these guys (again, they are all males) make the elite club. Most do not, since many state conventions are smaller than a single megachurch you couldn’t dilute the elite status with small-state guys. About a dozen state conventions collect 90+% of all Cooperative Program dollars. These are the cool kids.
A few influencers. Well, alas, nobody here makes the cut. A few folks with large social media following might be among the elites but most of this group are anit-elite because they can’t get elected to anything or hired for any of the plum jobs.
All this rank conjecture and unsupported opinion is in response to my friend (and occasional contributor here) Joel Rainey’s stated proposal to exclude Conservative Baptist Network people from the convention. He, like me, gets tired of their nonsense and would like to eat etouffee without being bothered by a pirate candidate and such.
Not a good idea, I think, since I was a dissenter back in the day and the SBC always has a renegade group trying to acquire some power. Back in the 1970s (perhaps before but I was carefree and blithely unaware of SBC politics) there were dissenting groups. The Conservative Resurgence was all about the moderates keeping power. If they could have excluded the conservatives they would have. While I am satisfied with the direction of the convention, let those who aren’t squawk all they want.
We had one very close election, Mike Stone losing narrowly. We might have more, although I don’t see people of his stature and ability around the dissenters and renegades.
So, it’s on to New Orleans. I repeat my statement of previous years, that I didn’t think I’d live to see a non-megapastor elected. So here’s the master of Lottie Mooooon, non-megapastor, the ubiquitous Bart Barber now president. He’s doing well. Were I do avail myself of all the culinary delights of The Big Easy, I’d take time to vote for him if he chooses to run again.
I’m settled in at the cool kids table for another year. You can join me here. It will cost you $65.07 for the privilege.
If I were king of the SBC, I’d appoint Jay Adkins to the cool kids table. He’s just a cool guy. I think Dean Inserra, also. He wears cool socks. We had Armani Ronny, so an expensive suit won’t get it. Dave Miller is on the opposite side of the cafeteria. You can nominate your own but this is like Augusta National Golf Club. Your opinion doesn’t mean squat. The club is self perpetuating.