There’s a presumption rolling around among SBCers that the Resolutions Committee has what they want to do in mind before the convention and sloughs off or dismisses all resolutions that get submitted from individual SBCers. Not so. Those individuals who properly submit a resolution according to the provisions of By-Law 20 will be properly considered.
Here’s what the By-Law says is necessary for a properly submitted resolution:
- Be submitted to the Committee no earlier than April 15th and no later than 15 days prior to the annual meeting.
- Be addressed to the Committee on Resolutions in care of the Executive Committee. Electronic submissions are preferred.
- Be typewritten, titled, and dated.
- Be accompanied by a letter from a church qualified to send a messenger to the annual meeting certifying that the submitter is a member in good standing.
- Include complete contact information for both the individual and his church.
Do all that and you have a properly submitted resolution. The limit is three resolutions per year per person. Even if you have a goofball, off-the-wall, idiotic, numbskull, hot mess of a resolution (I can think of a few over the years) you will get proper consideration. All properly submitted resolutions will appear in a list in the Convention Bulletin along with your name and church.
Here’s what happens in the inner sanctum of the Baptist Vatican in Nashville and in back rooms on location at the convention site:
- The Committee holds conference calls and considers it.
- The Committee meets in person and considers it.
- Initial read-through and review followed by several possibilities of disposition: (a) rejection, (b) Maybe yes, maybe no, (c) Yes, (d) maybe combined with similar submitted resolutions.
- Proposed draft.
- Fact-checking, fine-tuning, word-smithing.
- Printed in Daily Bulletin
- Convention action, voted yea or nay.
This is from a graphic given by Executive Committee attorney (and now interim president) August Boto. Staff involvement occurs at some points but the Committee makes the decision. If the Committee’s outcome doesn’t suit you, maybe they rejected it, then you can challenge the decision from the convention floor where 2/3 vote can overturn the Committee. There are more possibilities and this short piece doesn’t cover them all but this is a serious process and this is how it goes.
Regardless of what the foaming-at-the-mouth negativists say, the SBC Executive Committee, EC staff, Committee on Resolutions take seriously the matter of individual messengers’ submissions. They should. We make up the convention for those two days a year it exists. The role of the officers, staff, committees is to carry out the messengers’ will.
If this looks complicated and convoluted, thank God for it. We should have a serious process for the few statements the Convention makes every year.
Have at it, brethren and sistren but remember, your name and the name of your church will be attached to the thing.
Information in this from SBC FAQs and a nifty handout graphic from the executive vice president and general counsel of the Executive Committee.