I was recently sent a copy of an email which was written by this year’s Chair of the SBC Committee on Nominations, Michael Criner, and sent to his full Committee. As a member of last year’s NomCom this is of great interest to me. To my knowledge, I have not yet met Michael but I deeply appreciate the direction he is moving and I see this as a faithful forward movement/extension in the same direction that Leah Finn led our team last year. I appreciate Michael’s faithful effort in following the lead of the Convention especially now in light of the SATF report. He is taking this task seriously and I deeply appreciate it. Can we all commit to pray for this year’s Committee on Nominations as they begin their work to present to us in New Orleans next June?
(For transparency sake, I did not receive the email from Michael, but I did contact him for his permission to post it here).
Dear Member of the 2022-2023 SBC Committee on Nominations:
Thank you for your willingness to serve the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention as we fulfill our responsibility as set forth in SBC Bylaw 15. As your Chairman, I will work closely with our Vice Chairman, Lauren McAfee of Council Road Baptist Church in Bethany, OK, to ensure that our report to the 2023 SBC annual meeting is faithful to the Word of God and adheres to the SBC’s governing documents.
As you know, in three successive conventions, messengers from our churches have spoken clearly about the need to address every form of abuse within our ranks. I dare say that the stakes before us are higher than ever, and our churches expect that our Committee will conform to the present convention’s determination to root this out and deal definitively with this matter. Our task is to ensure the individuals we place before the convention to serve are those whose values and determination are consistent with the desire of the convention. We will countenance no exception, and we will implement a rigorous vetting process to ensure eligible nominees are aligned with our convention’s resolve.
I am presently reviewing the SBC Bylaws and our Committee’s assignment, along with other official records held by the SBC Executive Committee. This information will allow our Committee to implement a structured process to guide our work over the coming months. On Thursday, September 22, 2022, at 10:00am (central), we will host an Introductory Session via Zoom, that will introduce you to the Committee, and give you a brief (30min) rundown of some preliminary materials that will outline this process. The aim is to provide answers to some common questions about the task ahead and organize our Committee to execute our assignment efficiently and faithfully.
Will you join me in praying for the work that is before us? Specifically, join me in asking the Lord to give us wisdom in our efforts to fill vacancies on the governing boards of our SBC entities and the Committees where we have jurisdiction. Also, pray that God would begin even now preparing the men and women whom we shall eventually place before the messengers to the 2023 SBC annual meeting in New Orleans.
One final thing – Jesus tells us, “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me.” (John 15:5, CSB) In this section, Jesus is very specific that those who abide or remain in him will produce fruit. Remaining, or abiding in the vine means receiving, believing, and trusting in the words of Jesus. My prayer for us is that every assignment and decision we make is made after we have spent time on our knees remaining in the vine.