Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Full Day At The Convention

Very full day of activity at the first day of the SBC Annual Meeting in Louisville, KY. There were way too many items to go into tonight but I will hit what I think were the highlights of the day (in no particular order).

Johnny Hunt was reelected (unopposed) for a second one year term as President. Kentucky Pastor John Mark Toby was elected first Vice President, and Stephen Rummage second VP.

There was wonderful worship music spaced throughout the day sandwiched around agency reports, business sessions, prayer times, committee reports and election of agency trustees, theme interpretations (sermonettes) and President Johnny Hunt's powerful message on the need for a Great Commission Resurgence in the SBC.

We had the blessing of Joe McKeever sharing lunch with us today at Arby's. Joe is a retired Pastor and Director of Missions in the Baptist Association of Greater New Orleans. He is a multi talented guy and a real encourager. Joe's cartoons appear every day on Baptist Press' website. Joe has been spreading cheer in the Executive Committee display area in the Convention Exhibit Hall, by sketching caricatures of folks who visit the booth. He had huge lines of folks waiting for him all day! You may enjoy Joe's blog by accessing, www.joemckeever.com

Dr. Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary here in Louisville made the first motion of the day. Dr. Mohler's motion was to allow President Johnny Hunt to appoint a "Great Commission Resurgence Task Force" to evaluate the structure, agencies, programs, etc of the SBC and report on their findings at next year's Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL. This had the potential to be a very divisive issue since Executive Committee President, Morris Chapman, had earlier publicly expressed his objections to the Great Commission Resurgence Document (published a few months ago by Johnny Hunt and Southeastern Seminary President, Danny Akin, and signed by several thousand Southern Baptists - myself included). The motion was forwarded for debate at 7:40 PM tonight.

As the discussion got underway, it did not take long to see which way the issue was going. The motion passed overwhelmingly!

Several other motions were made which were directed at controversial Seattle pastor and author, Mark Driscoll. Driscoll is the founder of the Acts 29 Network of contemporary style churches. Driscoll is known for being out there on the edge and has drawn much criticism for his language usage, views on alcohol consumption, and other unorthodox behavior. Also, the growing number of Calvinists in the convention drew some attention as well. There were also some of the usual wacko motions - including one blasting the Holman Christian Standard Bible which is published by the SBC.

The number of registered messengers (delegates) from the churches was approaching 9,000 by midday. I have truly enjoyed the preaching, the music and the fellowship at this convention. It is so good to see so many wonderful friends from all around the country - renewing old friendships and forging new ones. It is also encouraging to note what appeared to be a larger number of younger pastors being involved in this year's Convention activities. I have no reason to believe otherwise than the Great Commission Resurgence issue has had an impact on energizing these younger leaders.

This older pastor has also felt a need to get closer to my Heavenly Father. I have made some commitments to Him and by His Grace and Mercy will be able to carry them out for His glory. It has been a time of revival and recharge for me, personally. I am looking forward to getting back in our home mission field later in the week, and being about His business.

Tomorrow's morning session will be full, and I look forward to the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary's Alumni and Friends Luncheon at noon. The convention wraps up about 9:00 on Wednesday evening.

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