Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Speaking of Younger Leaders in the SBC

Here's an event I highly recommend.

Younger Leaders Summit II slated for Greensboro

By Staff

GREENSBORO, N.C. (BP)--What began in Nashville at the 2005 SouthernBaptist Convention will continue in Greensboro when the Younger LeadersSummit II convenes at 10 p.m. Monday, June 12, following the annualPastors' Conference.

Marty Duren, pastor of New Bethany Baptist Church in Buford, Ga., and principle organizer for the gathering at the War Memorial Auditorium,said the intention is for the summit to conclude by 10:45.

"We really want this to be an interactive time," Duren said. "We want those attending to have time to interact with the speakers as well as network with each other and hope that the fellowship following themeeting is as beneficial as the meeting itself. I think last year we saw the value of bringing younger leaders together. There were some beneficial relationships established."

Last year's Younger Leaders Summit was hosted by James T. Draper Jr.,then-president of LifeWay Christian Resources.

In 2004, Draper challenged the SBC annual meeting in Indianapolis to "pull a chair to the table" for younger leaders, allowing them to getmore involved in the convention. Draper then spent the next year encouraging cross-generational interaction through various personala ppearances and commentaries circulated SBC-wide, culminating in the Younger Leaders Summit in Nashville. Draper said at the time that the summit was an opportunity to give younger leaders a platform from which to speak.

Draper, who retired from LifeWay in February, will be among the speakers at this year’s summit. The main address will be delivered by Jeff Iorg,president of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley,Calif.

Also scheduled are Doug and Kiki Cherry, Mission Service Corps campus directors at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa.; Jerry Rankin,president of the International Mission Board; and Tim Sweatman, pastor ofJackson Grove Baptist Church in Bowling Green, Ky.

"We've seen a lot of positive things happen in the two years since Dr.Draper called the denomination to reach out to younger leaders," Duren said. "It seems things have accelerated in our denomination just since last year's summit in Nashville and interest continues to build toward Greensboro. I appreciate that Dr. Draper expressed the leadership he did. It was timely and providential.

"I believe we have a great lineup [of speakers]. I believe each will bring a challenge for calling our denomination to focus its energies onreaching a lost world with the Gospel,” Duren said. “We wanted speakers who were relevant and could address the need for missional living in ourchurches."

A praise team will lead in a time of worship. Registration is not necessary.

You see...the younguns and folks in small churches can put together a Convention event, and they can and do include folks on the program from the large agencies, the small churches, and even the unsung heroes in campus ministry.

I'm not "down" on the big churches. For the record, as I stated before, my home church is one of the big ones. What I'm "down" on is the continued narrowing of who gets to play ball in the SBC and the increasing pragmatism that masquerades as evangelical orthodoxy. I agree with the doctrinal parameters the SBC has set, but I disagree with the continued predilection with large numbers and the continued denigration of Reformed theology by an even smaller, yet very vocal group, and still others meddle with missions and believers baptism beyond the parameters set in the BFM, while others in the SBC ask, "Is the SBC an unregenerate denomination?" In all these cases, the same group, the "in crowd," the "Good Ol' Boys" are at work. When others in their camp dare to differ, they attack them. I know folks on the Convention committtees this year who fear to speak out for fear of being excluded and attacked, and whom some of us have worked to protect their names to keep them from being put into a bad situation. I fear Rome is burning while Nero fiddles. Somebody call the Fire Department.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Gene,

    Thanks for this post. I remember fondly being reached with the gospel as a 22 year old Navy man. The church that reached me was a very large SBC church in Jacksonville with a large and influential singles ministry. I remained a SBCer for 3 years before God uprooted me and brought me to California where I was introduced to the Fundamentalist movement.

    For years I struggled to get out of Fundamentalism and back to the SBC where I had previously enjoyed and regarded as a far better evangelical ministry.

    Unfortunately, my time within the SBC only lasted a few months. My wife and I visited a nearby church and really enjoyed the pastor and the preaching. But there seemed to be something missing.

    When I recently examined the SBC statement of faith, I noticed the removal of imputation of Adam's sin. Original sin had basically been replaced with simple sin nature and the capacity to sin. But away went the doctrine that man is born a sinner and immediately in condemnation.

    I talked with the pastor about it and even wrote to Dr. Mohler at the SBC Seminary. While I understand that each SBC church is autonomous I also recognize there is pressure to avoid making waves.

    I am glad to see a younger crowd lead within the SBC or anywhere. There is a certain fighting quality of this demographic as noted by John in 1John. However, I do not desire this at the expense of doctrine. Rather, I would love to see a generation ready to fight and contend for the gospel that was once delivered to Christ's disciples and to forsake the modern day gospel, which isn't the gospel at all.