I really love what Ed Stetzer has to say about the realities of the Southern Baptist Convention–though they are not realities we like to look at for sure. I have never been to an Annual Convention on the national level (numerous state conventions), but his “encouraged” approach to them might bring me to attend an Annual Convention sometime soon.
Check out a couple of posts on both his personal blog and the “Between The Times” blog. The post on edstetzer.com is about facing the facts of the statistical realities of the SBC and another post on “Between The Times” talking about both those findings as well as 6 reasons why he is encouraged about the SBC as we meet in New Orleans next week for the annual convention.
The 6 reasons he is optimistic are:
1. The Election of Fred Luter as President of the SBC
2. The Growing Ethnic Diversity of the SBC
3. We’re Getting Honest About Calvinism
4. We Are Still a Convention of Churches That Love the Lord and Love the Lost
5. The Beginnings of a Renewed Focus on Church Planting and Evangelism
6. Young and Experienced Leaders Working Together
Another great synopsis quote from the post on the “statistical realities” (decline) of the SBC is . . .
We stand at a key moment and my sermon-in-a-sentence is this: A denomination perpetually at war with itself cannot survive, but a denomination focused on engaging new leaders, reaching out to other ethnicities, and reaching others through evangelism and church planting will thrive.
As a pastor of a church that might be living out the “realities” that the statistics show, I am encouraged too at what God might do through us as a people–all for His Glory. Let it be so!
via Ed Stetzer – SBC 2011 Statistical Realities– Facts Are Our Friends But These Are Not Very Friendly Facts and via Between The Times – Heading to the SBC, Encouraged and Hopeful.