By Dr. Juan Sanchez, senior pastor of High Pointe Baptist Church in Austin, TX
Ethnic diversity has been all the rage in our culture for some time now. But while our culture celebrates diversity, it has a difficult time achieving it. This is because simply celebrating diversity is impotent to unite us, since it does nothing to address the very issues that divide us. Ever since sin came into the world through Adam, humanity has been at war: men versus women (Gen. 3), brother versus brother (Gen. 4), and ethnic group versus ethnic group (Gen. 10).
Continue reading “Is the SBC Diversity-Friendly?”
By Scott Slayton, Lead Pastor of Chelsea Village Baptist Church, Chelsea, AL
“Ninety percent of churches are plateaued or declining.” How many times have pastors heard this at a conference, read it in an article, or seen it in their Twitter feed? The reality of plateaued and declining churches means that the vast majority of pastors in the United States labor in a revitalizing situation. Even pastors who lead church plants find their churches in need of revitalization after a couple of years.
By Walter R. Strickland II, Special Advisor to the President for Diversity & Instructor of Theology, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
I am encouraged by the increased desire to cultivate God-glorifying diversity in the Southern Baptist Convention. As the desire for racial understanding grows in our ranks, we will be driven to have loving conversations that have proven to be volatile in broader culture. It is common knowledge that discussing religion, politics, or race are three ways to successfully end a pleasant dinner with friends or family. But if we’re serious about racial diversity, we’re going to have to grapple with the intersection of these three realities.
By Tommy Green, Executive Director-Treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention
Is there a future for our Baptist state conventions? I firmly believe so—provided we focus on our connection with the local church. Jesus didn’t promise to build state conventions. He promised to build his Church. Therefore, the value of a state convention will not be determined by the size of its staff, its building, its budget, or its programming. Value will be determined by one metric alone—investment in the local church. When we bring value to the church, we bring glory to God.
By Milton A. Hollifield, Jr., Executive Director-Treasurer of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina
In today’s church culture, it is not unusual to hear someone ask about the value of state conventions. For many, they may seem like an unnecessary bureaucracy. But I am convinced that state conventions have great importance—if they are embracing the opportunities for advancing God’s Kingdom by assisting, equipping, and challenging their member churches to fulfill the Great Commission.
Continue reading “How State Conventions Should Relate to Churches”