I love being Southern Baptist. Now, I don’t always agree with every decision or action of the Southern Baptist Convention. The International Mission Board should be planting Messenger Sending Southern Baptist Churches!, but I am always amazed when I see a bunch of Southern Baptists get together.
Today, I attended the Georgia Baptist Convention’s Annual Meeting, which is a state convention of the Southern Baptist Convention. It can get confusing. But let’s just say, a bunch of Baptists got together for a big meeting to decide on the direction of the Georgia Southern Baptists.
My favorite moment of the Annual Meeting is not the great preaching, not the worship music, not the ministry reports. My favorite moment is when the President of the Georgia Baptists states, “If anyone has any business for the Convention, approach a microphone to be recognized.”
At that moment, any elected representative by any Georgia Baptist Church no matter how big a church or how small of a church, no matter how old or how young, no matter if they are a preacher or layperson…anyone can approach a microphone to be recognized to put forth any motion, resolution, discussion point or any business to the entire Georgia Baptist Convention. And the Convention MUST address the business.
How many large organizations lets one individual put forth whatever is on his or her heart and then the large organization must address what is put forth?
That’s amazing. Southern Baptists is truly a denomination from the pew up. Anyone can put forth what is on his or her heart.
Tonight, one gentleman approached the microphone and put forth a resolution that the African American Fellowship of the Georgia Baptist Convenion should have 1 member elected to the Executive Committee of the Convention.
Now, I could bore you to tears on what the Executive Committee is, how this would change the Constitution that directs the Georgia Baptist Convention, but I won’t. What I do want you to know is this resolution put forth is very significant. The Contitution and Bylaws will have to be changed. The inner workings of the Executive Committee will be changed. The African American Fellowship would gain significant authority within our Convention.
This resolution if passed would radically shift our denomination, so how did our Convention President respond to this resolution? He directed the gentleman to the Convention’s legal team, so the legal team could help him to write the resolution properly for the Convention to vote upon later in the meeting.
I find that awesome! One person elected by one church can put forth denominational shifting resolutions, and the Convention will address them.
In the Southern Baptist Convention, one person can make a difference because at all of our major meetings, there is an open mic, and the leadership not only listens, but responds.
We are a denomination built from the pew up. And some amazing people with amazing ideas fill our pews.
Excited for tomorrow, Preacher Jes