Dr. Ed Stetzer has become one of my favorite figures in SBC life over the past 2-3 years. He has a penchant for saying exactly what we need to hear in SBC life regardless of what others may think. We need more denominational leadership willing to do the same.
In a post this evening, Stetzer made a statement that I think is profound and I have a feeling will rankle some feathers in SBC life as well. In discussing the position of a denominational employee in regards to running for denominational office he provided the following quote.
People have joked with me about running for SBC office, but I think it is a bad idea. First, because I would lose– big time. Second, and more importantly, in our current SBC environment it is important for denominational employees to be accountable to our churches– not, for example, appointing trustees that, well, oversee us.
This is exactly the kind of thinking that many of us have been hoping to see for quite some time. I am hopeful that others in SBC life will listen and heed Stetzer’s advice. We need denominational leaders who serve the convention rather than simply try to run it.
Additionally, however, Stetzer shared a snippet from the Executive Committee meeting about our denominational leadership encouraging each other. Many in the convention are well aware that there has been more than a little disfunction between various entity heads through the years. Each of the enity heads meet together in a group called the “Great Commission Council” which, I am told by some involved, has been unfortunately marred by personal vendetta and rancor among various members for some years now. In spite of that disunity, however, Stetzer shares how at this meeting of the Ex-Comm these entity heads chose to unite together to pray for, and encourage, each other. What’s most compelling about this, in my opinion, is to see Dr. Rankin take the lead by praying for Dr.’s Paige and Dorothy Patterson. Those who are familiar with the situation will appreciate the servant heart shown by Dr. Rankin to make such a move.
I am hopeful that this is a significant sign among our SBC leadership of a move to set down swords and begin to partner together in love and unity for the sake of the Kingdom of God. It is past time for our leadership to stop fighting with each other and start working together. I am hopeful that more of the same is coming.
Members of the Great Commission Council, let me be among the first to say thank you for this display of servanthood and unity. May it only increase.