A Leadership Change? I was thinking recently about the potential of electing new leadership at the convention this summer. As I was thinking about it I couldn't help but wonder about who we should elect. A better question might actually be what type of leader we should elect. As a result of my disgust with the "good ole boy" network I am ever mindful of the reality that we may very well need to elect qualified candidates whom I do not know at this point. That begs the question, What type of leader do we want or need? What qualifications should they have.
I don't know what qualifications, if any, those in power may have that they use to specifically choose the leaders now but from observation I've compiled a short list of 5 commonalities from former leaders who have served in SBC leadership positions over the last decade. I then have gone back and reconsidered what are expectations we should have for leadership and listed them as well.
After you read these I'd like to hear from you what we should expect as our "new" qualifications as we pursue new leadership.
Existing Qualifications 1. "Success" in their place of ministry (i.e. large church/seminary president/etc.)
2. Traditional in presentation
3. Well connected to previous leadership
4. High level of education (D.Min./Ph.D.)
5. Southeastern in location
Potential Qualifications 1. High level of commitment to outreach/missions/missional living SBC people have always been marked by their commitment to outreach. I want to see leadership who is committed to the growth of the kingdom, and not nearly as concerned with the growth of their church. I'm talking about pastors/churches that plant churches, that send out missionaries, that financially support the CP. In my opinion giving 10% to the CP is not a bad thing. If you want to lead our organization, than support it.
2. Diverse (racially/geographically/ministeral presentation) I would like to see a better representation of all Southern Baptists. It will be difficult to be more than what we typically have been (anglo, southern, traditional) until we align ourselves more with people who are passionate about different forms of ministry
3. Grounded in an "average" SBC church By average, I certainly don't mean ineffective. Rather I'd like to see us utilize leadership from some smaller churches. In some churches there are issues that limit growth (population, target group, etc.) and yet they are still very effective. If the vast majority of SBC churches are 100-200 in worship, I'd like to see leadership that accurately represents most of us, instead of just pastors who lead large churches who, in all reality, do not understand those leading smaller churches. One thing we're learning by the day is that large churches are ofen very powerful, life changing centers, and they're very often not. We must stop limiting leadership to "big" churches.
4. Educationally appropriate In other words, not everyone has to be traditionally trained. There are leaders who are involved in effective, biblical ministry without having used our traditional training methods. I would like to see us involve a few people who have experienced this get involved in our leadership.
5. Younger and Older cooperating together I don't want see younger leadership, I don't want to see older leadership, I want to see leadership. In other words, lets use a plethora of effective leaders who come from a variety of age spectrums to help us, in a unified process, proceed into the future together.