A difference of opinion I've been contemplating, as I'm sure many of you have, the upcoming annual meeting of the SBC. I've heard many people speak about their reasons for going and one that I've heard often is that they desire to go because of the opportunity to network, to hear good preaching, to worship together, etc. Now, please don't misconstrue this for some pagan mentality, but I tend to disagree with those opinions. It's not that I dislike those things, or that I don't want those things. I dislike, however, the attitude that seems to desire to overlook the "business" portion of the annual meeting in favor of more "spiritual" experiences. I even heard, after last year's meeting, that it was very refreshing but would be more so if they would replace the business sessions with worship services. Now I'm in favor of worship, but this sort of attitude is a part of, I believe, the move to reduce our opportunity to engage the process. What's most difficult about this move is that it's hard to criticize. I almost guarantee that someone will criticize this post because they assume that I'm not being "spiritual" enough. Again, it's not that I oppose the spiritual portions, but the convention is intended to be a business meeting. It has become a worship rally with a limited amount of business opportunities. This cuts down on the time allowed for actual business, and allows a tightly controlled leadership group to continue to manipulate the process by not allowing for a variety of opinions to actually reach the floor of the convention.
For instance, if you consult the website for this year's annual meeting you'll notice that (by my count) they give a total of 125 minutes for business across the 2 days. When you add in that almost an hour of that time is given to the election of officers, that only leaves about 1.5 hours for business total over the two days. That may not seem too bad to you, but when compared with the music/preaching portion of the meeting that takes up 340 minutes of the meeting (of which, by the way, prayer and baptism time is not included, if so it would stretch out another hour or so), it's really not much of a business meeting, is it?
In closing, let me restate that I love worship, I love networking, and I value all of those times at the convention. I'm not trying to remove them from the schedule, but that's not why I go. I'm going to participate in the business of the SBC. I'm going in order to make a difference. I hope that you are too.