The Convention turns the “Page”
What a day. Yesterday was one of the most significant days of my life with the Southern Baptist Convention. This is the 3rd convention that I have attended, and as of yet I have no convention has caused me to think that there is a positive future for guys like myself in the life of our convention. Today has turned the tide. You will remember that I believed that we would see some successes this year, but more than anything we would experience some losses and that we would need to continue to persevere if we ever wanted to see lasting change. I was wrong. We have seen exciting, and somewhat unexpected, changes. From the Executive Committee recommendations, to the Committee on Nominations report, to the election of new officers we have seen unbelievable changes. I am thrilled at what has occurred over these days and I am excited to watch as these changes help guide our convention in the coming days. I want to say a word or two about Frank Page. It is my opinion that Page has placed himself in position to possibly have the greatest influence for change, in the life of our convention, over the past 15 years. From everything I have experienced Page has a variety of exciting attributes that cause him to stand out. First of all, he is a conservative. Without quoting him, let me just say that I have direct knowledge of multiple statements that he has personally made speaking clearly and strongly that he is a conservative and will appoint conservatives to positions within the convention. That is positive and powerful. Secondly, not only is he conservative, he is also inclusive. This is a point of difference between Page and much of past leadership (although Bobby Welch has done a strong job of including others). Page appears to have a great commitment to involving others that have never been involved, but are duly qualified, before. Finally, Page is innovative. Page has embraced the world of information technology, not the least of which is bloggers. He spoke candidly at his press conference and clearly at other times that he believes that bloggers were able to have a strong influence on the activities of this convention. He even attended a reception for bloggers that I was able to attend. This attentiveness to previously unrecognized individuals in our convention is exciting to me .
Now, having said all that, I want to remind everyone of a few truths about our convention. First, we must remain committed. The excitement of this convention is positive but not necessarily permanent. We must not say “hooray” and then quit being involved. If we want to see the changes that have occurred, become permanent we must remain faithful to be involved, and to hold our leadership accountable. We need the SBC and the SBC needs us. Secondly, we must remember that we have not ever been involved in a battle, a fight or a war. This is not a fight between enemies, this is a methodological disagreement between brothers and sisters in Christ. We value appreciate and even enjoy those whom we find ourselves disagreeing with. Our mantra has been cooperation. If this is an accurate representation of our stance, we must open our arms to those whom we disagree with. It is important that we practice what we preach.
Today is a good day in the life of the Southern Baptist Convention. I’m thankful for these days!