Word Choice

So some of you have been waiting for my thoughts about the this artical and this response concerning the SBC. I’ve had plenty of time to think, and have rewrote this a couple of times now….mainly to keep it simple.

First a declaration, I am a Southern Baptist by choice! I was not raised in a SBC church, actually the church I was raised in was quite against the SBC. I choose to go to a SBC college and Seminary because my convictions theologically, pedagogically, and practically most closely align with theirs. I have been a member of two established SBC churches, one doing things traditionally and one a little more progressive; and am now on staff at a SBC church plant! I am one of a few younger “leaders” that may still hold hope for the SBC, yet only have a voice via the blog world.

Here’s my opinion on the matter: The SBC needs to have a Cooperative Understanding, not just a Cooperative Program! Here’s my logic:

  • 304,180,375 and counting: population of the US (source 1)
  • ~75,000,000: unchurched US citizens in 2004 (source 2)
  • 345,941: # of SBC recorded baptisms (source 3)
  • 16,206,920: total recorded membership in the SBC (source 4)

This means we reached .12% of the total population and .46% of the unchurched population. I wonder how many statisticians would consider that significant! Further that’s only 1 baptism for every 47 members of a church. And these numbers are post the Bobby Whelch 1 Million bus campaign. It’s interesting that the tag line for the SBC website has One People, One Purpose. These numbers illustrate that we do not have One Purpose yet alone a Cooperative Understanding of that Purpose! Throughout the OT when the nation of Israel failed, God had some choice words for their priest. Pastors it’s not the SBC’s responsibility to orchestrate a new program or campaign, but those of us on the front lines speaking to the those on the frontback pews (we are baptist aren’t we) to help them on God’s mission: imago dei. Being His image bearers in a marred world.



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