A lot of folks in the blogosphere have been talking about what the BGCT should be. And there have been a lot of different visions presented.
Yesterday, Buckner President Ken Hall provided his thoughts on his blog. I’ll post a portion below. What do you think of what Ken has to say? Is he on target? What do you think the future of the convention should be?
Because we need to be reminded that the denominational part of the BGCT was and is about the institutions of the convention. That’s why the churches came together in the first place, not so they (the churches) could be served, but so that they could serve (through their institutions).
But something has happened over time. We’ve turned our convention into a denominational form of fast-food service in order for the bureaucracy to meet the needs of the churches. We’ve trained our churches to ask the Baptist building, “What can you do for us?” But that’s not how it was set up more than a hundred years ago by our Baptist forefathers. Instead, they asked the questions, “What can we do for others? What can we do for orphans and widows? How can we educate more young people in a Christian setting? How can we start more churches across our state? How can we win more people to Jesus, even if they don’t join my church?”
A recent theme of the BGCT has been “Together We Can Do More.” Amen. But I’m afraid the too many in our BGCT family interpret that as being, “Together we can do more for my church,” when it should be, “Together we can do more for others.”
I’ve heard a lot of people say recently that we need the convention to be closer to the SBC, or the CBF, or the New Baptist Covenant. That’s not the convention’s decision. That’s a local church decision. What we need is for the convention to be closer to the institutions it was established to support in the first place. That’s what our churches want. They want to see orphans served; widows taken care of; lost people saved; churches started.
I heard the late Baptist comedian Grady Nutt say once that Baptists just can’t stand silence. His example was that if there’s more than a minute of silence in a Baptist church service, the organist gets up and starts playing. And historian Walter Shurden has written a terrific book about Baptists called “Not a Silent People.”
The longer I live and observe Baptists, the more I’m convinced that we degenerate into denominational politics because we just can’t stand silence. But if we were busy about Kingdom business like Jesus taught us, we’d be too busy to get sidetracked with that stuff. Maybe that explains why the BGCT as a convention is so caught up in politics – because we’ve lost the focus of what we’re supposed to be doing. Wouldn’t it be great if all those Baptist pundits out there talked about the needs in our world instead of focusing on denominational politics?