Sunday, June 19, 2005

Thoughts from the SBC Convention - Day 1

Today, I am in Nashville, TN where I am attending the Southern Baptist annual convention. Over the next few days I will be writing down my thoughts and observations from the convention. I have the pleasure of attending two very wonderful events today. The Young Leaders Summit and the 2005 SBC Pastor's Conference.

The Young Leader’s Summit was an event that Dr. Jimmy Draper, president of Lifeway, puts on. This Summit was a conclusion of sorts to a year long study that Dr. Draper has been doing to discover a way the SBC can connect with younger leaders (45 and younger) and in turn for them to step up and be leaders in the SBC. Dr. Draper has been touring the nation meeting with and dialoguing with youth leaders. This summit reported the findings. Youth leaders are looking for 5 main things from the SBC:

1. Mission and Evangelism: when I say that it doesn’t mean a method or structure, but a new way of reaching people in a post-modern culture that will meet them where their at.

2. Biblical Diversity and Inclusiveness: This is simply including more different types of people (Ethnically, Socially, Geographically, etc.).

3. Healthy Relationships: Young leaders are looking for new and healthy relationships not just with the people in the church, which by the way is key, but they are looking for relationships with older pastors that will take the time to share their wisdom.

4. Creativity and Innovative Approach: We need to be looking for new ways to creatively share the gospel in a changing world.

5. Convention Renewal: Young leaders are looking for a renewal of the convention where young and old can work together to reach people.

These are all great things that the convention needs to make sure they are working towards. The SBC needs the younger leaders to carry the torch, but I want to caution all of us younger leaders. We can not push aside the older generation, we need them, we need their wisdom, we need their mentorship. We can not think we know everything, because we don’t. Also we have to stop talking about getting involved, because they want us to be involved. It is time for younger leaders to step up and lead.

I realize this last article is running long, so in closing I will address the second event I attended, the Pastor Conference. We heard from three very good speakers. The first was by Don Miller, who is an 82 year old retired pastor and I honestly wasn’t that excited about this message, but the Lord convicted me that I needed to hear this message. This very old pastor came with a message of prayer, he took us through Jesus’ life and showed how Jesus prayed often and for a long time, then he shared about his own experiences and his own need to pray. If an 82 year old pastor needs to pray for two hours a day and if Jesus himself needed to pray often, then I certainly need to pray for more then I do. I am convicted to pray more, my measly few minutes in the morning aren’t going to cut it. Also Voddie Baucham and Ergun Caner spoke and both were very good and really inspired me. Check out all the messages on the SBC website soon. I really encourage you to listen to the messages.

Young guys, we need this convention very much, lets pay attention and get involved.

Also check out Justin Sok for more from the convention.

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