Thursday, February 16, 2006

Thoughts on Picking a President

Tom Ascol, director of Founders Ministries, has posted a two part series on thinking through the election of a new SBC President. His first entry on this topic announces the candidacy of Johnny Hunt, pastor of First Baptist Church of Woodstock Georgia. This announcement raised many questions in Ascol's mind and he posted some of them online; the questions were: (1) What kind of person would make a good president of the SBC? (2) What kind of process is there- or should there be- for a person to be nominated for president? (3) Is it good to have more than one candidate nominated for president of the SBC? (4) And who are some other folks that SBCers would like to see nominated for president?

Some of these questions are very important and at the heart of them is a question that asks really who is in charge of the Southern Baptist Convention. Of course we know that the answer is the local churches, but who is running things behind the scenes? The recent controversy over the new IMB policy and trustee Wade Burleson have caused many to raise their eyebrows and ask questions about the politics of the SBC.

The second entry of Ascol's on this topic adds some helpful thoughts to this discussion. Ascol is correct in asserting that whoever the president is for the SBC is not ultimately significant for local SBC congregations. In a denomination of free churches no one or entity outside of the local church can ultimately affect that local church. But he is also correct in asserting that the election of a new president is nonetheless important to all SBC churches. We are part of denomination which reflects, supposedly, what we stand for. That being said it is our duty to pay attention to these issues, and be a means of encouraging, growing, building up, and correcting this body. For those interested in these entries I'd encourage you to check out the Founders Blog.


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