Over the last nine months I have had multiple meetings with 15 guys: 12 Pastors and 3 denomination leaders who came alongside to help. We met in person and on conference calls. We prayed for each other and with each other.
These pastors approached the issue from different angles: geography, ethnicity, age, years in ministry, established churches, new churches, multi-campus, etc. But they all had one thing in common–these men are proven leaders who love the local church and long to see people come to Christ.
Some will read the report and say, “Yep–I’ve heard all of this before.” The difference is that until now, we have had statisticians talking to pastors about the SBC. Now, we have pastors talking to pastors.
Since we are a convention of churches, the pathway for change in the SBC is for churches to own the issue. The only way for churches to own the issue is for pastors to get under the weight. Together, we have lost our Evangelistic Impact; together, we have been on a slope of Declining Baptisms; and together, we can take the actions needed to see things change.
Each time the Task Force met, 5 Themes were very evident. Each theme is presented as a “problem.” We wrestled with taking out the word “problem” to make it positive — but it’s not. These are problems we must own. Yet, for each problem, there is a positive action step that pastors can take to lead their churches to greater evangelistic impact.
Many of you (my prayer partners) were praying for us while we met. Now, join me in praying that God will speak to our pastors and churches, and use this report to start a direction that will make a difference.
You can read the report by clicking here: http://www.namb.net/baptismtaskforce/