The Seismic Shift of the Southern Baptist Convention

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is undergoing a seismic shift. The following entities are currently searching for a new president:


  • Executive Committee
  • International Mission Board
  • Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Lifeway Christian Resources
  • ___________ Baptist Theological Seminary will inevitably transition to a new president in the near future.


Of the twelve SBC entities, nearly half are undergoing executive transition. Furthermore, the SBC presidency just experienced a generational shift from baby boomers to Generation X.


This has all happened in 2018 alone.


Wow. That’s a lot of change.


What’s one to think about all of this?


I believe the Southern Baptist Convention is on the verge of either an all-out revival or complete collapse.


This is merely anecdotal, but this is what I sense will happen.


If we experience revival, what will have happened?


  • Bridge-building leaders will be elected to the five entities referenced above.


This means dividers or people very closely connected to dividers MUST be avoided by the presidential search committees at the Executive Committee, IMB, Southwestern, LifeWay, and any other entity that may soon open. Uniters must bump to the tops of the proverbial piles.


  • Convention halls will experience a unique season of humility, repentance, prayer, forgiveness, and avoiding gossip.


This means convention leaders will lead the way in asking others in the SBC to humble themselves, pray, and seek the face of God.


If we experience complete collapse, what will have happened?


  • Divisive leaders will have been called to the open entities.


I pray the search committees will call loving bridge builders who have balance and care amongst the various “political parties” of the SBC. If the Convention collapses, the search committees will have failed to be aware of this.


  • Seeking agendas will have superseded seeking the face of God.


Inevitably, we all have agendas (to an extent). Agendas are currently hurting the Convention (multiples ones, from various angles).


What must we do right now?


  • Pray


Ask God to take the largest Protestant denomination in the world and give her greater health as she experiences a seismic shift.


  • Search Committees


Pray for each and every person on a search committee for an entity.[1]


  • Generations


All different age groups must rally together for the greater good of God’s glory.


  • Seek Reconciliation


If you are reading this and you know there is a broken relationship between you and another brother or sister in Christ, particularly pertaining to someone else who is in the SBC, seek to have healing in that relationship.


  • Unite Under the Baptist Faith and Message 2000


We must get past the divides of Reformed theology, how you do church, what you wear, other types of tertiary differences, etc. Unite around the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 and agree to disagree if it is tertiary.


Yes, we are experiencing a seismic shift. Lord, may the ground shake for your glory!

[1] Here are the names of the people on the various entity search committees:

Executive Committee: Steve Swofford (Chairman), Joe Knott, Adron Robinson, Stephen Rummage, Rolland Slade, Carol Yarber, and Mike Stone


International Mission Board: Chuck Pourciau (Chairman), Rick Dunbar, Andy Davis, Lisa Lovell, Ken McLemore, Nancy Patrick, Will Payne, Seth Polk, Bill Ricketts, Tim Simpson, Cindy Snead, Derek Spain, Susan Bryant, Robert Welch, and Duane Ostrem


Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary: Danny Roberts (Chairman and [Full Disclosure] My Father), Kevin Ueckert, Denise Ewing, Jamie Green, Guy Grimes, Todd Houston, Tom James, Philip Levant, Andre Palmer, and Calvin Wittman


LifeWay Christian Resources: Kent Dacus (Chairman), Luther McDaniel, Todd Fannin, Ken Bledsoe, Millie Burkett, Madaline Harris, and Bill Langley

One Comment on “The Seismic Shift of the Southern Baptist Convention”

  1. Who is a bridge-building leader? It sounds nice but i don’t see anyone in between the Greaer wing and the Patterson wing (and I thought Greaer was outside any party lines but he got co-opted into the new binary version of the convention.). I wish there was a way to bridge the divide but I’m not sure anyone can.

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