1) What is the best thing about being a part of the SBC?
The best thing is our phenomenal missions program and our seminaries. Southern Baptists are doing a better job than ever in wedding the head and the heart in fulfilling the Great Commission. That is taking place because of what is happening with the International Mission Board and our seminaries. When people ask me why I should support the SBC, the seminaries and the IMB just jump out.
2) Why do you think young, cross-centered ministers who accept Baptist theology might not want to be a part of the SBC?
Because of our bureaucracy. There is so much red tape in trying to work through the national convention, state conventions, and local associations. There is so much over-lap and duplication it is easy to become frustrated with the bureaucratic machine that too often is only interested in feeding itself. We have got to find a way to streamline and simplify our denominational structures so that we can be more efficient in fulfilling the final command of our Lord.
3) How and why did you come to the SBC?
I was born into and have been breed by it! I grew up a Southern Baptist, and having been involved in it now all of my life, I am committed to it. It has many shortcomings and imperfections, but in my judgment, it is still the best thing going.
4) How can we honor our heritage while continuing to move forward?
We can honor our heritage by standing firmly on the infallible and inerrant Word and embracing a healthy balanced theology reflected in the Baptist Faith & Message 2000. We can recognize that the war for the Bible will never end until Jesus comes again. Therefore we will not surrender valuable ground that has been gained by our forefathers, but we will be vigilant to contend earnestly for the faith without compromise.
5) What are the three most important things that need to change, for the SBC to grow in our gospel mission? How would you do them if it were up to you?
I recently addressed this in what I call 12 Axioms for a Great Commission Resurgence. (see those 12 principles below) I actually think that all of them need to be implemented, but if 3 were to stand out it would be the Lordship of Jesus Christ, being gospel centered, and being humble. If we pursue those three things with all of our heart, I am convinced the other 9 will take care of themselves. In other words, our greatest needs are, as they always are, spiritual. We need to be Christ focused, gospel centered, doing all that we do as we bow humbly under the banner of the cross of Jesus Christ.
12 Axioms For A Great Commission Resurgence
I. We must commit ourselves to the total and absolute Lordship of Jesus Christ in every area of our lives (Col 3:16, 17, 23-24).
II. We must be gospel centered in all our endeavors for the glory of God (Rom 1:16).
III. We must take our stand on the firm foundation of the inerrant and infallible Word of God affirming it’s sufficiency in all matters (Matt 5:17-18; John 10:35; 17:17; 2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
IV. We must devote ourselves to a radical pursuit of the Great Commission in the context of obeying the Great Commandments (Matt 28:16-20; 22:37-40).
V. We must affirm the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 as a healthy and sufficient guide for building a theological consensus for partnership in the gospel, refusing to be sidetracked by theological agendas that distract us from our Lord’s Commission (1 Tim 6:3-4).
VI. We must dedicate ourselves to a passionate pursuit of the Great Commission of the Lord Jesus across our nation and to all nations answering the call to go, disciple, baptize and teach all that the Lord commanded (Matt 28:16-20; Acts 1:8; Rom 1:5; 15:20).
VII. We must covenant to build gospel saturated homes that see children as a gift from God and as our first and primary mission field (Deut 6:1-9; Psalm 127; 128; Eph 6:4).
VIII. We must recognize the need to rethink our Convention structure and identity so that we maximize our energy and resources for the fulfilling of the Great Commission (1 Cor 10:31).
IX. We must see the necessity for pastors to be faithful Bible preachers who teach us both the content of the Scriptures and the theology embedded in the Scriptures (2 Tim 4:1-5).
X. We must encourage pastors to see themselves as the head of a gospel missions agency who will lead the way in calling out the called for international assignments but also equip and train all their people to see themselves as missionaries for Jesus regardless of where they live (Eph 4:11-16).
XI. We must pledge ourselves to a renewed cooperation that is gospel centered and built around a biblical and theological core and not methodological consensus or agreement (Phil 2:1-5; 4:2-9).
XII. We must accept our constant need to humble ourselves and repent of pride, arrogance, jealousy, hatred, contentions, lying, selfish ambitions, laziness, complacency, idolatries and other sins of the flesh; pleading with our Lord to do what only He can do in us and through us and all for His glory (Gal 5:22-26; James 4:1-10).
(HT: Baptist 21 and Jim Hamilton)