Friday, June 26, 2009

My thoughts on the SBC Annual Meeting that I did not attend

I was happy to be able to watch the SBC Annual Convention online.  Occasionally my feed went out got a little rough but it was great to be able to watch most of it.  Of course it would be nothing like actually being there; so I cannot share my experience as one that was actually there.  However, I thought I would share something that the Lord showed me through this. 

First, let me say that I am a young pastor (youth pastor even, which I’m told is not a real pastor).  I am coming to understand that I only know about 1/5 of what I think I know and that in a few years that will end up being about 1/20.  So I am very happy to soak up wisdom from older men (or even younger ones that have more wisdom than I).  Of course, my pride sometimes makes it seem like I already know all of the answers.

Second, because of my youthful vigor combined with ignorance I want to move faster than wisdom will allow.  I also am not wise enough yet to know when I should “fight” and when I should shut my mouth.

At the Annual Convention (I still think that sounds cultish) there were quite a few motions that were, in my opinion, a tad silly.  They detracted from the gospel and were brought in a form which appeared to me to be ill-spirited.  I have seen this in the Missouri Baptist Convention for awhile now.  My heart breaks that the applause for missions and the gospel pales in comparison to the woot-woots for motions against alcohol consumption.  (Even if you are a teetotaler you have to admit something is wrong with that). 

As these motions were brought to the floor, especially the one about taking Driscoll books out of Lifeway, I could not help but want people to stand up and expose the ridiculousness of these motions.  But my spirit was tempered by a dear pastor friend that explained how these things work, and then by the twitter updates by Dr. Mohler.  Dr. Mohler encouraged us not to be frustrated, to love them, to see their heart, etc.  What amazing wisdom. 

Then it hit me; Proverbs 24:6.  “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will also be like him.”  All of these godly men (like Dr. Mohler and Dr. Akin) were sitting by and let these men make these motions without combating it.  Then I thought about the patient and biblically faithful testimony of folks like the Founders and 9Marks.  They have jam-packed breakout sessions full of hungry young people soaking up the truth.  It is best to just let these motions continue coming, present truth when you can, but ultimately just shut up and let it play out. 

I guess I really learned through experience what I read months ago in The Deliberate Church: “The best way to lose your place of influence as a pastor is to be in a hurry, forcing radical (even if biblical) change before people are ready to follow you and own it.  It would be wise for many of us to lower our expectations and extend our time horizons”.

So what did I learn?  I learned that I have a lot left to learn. 

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