My First Trip to the SBC: End of Day 1
Today was a great day. The Pastor’s Conference always precedes the beginning of the Southern Baptist Convention. Although this is my first convention I heard from several people that this was one of the best Pastor’s Conferences ever held. Today saw nine men preach to pastors. It was excellent all the way around. From the passion and emotion of a Francis Chan to the intellectual fervor of an Al Mohler, it was a diverse group of preachers. The overall theme was unmistakable. The Great Commission. It permeates everything here. You can “feel” that tomorrow is going to be huge. Throughout the day various others gave short charges to the conference related to the Great Commission Resurgence, the most powerful of all coming from Ronnie Floyd. The man was on fire and on target. This is a watershed moment. It’s not about saving our convention, it’s not about personalities on the task force, it’s not about ego, or any other thing that is man-made. It is about Jesus and his Great Commission. Period.
As I walked around today I did a lot of watching and listening. Everybody is definitely focused on what will happen tomorrow. You can watch the “fireworks” live yourself at 2:45 EST at http://www.sbc.net and I will be tweeting throughout. No one wants to make a prediction about the GCR task force report in terms of it passing or not. “It will be close,” is all anyone will admit to. While I am praying that God’s will be done, I KNOW what will happen with the church I pastor. We will passionately pursue the fulfillment of the Great Commission, which was given to every believer and every church.
Overall it was a wonderful day. I was shocked at how many people I ran into that I knew and have not seen in years. Church planting friends, pastors, former students from Shiloh now in ministry, Lifeway employees, State Convention folks. I thought I might see a few people but it was crazy….and pretty cool. There is a real sense that I am among friends, even with those who may not see eye-to-eye with me regarding the whole GCR issue.
One other insight: I saw a much younger crowd demographically than I was expecting. I think this is a great, great thing. Lots of young pastors in their 20s and 30s. Lots of families and kids walking around. Lots of jeans and casual wear. In fact, the number of men who preached without a tie today outnumbered those who did. This was not a stuffy, suit and tie affair with a bunch of gray hairs today. All generations were represented and the atmosphere was vibrant.
The highlight of the day was when thousands of pastors all got on our knees to pray for a Great Commission Resurgence. Wow. A real holy moment. May we stay on our knees.