Support local voting by SBC churches during annual meetings
- Southern Baptist Convention Messengers and Executive Committee
- United States of America
The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is made up of more than 47,000 churches, which voluntarily finance and cooperate in the mission of Christ. Currently, only 5% of SBC churches annually register a single Messenger for the Annual Meeting. Participation has been on a downward trajectory, while apathy and indifference regarding the SBC are on the rise. People and churches will not continue to support financially what they are not engaged with through participation and a voice.
Among other factors, limiting participation is the cost of travel and lodging involved to participate. These factors disproportionally affect the small and mid-size churches negatively. These churches represent some 90% of all SBC churches. It also disproportionally negatively affects bi-vocational pastors both as a financial and time-off from work hardship. Further negatively impacted are the SBC churches outside of the south, on the coasts, and also Hawaii and Alaska. The result is more voting influence held by larger churches that are able to provide the financial resources for their pastor, staff, and/or messengers to attend.
SBC churches are unique and diverse from each other in many ways. There are few mechanisms, programs or training opportunities available to reinforce and pass on our common mission and historic values. As Southern Baptists, we hold to our cooperative spirit of an ecosystem of partnership in mission through local, state, national and international entities. The SBC Annual meeting is one event that can increase the values and cooperative missions spirit of SBC churches. In an age of advancing technology, it is incumbent upon the messengers of the SBC to support and vote in the necessary changes in SBC Constitution and bylaws to ensure every cooperating SBC church has access to a local place to participate in and vote on business matters before the SBC.
The benefits are numerous to the Associations, State Conventions, and the national entities of the SBC. We believe the numerous positive benefits of increased participation in the mission of the SBC far outweigh any short-term hurdles.
"We, the undersigned, call on the Messengers of the 2018 annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention to pass a motion that would make it possible for properly credentialed messengers of cooperating SBC churches to register and vote locally during future annual meetings of the SBC.”
“We further call on the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention to design a workable plan, guidelines, and necessary rule and by-law changes to allow for the registration of messengers and real-time voting in at least one location in every association or regional area of each state convention.”
The Support local voting by SBC churches during annual meetings petition to Southern Baptist Convention Messengers and Executive Committee was written by United for SBC Revitalization and is in the category Religion at GoPetition.