The Florida Baptist Witness recently asked 15 Southern Baptist “leaders and activists” to answer this question: “What do you hope will be the single, greatest outcome of the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Greensboro?” All but two gave responses for publication. Some of the answers were predictable. Some were very encouraging. One takes the prize for honesty and for saying what many who were not asked are undoubtedly thinking. Among the respondents are Bobby Welch, Frank Page, Ronnie Floyd, Paige Patterson, Al Mohler, Marty Duren, Wade Burleson, Ben Cole and Steve McCoy.
Steve gets the prize for this gem: “My greatest hope for Greensboro is that I will continue to build a personal network of missional pastors and thinkers, and encourage others to do the same. My second greatest hope is that the shofar won’t work.”
Here is my answer (I am not sure if I was asked as a “leader” or an “activist;” there’s gotta be a third category in there somewhere!): “I hope that all of us attending will be struck with an overwhelming conviction that we need to repent for our denominational pride and will seek the Lord for mercy and spiritual power. There are many important issues that need to be addressed on the formal agenda for the convention and we certainly need wisdom as we consider them. But unless and until we come to terms with the systemic pride that not only allows but encourages us to boast about inflated statistics and ignore the disastrous results that come from so much of our modern, superficial evangelism, I fear that we will continue to make the disastrous mistake of believing that the Kingdom of Jesus Christ will be advanced through winning elections and passing motions. Our desperate need is for a heaven-sent, Spirit-empowered reformation and revival. An outbreak of humility and repentance could become the first stirrings of that divine work.”