Answered prayer, unity, compassion and clarity are among distinguishing characteristics of the 2019 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting, Executive Committee President Ronnie Floyd told Baptist Press.
“I feel like the spirit of the convention was overall really strong, and I contribute that to a lot of things. But overall, I think that God answered our prayer. I believe that the Spirit of the Lord was present,” Floyd said. “I think there was a resolve coming to Birmingham that we’re going to speak clearly, we’re going to try to do it in the right way, and I thank God the messengers determined to do it in the right spirit.”
In an interview with BP, Floyd discussed the June 11-12 meeting in Birmingham, Ala., his outlook for the future and highlighted the importance of next year’s annual meeting.
“We are on a path that we need to be on, and we’re seemingly on that path together, which is highly encouraging,” Floyd said. “I would say this, … come to Orlando, Fla. We really need Southern Baptists to engage.”
Floyd highlighted various elements of the Birmingham meeting, referencing two constitutional amendments, a bylaw amendment creating a standing Credentials Committee, the Caring Well Challenge and tools to help churches address sexual abuse, the “Who’s Your One?” personal evangelism challenge and the Go2 initiative to mobilize college students in missions. He noted engaging reports from SBC entities, pointing out the commission of 26 new missionaries through the International Mission Board.
Continue to support the Cooperative Program that supports the sending of missionaries and other work of Southern Baptist entities, he encouraged pastors and laypersons in comments to BP.
“Do what you can to prioritize your giving through the Cooperative Program,” he said. “Make sure it’s a part of every finance committee conversation when you start budgeting processes…. Try to find a way to give more. Elevate your giving. Accelerate your giving; do it faster than maybe you think you can do it.”
The new constitutional amendments, Floyd said, are “public billboards” proclaiming the SBC will not tolerate churches that ignore sexual abuse and commit racial discrimination. In order to stand, the constitutional amendments require the affirmation of two-thirds of messengers in two consecutive meetings.
“We want everybody to come to Orlando and help us out,” he said in encouraging Southern Baptists to attend the 2020 meeting June 9-10 in Orlando, Fla. “We need that two-thirds majority again.”
The standing Credentials Committee, Floyd said, marks a new way of dealing with challenges the SBC has long addressed regarding morality and doctrinal issues, including racism and sexual abuse.
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Source: Baptist Press