The motion to make public the minutes and recordings of the GCRTF meetings was defeated. I cetainly would have voted for it.
The complaint was that the Task Force couldn't get people to speak freely at their meetings if they weren't guaranteed confidentiality.
Does that mean that people in positions of responsibility and influence in the SBC, whose opinions about how to better fulfill the Great Commission, are too cowed by the idea of transparency that they are unwilling for ordinary folks like us to hear what they have to say about how to have a Great Commission resurgence?
Puhleeze...and for crying out loud. The Task Force didn't even allow a Baptist Press reporter to sit in on the meetings on background.
We approved the thing. We paid for the thing. We prayed for the thing...and we deserve better than we got for our support, prayers, and money.
I think I understand the issue here. Two-thirds of the Task Force are people whose worship experience takes place in megachurches, places where a secrecy is common. The carryover from that is widespread in the convention and was the firm rule on the GCRTF.
This is not a good practice.
How about Robert Reccord of the recent (but not the most recent) North American Mission Board debacle. His resignation was estimated to cost the SBC two full year's salary, plus some perks like executive placement services. We don't know for certain because, well, it's a secret.
How about Reccord's failed successor? What did his forced exit cost in mission dollars? We don't know.
What SBC leaders have employment contracts? What are the provisions? These are secrets. A tight clique of trustees alone know the answers. Ordinary Baptists who pay these bills need not ask.
Why shouldn't these things be open? Do we pay our leaders too little and they are embarrassed about it? Do they fear that folks in the pew will think they make too much and will give less as a result?
Why is it that we can know in great detail the compensation of officers of public corporations, the details of the pay for our favorite football coaches but not those who refer to themselves as denominational "servants"? The default position of the SBC should be "trust the Lord and tell the people." Why shouldn't people who write the checks Sunday after Sunday be able to know these things.
No good reason that I can think of.
It is a disgrace.