Monday, November 8, 2010

BGCT a precursor of the SBC as a whole?

Although I have never lived or pastored a church in Texas, the things that have transpired in the state have an interest to me. The BGCT, the SBCT, TBC, ValleyGate have provided some of the more entertaining news for Southern Baptists over the past decade or so.

Last week when I put a brief blog up that commented on the BGCT's budget, and salaries in particular (David Montoya provided the link to it) I had more visits to the blog than ever before (an admittedly small number). Folks are interested in such things.

I found the recent editorial by Marv Knox in the Baptist Standard quite interesting. Budget cuts, annual meeting coming up, etc.

A few quotes that struck me:

Last year, only 11.6 percent of all eligible congregations sent messengers [to the annual meeting].

In one respect, the BGCT’s challenge reflects macro economics—the widening gulf between the haves and the have-nots. Every time a strong church votes to cut its contribution, the BGCT becomes more of a convention for the churches that rely upon the convention’s resources but can’t afford to contribute much. And so the convention increasingly becomes the burden of churches that can’t bear it.

My friend and former Texan Lee said in his blog
Knox says there are 5,600 churches left in the BGCT, though only about 4,000 of those have financially supported the convention during the past two years, and fewer than that have sent their annual church letter.

Knox didn't say that in this editorial. Maybe Lee was referring to previous stuff.

So...the BGCT as SBC precursor:

Less churches actively involved.
Less churches actively supporting financially.
Less churches even reporting their stuff through the Annual Church Profile.
Stronger churches foregoing SBC channels to do their ministry (see Kevin Ezell's church for the freshest example) leaving smaller, weaker churches to shoulder the load.

I don't have the answer but Knox's editorial seems to ring true, perhaps prophetic.

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