Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Missouri Baptist List heats up

There is a pretty active group of Missouri Baptist pastors that have an internet discussion list (the moderators allow non-Missourians and laypeople to post as well). I read a really good post from Rob Ayers, pastor of Camp Branch Baptist Church in Sedalia.

Here’s some of what he said regarding the controversy over Ronnie Floyd.

Here is the tension - no one wants to tell other churches how to do their business (church autonomy) yet I think we can agree (at least I hope so) that someone who is going to be nominated to lead our Convention whose church only gave .27% (that is point two seven percent) toward our cooperative effort should not be - period. And it truly perplexes and amazes me how some of our convention leadership could even suggest that they support him.

That is the tension. I’ve written myself, that while we may not be able to agree that 10% giving to the Cooperative Program should be a qualifier for office holding in the SBC or the MBC, surely we can agree that 0.27% is a disqualifier!

Rob goes on to make some other suggestions for our denomination:

Two things should happen:

We should clean our proverbial house, and put it in order - clear out the fat, and run our enterprises in a faith driven, mission minded, high risk oriented manner. We should not run our faith driven, church led institutions like a Fortune 500 corporation (nor should we run our churches like a corporation - I reject in total the John Maxwell approach, "the pastor as CEO" and embrace the Lord's servant/leader approach "those who will lead will serve"). This, if done well, will reinstitute the trust that has eroded between the institutions of the SBC (MBC) and the people in the pews.

We should require that those who lead, model cooperation through leading their churches in sacrificially giving towards our Cooperative effort. The goal here is not how much a church gives - but at what level of sacrifice they do give. There must be some lie that abides out there that says "we can't do it all" - and you know, we can't. The Lord can - and if we trust in Him, He can accomplish great things through us - it is called FAITH. A church CAN give a tithe to our cooperative effort, and CAN do missions in their neighborhoods too. It might mean less carpet on the floor, or cutting out the Java house in back. It might mean cutting out those padded pews, or using the air-conditioner less - none of these things are required, and merely shows our weakness as a people, not a strength in comparison to other believers throughout the world.

I will repeat this here: To which shall we vote for if given the opportunity - the mega-pastor who has a wonderful teaching ministry, and people flocking to hear him in a multi-million dollar facility who also has a television program who, although gives a large amount to SBC causes, it only rises to a paltry total of 1.8% of undesignated receipts? Or would we honor and place in leadership Bi-Vocational Pastor who manages well a flock of 50 souls, who believe, breath, and practice missions in both their neighborhood and around the world. This same Pastor leads his church in giving 15% of undesignated receipts into the Cooperative Program at a sacrifice - a sacrifice of his salary, of putting new carpet on the floor, buying literature from Lifeway - all because this church have placed a priority on discipleship and missions, and have determined that giving for the cause of Christ and his Kingdom is much more important than their own comfort (I am not saying that me our mine have arrived at this ideal - we definitely have a lot of work to do - yet this is my goal for us).

I suspect in the current climate, that the mega-church pastor will be elected - He will jet across the country over the next two years, and receive anywhere between $100,000 to $150,000 per year in honorariums for his service.

I have since learned that Rob has his own blog. You can read it here. And I did some slight editing to the above.

6 comments:

Jim Shaver said...

I added your blog to my Blog List on my web site. That might drive a little traffic. I thought I had done that but with the hard drive crash I had I think I lost a lot of stuff I thought I had done.

wisdomofthepages.com said...

Where can I find that internet discussion list? I'd like to join

Rod said...

try this link
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MOBaptistList/

Rob Ayers said...

Rod,

Thanks for the plug. This is one of the first times that someone thought my mutterings were worth repeating anywhere! Thanks. I guess this means I need to blog more now.

Rob

John Stickley said...

Rod,

Just ran across your blog today, following a comment on Dorcas Hawker's blog. Glad I found it... this discussion list sounds great!

John Stickley said...
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