Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Would you attend a Baptist convention?

Monday and Tuesday of this week I attended the BGCT’s Annual Meeting. For preachers, conventions are a great opportunity to see friends, hear some good sermons, and do some networking. They are also a great time for all of us to hear from the various ministries that our offerings support. I can assure you that Texas Baptists are doing lots of good in the state of Texas and beyond. Today, I’m headed to Waco to participate in one of those things, the Texas Hunger Initiative, which is an attempt to make Texas food sufficient by 2015. San Angelo is one of the pilot cities for this initiative.

For all the good things the BGCT facilitates, there are concerns about the future of the convention. The reasons for this are many but one of the concerns that keeps popping up is the lack of attendance at the annual meeting. Now, over two thousand people attended this week (just under 1500 messengers and over 600 guests). That’s not a small number for a mid-week meeting in the fall, but it used to be much higher (say, around 5000). Of course, the most attended meetings were during the height of controversy. I don’t know about you but I’d rather have small numbers and peace than high numbers and fruitless controversy.

That being said, it is good to ask, “What could we do to involve more people in the process?” This year the question was asked in a formal way. A committee will spend next year attempting to discern if a different format or time table would encourage more attendance in the future. Praise the Lord I’m not on that committee. But I am asking you – not just what would it take to get you to come to a convention meeting – but rather, is there any religious meeting you would take days off to attend and if so, what kind? Examples include but aren’t limited to content based meetings like marriage enrichment meetings, mission trips, conventions, etc. If you would attend such a meeting what time of year would be best? Pass your answers on to me and I’ll pass the thoughts on to those in charge. Thanks for the help!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ – Ephesians 1:3.

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