Messengers reject expanded executive committee oversight, Lifeway’s amended ministerial mission

Two of the nine recommendations offered to the messengers attending the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville this morning (June 15) failed, one of which made the last of the nine recommendations “questionable.”

Recommendation 7 would have amended the business and financial plan of the SBC to allow the Executive Committee to better monitor in order to “strengthen the financial accountability” of the SBC entities. The amended plan would also have given the EC the power to sequester Cooperation Program funds from any entity not complying with the 10-point checklist.

The messengers, however, responded with a categorical no. A crowded meeting room has gone silent with only a small number of the more than 15,000 messengers currently registered to vote in favor of the plan.

An overwhelming number voted against the recommendation and applauded following the announcement by SBC Chairman JD Greear, “The negatives have it. “

As four messengers came to the microphone to oppose the motion and another attempted to modify it unsuccessfully, it was Southeastern Seminary President Danny Akin who received applause and even whistles. .

“Problem at seminars”

“I am chair of the Seminar Presidents Council and speak on behalf of the six of us opposed to this recommendation,” said Akin, who also spoke as a messenger from his church in Wake Forest, North Carolina. “This would jeopardize our reputation with our accreditation agencies… because they are already wondering about the monitoring (linked to the cooperative program funds offered at the seminar). They ask, how does this prevent outside interference? And we always say that the money comes from our churches which hold us accountable through our trustee system.

Two messengers also expressed concern over granting additional authority to the EC when it begins an investigation into allegations of mismanagement of allegations of sexual abuse within the denomination and “others. perceived overruns ”.

Vance Pitman, pastor and messenger of Hope Church, Las Vegas, added: “This proposal would be an unprecedented expansion of the powers of the EC and would come between the local churches and the entities that we are trying to support with the PC. There are so many questions… and it doesn’t have to be done this year. Let’s wait and let it all hang out before we accept a recommendation like this.

EC member Robyn Hari of Tennessee, who chairs the congressional finance and stewardship development committee, reminded the messengers that the recommendation followed the request of previous messengers “to have a method for s ‘Ensure that all things described in the plan have been followed and addressed.

“The spirit of the process was supposed to be that of cooperation,” she said. “We have engaged with the chief financial officers, presidents and legal counsel of the entities. The aim was to balance the demands for more transparency and accountability while recognizing the autonomy of the entities and the fact that they have a board of directors to oversee these entities.

But “we want to hear the convention and the messengers,” she added.

Change of assignment at Lifeway ministry rejected

Recommendation 8 for Lifeway’s ministerial mission to change its stated mission and the current 10 ministerial missions also failed to get passage.

Of the 10,317 messengers who voted, 4,448 voted in favor while 5,850 voted against the motion (19 votes were rejected).

With messengers voting against the Lifeway ministry change of assignment, recommendation 9 “is moot” as it focuses on the Board of North American Missions absorb Lifeway’s student ministry mission, EC President Rolland Slade explained.

“We will not stop sharing the gospel with students across the country,” he said, but Ben Mandrell of Lifeway and Kevin Ezell of NAMB have been asked to work together to determine a plan to present to the students. messengers at a future annual meeting.

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