7 Things Every (First-Time) SBC'er Should Know
As the annual Southern Baptist Convention is fast approaching here are seven things we think all first timers to the annual convention should know:
I. THE NEED OF THE HOUR FOR HUMILITY AND UNITY IN OUR CONVENTION
Leading into a convention there is usually much going on and this year seems no different. As a collection of churches, we should all be praying that the unity and humility demonstrated by President Ronnie Floyd, and candidates Steve Gaines and J.D. Greear, would be on display in 2018.
II. THE PURPOSE OF THE CONVENTION
The Southern Baptist Convention exists “for the purpose of carrying into effect the benevolent intention of our constituents by organizing a plan for eliciting, combining, and directing the energies of the denomination for the propagation of the gospel…It is the purpose of the Convention to provide a general organization for Baptists in the United States and its territories for the promotion of Christian missions at home and abroad and any other objects such as Christian education, benevolent enterprises, and social services which it may deem proper and advisable for the furtherance of the Kingdom of God.” The Southern Baptist Convention exists is to cooperate together for the propagation of the gospel through domestic and foreign missions, Christian education (such as seminaries), and benevolent/social services. So when you participate in the annual convention you get to hear from the agencies that are carrying out these tasks as well as vote on various motions that direct how we will cooperate for this above task through those agencies! In addition, messengers vote on Resolutions that are pronouncements from the messengers of the convention about things that are important to Southern Baptists in 2018. In reality, the SBC only exists as a convention two days a year as we do business together to vote on motions that will direct our agencies in the 363 days we are not together. One of the most important votes this year will be the Presidential election. The President appoints the committee on committee’s that appoints the committee on nominations that then appoints trustees to all our agencies. The trustees then provide ongoing oversight and accountability for these entities. In addition, they are responsible to ensure that SBC entities are faithfully carrying out their vision, mission, and goals.
III. WHO MAKES UP THE CONVENTION
The annual convention is made up of messengers sent from cooperating SBC Churches. SBC This Week has an easy breakdown section of how to register as a messenger, as well as instructions that will help you determine how many messengers your church is eligible to send to this year’s convention. There is still time to sign up and there are still ways to get flights from most cities into Dallas to be there Tuesday and out by that evening. If you have further questions on this process email us at email@example.com, but we hope that you will plan to be there and be in the room because that’s when the decisions are made!
IV. WHEN TO BE IN THE ROOM
The annual meeting is a great place to see old friends, meet new ones, and hear about the great things happening in some of our SBC entities (IMB, NAMB, ERLC, GuideStone, Lifeway, Executive Committee, and our 6 Seminaries). However, it is first and foremost a business meeting. It can sometimes be complicated to know when business will take place and when you should be in the room for the introduction of Motions, Elections, Resolutions, and actual votes (For definitions and examples of motions and resolutions check out @jonathanakin on Twitter). Below we try to map out the schedule and let you know when you need to be in the room, as well as provide notes beside some of the scheduled program to let first timers know what is going on during that time. Through the Baptist21Twitter account we will be doing our best to keep live updates on when to be in the room. Here is a look at the entire program:
2018 SBC Schedule (DALLAS, TX)
* (with a bold title)
Indicates when you need to be in the room for motions, resolutions, or actual votes that will take place; please keep in mind that the schedule can always be running early, on time, or late
TUESDAY JUNE 12TH MORNING SESSION BEGINS AT 8:15AM
Registration Report and Constitution of Convention
Committee on Order of Business Report (First)
Notes: Motions to amend any order of business (the schedule) will take place here
GuideStone Financial Resources Report, O. S. Hawkins.
Notes: During an SBC Entities report they will give an update and then there will be a time for questions from the messengers. If you would like to ask a question of an entity President proceed to one of the Microphones on the Convention floor.
Introduction of New Motions (First), Steve Gaines
Notes: At this point, any messenger can bring a motion to the convention floor. These motions will then be presented to the Committee on Order of Business to determine if they will be deferred or brought back to the convention later in the program for a vote.
Executive Committee Report (Part 1), D. August Boto, interim president
CLOSE OF SESSION AND BAPTIST21 LUNCH BEGINS
TUESDAY AFTERNOON SESSION BEGINS AT 1:15PM
The afternoon session is packed with business, messengers should plan to be in the room from about 1:35pm until the end of the session.
Election of Officers (First)
Notes: This will be the vote for President of the SBC between J.D. Greear and Ken Hemphill. Keep in mind that if the schedule is running early the election could take place before 1:50pm
Executive Committee Report (Part 2)
Election of Officers (Second)
Notes: This will likely be the vote for Vice President if there are multiple candidates
Committee on Order of Business Report (Second)
Notes: At this point, we will be informed if we need to vote on a change in the order of business
North American Mission Board Presentation, Kevin Ezell
Election of Officers (Third)
Notes: This will likely be the vote for 2nd Vice President of the SBC
Introduction of New Motions (Last Opportunity)
Notes: This will be the last time in the program that a messenger can present a motion
Committee on Committees Report
Committee on Nominations Report
Election of Officers (Fourth and Fifth)
Committee on Resolutions Report
Notes: During this part of the program, Resolutions will be presented, possibly amended, and voted on
CLOSE OF SESSION IN PRAYER
TUESDAY EVENING SESSION BEGINS AT 6:30PM
Committee on Order of Business Report (Third)
Election of 2019 Convention Preacher, Alternate Preacher and Music Director.
Notes: This is where we will vote on who will deliver the convention sermon in Birmingham in 2019
International Mission Board Commissioning Service, David Platt.
Notes: This is the highlight of the convention where we will commission and pray over many IMB missionaries who are getting ready to leave for the ends of the earth!
CLOSE OF SESSION IN PRAYER
WEDNESDAY MORNING SESSION JUNE 13TH BEGINS AT 8:15AM
Committee on Order of Business Report (Fourth)
Notes: There will possibly be voting on order of business during this part of the program
Previously Scheduled Business
Notes: Continued voting
Woman’s Missionary Union Report, Sandra Wisdom-Martin.
North American Mission Board Report, Kevin Ezell.
International Mission Board Report, David Platt.
Evangelism Task Force Report, Speaker TBD (Formerly Paige Patterson)
Convention Sermon, Speaker TBD (Formerly Paige Patterson)
Joint Seminary Presentation and Reports (all 6 Seminaries)
CLOSE OF SESSION IN PRAYER FOR SEMINARY LUNCHEONS
WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON SESSION BEGINS AT 2:30PM
Previously Scheduled Business
Notes: The final session of business and voting
Presentation of Officers
LifeWay Christian Resources Report, Thom Rainer.
The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission Report, Russell Moore.
CLOSE OF CONVENTION IN PRAYER
V. EVENTS TO ATTEND
There are numerous events at the SBC annual meeting outside of the convention program that first timers would be interested in attending. Here is a complete list of those events. Here are several to note:
- Baptist21 Lunch – Our lunch panel will focus on issues facing the SBC and will take place immediately following the close of the June 12th morning session (approx. 11:45am). The panel will feature Danny Akin, Matt Chandler, D.A. Horton, Albert Mohler, Russell Moore, Trillia Newbill, and Kevin Smith.
- NAMB Send Luncheon – This lunch takes place on June 11th but is already sold out. You can register to watch the simulcast of it here.
- ERLC Gathering – The ERLC will discuss “Gospel Sexuality in a Me Too Culture” at 9pm on Monday June 11th. You can register for that free event here.
- 9Marks@9 – 9Marks will host a conversation on “The State of the SBC” on Tuesday June 12th at 9pm. The panelists will include Danny Akin, H.B. Charles, Mark Dever, and Albert Mohler. You can register for that event here.
The SBC business meeting runs procedurally based off Roberts Rules of Order. If you are not used to Roberts Rules that can at times seem complicated. Here is a cheat sheet on Roberts Rules – We would recommend sitting near someone you know that knows these rules well and they can best help you navigate the two days of business.
The SBC annual meeting is a great time to catch up with old friends, make new friends, and connect with like-minded brothers and sisters. One of the most enjoyable things about the SBC is hearing testimonies of what the Lord is doing through brothers and sisters we may have never heard of or met in our cooperative mission efforts. And since we are baptist, don’t forget to have some of these conversations around meals.The ERLC has provided a good guide to the SBC that highlights some of the better food spots in the DFW area. It is a wonderful time to be encouraged by what the Lord is doing in our midst in just the everyday grind of serving our King.
As we do business and as we fellowship, let’s remember that our faithful ministry in our local contexts and our cooperative efforts together are being used so that King Jesus is praised among all nations through our cooperative efforts.
“Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, who testified to your loved before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth”
(3 John 5-8)
***Blog adapted from original post by N. Akin at www.baptist21.com
Nathan Akin is the Network Relations Director for the Pillar Network. He also serves as Director of Baptist21. He has a Masters of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from Murray State University, where he twice played in the NCAA Tournament. In the past, he has served as the Discipleship Pastor of Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, NC and served as Special Assistant to the Vice President of the Global Theological Initiative at Southeastern Seminary.