JIM RICHARDS RECOVERING FROM HEART SURGERY 8
SBC PRESIDENTS NOMINEES Q&A, PART 2 20-21
SBTC BOARD APPROVES REBRANDING TEAM, COLLEGIATE LEADER & HAWAII PARTNERSHIP 8
Newsjournal of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention N MORE NEWS AT TEXANONLINE.NET
S P E C I A L R E P O R T: C O M P L E M E N TA R I A N I S M
H OT- B U T TO N I S S U E S
Created to Complete, Not Compete SOUTHERN BAPTISTS SEEK TO APPLY BIBLE’S TEACHINGS ON GENDER ROLES IN HOME AND MINISTRY By Sharayah Colter & Tammi Reed Ledbetter TEXAN Staff
While previous generations battled over the inerrancy of God’s Word, a current discussion within the Southern Baptist Convention deals with the sufficiency of Scripture to define the distinct roles of women and men. “The big battle ground today is not that the Scripture is inerrant and absolutely true—though that’s still a battle ongoing—but among evangelicals and among Baptists, the real battle today is whether Scripture is sufficient,” Dorothy Patterson, a theology professor in women’s studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a founding member of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, explained to the TEXAN. She boiled the disagreement down to a simple question: “Did God mean what he said [about gender roles], and if he did, did he give any way that we can live that way
when it’s obviously not popular [and] it doesn’t seem workable because of the circumstances?”
COMPLEMENTARIAN VS. EGALITARIAN In many ways, churches are continuing to work out the implications of a movement started three decades ago. Concerned by what they described as “the spread of unbiblical teaching,” a group of evangelical leaders met on Dec. 2, 1987, and drafted the Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.
Before adjourning late that night, the group voted to incorporate as the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW)—an organization that continues to be one of the main voices on the subject of gender issues today. The next day the newly established council—consisting of Dorothy Patterson, Bill Mounce, Wayne House, John Piper, Jim Borland, Tom Edgar, Wayne Grudem, Lane Dennis, Ken Sarels and Gleason Archer—voted to adopt the Danvers Statement, which can be accessed online at cbmw.org/uncategorized/ the-danvers-statement. Grudem wrote in his 2006 book, Countering the Claims of Evangelical Feminism, that the Danvers Statement introduced the term “complementarian” in discussions of male-female equality and roles. Mary Kassian, whom the council added as a member in 1990, wrote an article on The Gospel Coalition’s website, Sept. 4, 2012, to clarify the definition of See ROLES, 12
SEX? ISLAM? GAY MARRIAGE? NO QUESTION IS OFF-LIMITS AT GROWING COLLEGE ‘Q&A MINISTRY’
By Michael Foust TEXAN Correspondent STEPHENVILLE It is rare in a modern-day church for a single worship service to cover nearly every single hot-button issue— from premarital sex to gay marriage to the exclusivity of the gospel—but for Timber Ridge Church’s college ministry, it’s a weekly event. And instead of seeing college students get up and walk out of the service, Timber Ridge has seen its college attendance double. It all started when Timber Ridge pastor Nic Burleson and the college team began brainstorming how they could attract college students who don’t attend church to their on-campus
See Q&A, 3
Texas Lt. Gov. calls for FWISD superintendent’s resignation over transgender guidelines By Keith Collier Managing Editor FORT WORTH Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick held a press conference prior to the Fort Worth Independent School District board meeting May 10, calling for Superintendent Kent Scribner’s resignation in the wake of guidelines for transgender students that were announced in April without discussion or approval from the school board or parents. “When you ask for someone’s resignation, you owe an explanation why,” Patrick said. “I believe this policy is ill-advised and wrongheaded; it violates the Texas education code, specifically in one
See FWISD, 2
FWISD CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
area dealing with parents’ information. … The job of the superintendent is not to be a social engineer; the job of the superintendent is to prepare his students for a great education.” According to the guidelines, “The District requires all personnel to acknowledge the gender identity that each student consistently and uniformly asserts.” This includes using the name and pronouns preferred by the student and allowing students to use restrooms and locker rooms that align with their preferred gender identities. The guidelines also prohibit school personnel from notifying parents about their child’s gender identity or potential transition process unless the student consents, which Patrick said is a clear violation of Texas education code. “Texas education code 26.008 makes no doubt that students cannot leave their parents out of information about their activities at school,” Patrick said. “Parents have a right to know, unless there is some type of abuse or danger at home, and in that case it’s not up to the school to decide that, they turn that over to the police to investigate.” Patrick acknowledged that he wants to protect every student,
S O U T H E R N
which is why he voted for a 2011 senate bill that directed districts to create policies to prevent harassment and bullying. However, the FWISD guidelines, he said, go beyond this. Although the guidelines are said to be based on Title IX—the U.S. Department of Education’s policy against sex discrimination—Patrick stated, “Sex in Title IX does not talk about transgender transition. This is something that people interpreting Title IX are putting forth. It has no basis in law or fact.” Patrick also claimed that the new guidelines violated Texas University Interscholastic League (UIL) rules that were passed in February stating that public school extracurricular participation—including academic, athletic, and music contests— is determined by the gender assigned on a student’s birth certificate. With these violations, Patrick said, the guidelines are “ripe for lawsuits.” He noted that Texas Atty. General Ken Paxton issued a letter to the school district that day expressing concerns over the violations. Other state officials present with Patrick at the news conference were Sen. Kelly Hancock (RNorth Richland Hills), Rep. Matt Rinaldi (R-Irving) and Rep. Matt Shaheen (R-Plano). Reporters questioned Patrick about his involvement in the issue, asking him why the state would weigh in on a local issue.
B A P T I S T
T E X A N
FWISD school board members prepare to hear public comments related to the district’s new transgender student guidelines during their May 10 meeting. PHOTO BY KEITH COLLIER
Patrick affirmed his advocacy for local control, but said, “Local control is about local people having a say. The parents of this school district had no say; the school board had no say. As Lt. Gov., I am responsible for a multi-billion-dollar education budget; about $350 million of that went to this district.” Supporters of the district’s transgender guidelines held a competing press conference prior to Patrick’s, claiming Patrick was bullying the school district and using the issue for personal political gain. The school board meeting following both press conferences was standing room only,
as hundreds of citizens on both sides of the issue filled the chambers, with more protestors outside the building. The new guidelines were not on the school board’s meeting agenda but were addressed during an hour-long public comment period. Some praised Scribner for the guidelines, while others called for their repeal. Scribner told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he has no intentions of resigning and is proud of the guidelines because they “provide educators with the ability to make all students more comfortable and confident in a learning environment.”
The guidelines created by FWISD and the ensuing reaction by Patrick and others gained national attention. In a seemingly related move, May 13, the Obama administration—in conjunction with the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice—issued a directive to the nation’s public schools and universities to permit transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms corresponding to their gender identity instead of their biological sex. Though the directive does not have the authority of law, it threatened the loss of federal aid if a school does not obey.
You say you want a revolution? Gary Ledbetter Editor
ell, alright. President Obama has overstepped. His May 13 declaration that Title IX discrimination rules apply to a student’s gender identity du jour as well as his biological gender was a political decision based on almost no science, little history and scant legal authority. He will get away with it unless we in flyover country just say “no.” Saying no looks like a score of more of governors and attorneys general suing the administration and warning independent school districts that states provide more education funds than does the federal government. Saying no looks like a thousand or more school districts suing the administration for this imperial changing of established guidelines. A class action suit would fit the bill I think. And of course there are parents whose part in public education is often underemphasized. Parents, now as well as yesterday, must decide who will assist them in educating their children. But these par-
ents are also taxpayers with the ing and productively expressright to decide if local bond and ing outrage when the children sales taxes related to schools of our cities are so oppressed. I are approved. If school boards honestly don’t know that we know that state funding as well are, but this is a big moment. as local funding will be affectWe are deciding a couple of ing by their silly dalliance with foundational things right now. gender politics, they might find First, we are deciding if we want the courage to say “no” also. any control more local than naUnderstand, I don’t mind if tional over the institutions we a local school accommodates a locally fund. Do we any longer gender-confused student out of believe that there are things we compassion. In fact, I think it’s understand about our neighcommendable to do so. Minor borhood that people who’ve children, by definition, need never been here or lived anyrational adults to assist them, where remotely similar cannot provide for them and counsel understand? Are our neighbors, them. That’s why policies like who serve on the school board, the one adopted by the Fort administer public institutions, Worth ISD and threats like the and work part time in the Texas one offered by the Obama De- legislature, servants of our compartment of Education are such munities or servants of transia betrayal. The result of policies tory national political agendas? requiring teachers to refer to a It’s a real question and one that student by his “preferred” pro- requires a different answer nouns and to keep the fact that than the one we have given in Bobby goes by Betty while he’s recent days. at school from Bobby’s parents, Second, we are deciding who is advocacy for novel defini- disciples our children. If I had a tions of sex and gender. Bobby child in the Fort Worth ISD or is not being accommodated by any other district determined this servant of the local com- to keep my child’s mental, spirimunity; he is being counseled tual or physical issues from down a path away from health me, I’d fire them. If I couldn’t and mature happiness. He’s literally end the employment being counseled by those his of the superintendent, I’d find parents employ. It’s outrageous. someone else to help me train The question really is whether my children—effectively firing or not we are capable of feel- public schools as my assistants
THE RESULT OF POLICIES REQUIRING TEACHERS TO REFER TO A STUDENT BY HIS “PREFERRED” PRONOUNS AND TO KEEP THE FACT THAT BOBBY GOES BY BETTY WHILE HE’S AT SCHOOL FROM BOBBY’S PARENTS, IS ADVOCACY FOR NOVEL DEFINITIONS OF SEX AND GENDER. in teaching. It will cost you to do that. It cost me thousands, delayed home ownership, leaned out my retirement income and perhaps had other effects I have not considered to disciple my own children this way. I have no regrets. Really guys, if you needed to hire a nanny to teach your children important things like math, language, the origin of man, the nature of man, the nature of truth and the responsibilities of one person for another, and then give your kids to that nanny for seven hours a day, five days a week, 32 weeks a year, for 13 years (plus college) and know that this nanny and your child will keep secrets from you, you’d better know that nanny well and trust him to a degree you trust very few people. We all like to think of
ourselves as good parents. A good parent knows what goes into his kid’s mouth, his heart and his mind. Otherwise he’s not so good. So yes, I’m saying that President Obama has given us a very personal chance to understand the issues in America. I think we do have the real power to offer an amendment to his rebuilding of our society. But Lord help us, I’m not sure we are generally unified enough to do it or even that we care enough to seriously consider our response. Whether we are or are not, this is a watershed. You will remember that this happened and you will associate many things not yet done with our actions, or inaction, regarding the education of our children, the education of your children, in the spring of 2016.
T E X A N O N L I N E . N E T
Q&A CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
“PROGRESSIVELY, THE CHURCH HAS BEEN SEEN IN AMERICA AS VERY CLOSE-MINDED. WE HAVEN’T ALLOWED PEOPLE ROOM FOR QUESTIONS. WE HAVEN’T ALLOWED PEOPLE ROOM FOR DISCUSSION. WHEN YOU OPEN IT UP TO ALLOW PEOPLE TO ASK QUESTIONS THAT THEY’RE STRUGGLING WITH, OR QUESTIONS THEY’RE VERY CONCERNED ABOUT, YOU ARE MEETING THEM. AND THAT’S WHERE WE’VE SEEN THE POWER IN THIS.”
ministry at Tarleton State University in Stephenville. “We didn’t want it to be your traditional sing-some-songs, preach-a-sermon service,” Burleson told the TEXAN. Burleson’s idea to the team: allow college students to ask any question about Christianity and life, and then have him answer those questions in front of a live audience. Everyone liked the idea, so on one Wednesday night in February Timber Ridge’s on-campus ministry, known as TROC, hosted its first “You Asked For It” service, in which a worship band leads in music for 20 minutes and then Burleson fields questions from the audience for approximately half an hour. About 40 students attended the service that first week, but by the end of April weekly attendance had more than doubled to nearly 100 each Wednesday night. Students from seemingly every walk of life—including Muslims, atheists and people from the LGBT community—have come. Even more exciting, “You Asked For It” has led to three baptisms. “I think there’s a spiritual hunger among millennials,” Burleson said. “There’s a spiritual hunger among the college students on Tarleton State’s campus and in our town. And allowing their spiritual hunger to dictate the conversation has been beneficial for us.” Thanks to a smartphone app called Text Free, all the questions remain anonymous, and the person’s phone number is not revealed. The college team sifts through between 20 and 50 questions each Wednesday night, and Burleson, due to time constraints, answers five to eight. They weed out questions that have been answered repeatedly in recent weeks, although if one question is
Burleson’s background isn’t in apologetics, at least not in an academic setting. Prior to planting Timber Ridge in 2011, he spent 12 years as a youth pastor and three as a family pastor. He said he has a strong interest in explaining to church members and college students about “how we live out our faith” in a culture “that is multiethnic and multi-faith.” Burleson and the college team devote themselves to prayer each Wednesday prior to the service, asking that God would guide him as he responds to questions. “It’s amazing the Bible passages that me and some of the other leaders have memorized in the past, they just seem to come to mind at the right time,” he said. The service is held in a room in the basement of the student building. Burleson is able to speak at the service be-
addressed by several people, Burleson tries to field it live. But no question goes unanswered, provided the student is persistent. “If students don’t get their question answered live, we tell them to come back and send it again, or they can text us, ‘just answer me please,’ and that night and the next day our college team, myself, some of our staff, spend time answering questions via the texting app,” Burleson said. “We’re pointing them back to the Bible, pointing them back to God’s Word.” He doesn’t avoid the tough questions, though, which means he does sometimes get stumped. “If they send a really hard question, you can usually see their face light up: ‘Oh, I’ve stumped the pastor.’ We have had a couple of times where we’ve said, ‘That’s a great question. We’re going to dig into God’s Word, and next Wednesday we’re going to kick things off with this question, and we’re going to find out the answer.’”
cause it is hosted by the TROC college ministry, an official on-campus, student group formed this year. The benefits of the service, he said, are significant. “Progressively, the church has been seen in America as very close-minded,” he said. “We haven’t allowed people room for questions. We haven’t allowed people room for discussion. When you open it up to allow people to ask questions that they’re struggling with, or questions they’re very concerned about, you are meeting them. And that’s where we’ve seen the power in this.” The Q&A ministry, he believes, can be duplicated by other churches on other college campuses. “We’re not doing anything special or spectacular,” he said. “It’s simply humility to say we’re going to allow the people that we serve and the people that we’re trying to reach to have a part in determining the conversation. “We’re just excited about what God is doing.”
S O U T H E R N
B A P T I S T
T E X A N
NOT MY BROTHER OR MY SISTER BUT IT’S ME, O LORD Gary Ledbetter Editor
he issue of women’s roles in church and home is sensitive, even among those who believe nearly the same things. For that reason, our special report on the subject took two months longer than I expected. More than one or two Baptist spokesmen (and women) declined comment—some possibly fearful that we would mangle their quotes and embarrass them; others maybe concerned that we might quote them accurately. We did not make any effort to contact those who torture Scripture to upend the biblical teaching on the roles of sisters and brothers in Christ. Gender roles are not the only place we differ with those who diminish scriptural authority. Give up the scriptural authority and you become a mere passenger as your theology leaves the rails. The people we quoted in these stories agree with me and each other on biblical authority, and on nearly everything else. They believe that wives should submit to the servant leadership of their own husbands and that the pastor
of a church should be a man. Beyond these two convictions are interpretations and matters of prudence that lead some to ordain deaconesses, others to appoint sisters to teach coed Bible classes or lead singing, and other churches to do none of these things. We spoke with one leader who believes that a woman is biblically qualified to teach nearly any class in a Baptist seminary. A few won’t tell us what they believe, though I’m certain they also affirm a biblical, complementarian viewpoint. So what is the rub? First, I think there is a well-founded concern that compromise can lead where we never intended to go. That happened in recent SBC history. Some who “merely” wanted a kinder convention, tolerant of other views of Genesis and Jonah, are now affirming transgender pastors from their pedobaptist pulpits. In a culture that lampoons biblical morality, we want to be very different from that culture. It makes some leaders who would utilize the sisters in every role but elders careful lest they be thought liberal. Second, trust has been wounded for those who’ve been treated disrespectfully because they are women. They still agree
TAKING ON THE MIND OF CHRIST AS WE TRY TO LIVE IN UNITY DOES NOT COMPROMISE SCRIPTURAL TRUTH, BUT IT DOES MOVE US TO ROOT OUT THOSE PLACES WHERE WE HAVE BEEN PROUD, THOUGHTLESS, INAPPROPRIATELY AMBITIOUS, BITTER, PEEVISH OR EVEN RUDE WHEN WE ARE RIGHT.
doctrinally with the most conservative of us, but they have been offended by condescension or abuse on the part of some male leaders. In nearly every debate within the body of Christ not involving the nature of God, man or salvation, go back to Philippians 2:1-11. Taking on the mind of Christ as we try to live in unity does not compromise scriptural truth, but it does move us to root out those places where we have been proud, thoughtless, inappropriately ambitious, bitter, peevish or even rude when we are right. Can you preach Philippians 2 without stepping on everyone’s toes? That means the brothers should not speak as though the fairer sex is also a less competent one. That’s not true. Our
wives and sisters don’t submit because the men in their lives are smarter or work harder— we are all of the same essence, and our giftedness is fully necessary to the body whether we preach, help, give, encourage or do any other thing the Spirit empowers for the edification of all. We should not behave as if a deacons or elders meeting is a secret society—grown-up stuff in a way that other gatherings are not. It’s proud, even vain, to behave in this way and can needlessly provoke resentment. Christlike humility will move the brothers to seek ways to serve the body of Christ rather than seek position or acclaim offered by fellow sinners. The mind of Christ will move the sisters to submit to Christ and the precepts writ-
ten in the Scriptures that God inspired. It will move them to forgive real and perceived slights more readily. It will help the sisters avoid being easily provoked and less apt to bitterness when provocations inevitably come. It will lead them to seek places to serve their churches rather than seeking recognition and affirmation from fellow sinners. This is not a “can’t we all just get along?” piece. If we accept that love is an active concept, so is humility. Christ humbled himself by doing something. He tells us to do something—esteem one another better than ourselves. This means look for ways to honor, value, encourage those around you as they seek to serve God with the gifts given to them. We additionally miss some of the gifts God gave our churches when we diminish the other sex. There are consequences when God’s people undervalue humility and servanthood. Certainly this discussion will continue as we seek God’s way in a confused and confusing culture. But we must also stop letting the delightful differences between brothers and sisters be an impediment rather than the complement they were meant to be.
VBS: I Invited 1 Diana Davis Fresh Ideas
acation Bible School—it’s not just for church kids! VBS can be a fantastic evangelism event. Catch a vision for how your VBS could impact eternity. Here is a simple plan to involve every member of your church or small group to engage unchurched children in life-changing VBS. It’s called: “I Invited 1.” Issue a challenge. The goal is for every individual in your church to personally invite one unchurched boy or girl to VBS. Anyone can
Southern Baptist TEXAN VOLUME
invited so far. Pray for them. do that. Specifically call out evMake it visual. ery child, senior adult, youth, u Create a huge “Jesus loves Challenge others to invite one. single adult, couple and college the little children” wall display Create excitement. student to take the challenge. in a visible area of the church. They personally invite a child u Strive for 100% involveu A couple of Sundays before in their life who doesn’t attend VBS, give each church member ment. Though many are already church—neighbor, acquain- a colorful die-cut paper doll to fully engaged in VBS planning, tance, schoolmate, stranger, write the first name of the child the majority of members probwork associate’s child. they’re inviting, and add it to the ably can’t offer hands-on help beAsk church members to wall display as a prayer reminder. cause of work, schedule or health bring the first name of that u Print well-designed, conflicts. Every person of every child next Sunday. round stickers with large let- age and circumstance can invite ters “I invited 1” for every one child. Imagine what God can Make it easy. person to proudly wear. Pur- do if every member participates. As you issue the challenge, chase and print sheets of ciru Children’s Sunday school give each person a VBS invita- cle stickers, or order stickers teachers give tips on how to invite tion for the child they’ll invite. from a print company. Picture friends, how to include and welIt can be a business-card size this: grannies and 4-year-olds, come newcomers, and how to ininvite or a card. Include the teens and newcomers—all vite them to your church after VBS. church website for details and wearing “I Invited 1” stickers. u Just before VBS begins, enonline registration. Pray over Wouldn’t it be fun if some courage members to remind the the invitations, and ask God to needed a dozen stickers? child they invited to come. direct each person to a child u Instead of an all-church proju Announce the total numwho needs him. ect, this could be done in your ber who’ve been personally
Jim Richards, Executive Director
Gary K. Ledbetter, Editor Keith Collier, Managing Editor Tammi Ledbetter, Special Assignments Editor Sharayah Colter, Staff Writer Gayla Sullivan, Circulation Manager Russell Lightner, Layout/Graphic Artist
Diana Davis, Melissa Deming, Michael Foust, Roy Hayhurst, Nathan Lino, Amy Malott, Bonnie Pritchett, Erin Roach, Jane Rodgers, Jeff Steed
choir, women’s ministry, youth group, deacons, small group, etc. u Plan an enormous follow-up on Saturday after VBS, and prepare to welcome many new parents and children on Sunday. So wear your “I Invited 1” sticker with pride and prayers. And, VBS staffers—hold on to your hats! God’s at work; his church is excited about inviting; and this may be the most thrilling VBS in history. Keep Jesus’ words from Luke 14:23 in mind: “So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full.’” Diana Davis is a Texas native but now lives in Pensacola, Fla., with her husband, Steve, who serves as the vice president of the North American Mission Board, South Region.
The Southern Baptist Texan is the official newspaper of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, P.O. Box 1988, Grapevine, Texas 76099-1988. Toll-free 877-953-7282, Phone 817-552-2500, FAX 817-552-2520. Email: [email protected]
Letters to the editor should be limited to 250 words and should refrain from personal attacks. Submit by email to [email protected]
or mail to the address to the left.
Obituaries, memorials, and classified advertisements listing items and services for sale will be published at a cost of 30 cents per word with a minimum of $10. Copy must be submitted within three months of death or event. Submit information to [email protected]
and mail check for full amount.
Individual subscriptions are free of charge within Texas. A $10 per year donation is requested for out-of-state subscriptions. Email changes to [email protected]
T E X A N O N L I N E . N E T
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN THE U.S. AND THE SBC Jim Richards Executive Director
undits are saying that the United States’ presidential election is a watershed. In all likelihood, the next president will shape the Supreme Court for the foreseeable future, which will greatly impact religious liberty. Public policy on sanctity of life and immigration will also shift according to who is elected. The deciding factor for the believer is to determine who will best represent biblical values. It might come down to voting against the one least
representing biblical values. Remember there is never a perfect candidate. Southern Baptists have an election for president too. We will hear glowing nomination speeches in June. Thankfully all three announced nominees are godly men who love the Lord Jesus. They all are theological conservatives, and I am grateful all three are faithful pastors. Although differing in style, their local church leadership is evidently blessed of God, and I am grateful for their examples. On all of these grounds, there is very little daylight between the candidates. Personalities are different. Individual circles of influence are different. Are there other factors to
consider between these three deserving men? I have attended 33 consecutive conventions, and Ronnie Floyd has been one of the best SBC presidents in my lifetime. President Floyd has brought disparate tribes of the SBC together. His emphasis on spiritual awakening must continue. Whoever our next president is, we need prayer gatherings across our convention, and promotion of personal witnessing must remain a priority. President Floyd has led us well in the area of racial reconciliation. Our president’s “team” approach says we need one another. The strongest ways he has demonstrated the value of cooperation is his emphasis
NOW IS NOT THE TIME FOR US TO CHANGE COURSE. WE NEED TO KEEP EVANGELISM, PRAYER, RECONCILIATION AND COOPERATION IN GIVING AS PRIORITIES. OUR SBC FUTURE DEPENDS ON US STAYING TOGETHER. on the Cooperative Program. Thank you, Ronnie Floyd, for a job well done. One of the problems of having a new SBC president every two years is that the convention’s emphasis usually changes. Prayerfully consider the three announced candidates. One of the nominees may best represent an extension of
momentum created by Ronnie Floyd’s leadership. Now is not the time for us to change course. We need to keep evangelism, prayer, reconciliation and cooperation in giving as priorities. Our SBC future depends on us staying together. [Read Part 2 of the TEXAN’s Q&A with SBC President nominees on pages 20-21.]
Every church has a Diotrephes ... but every church also has a Gaius Nathan Lino
Pastor of Northeast Houston Baptist Church
ne of the most discouraging aspects of leading a church is the opposition to missions by a few vocal members.
Stand before a congregation and push missions, and you can expect immediate opposition. As I push missions before my congregation almost every Sunday, I regularly receive feedback like: “God is going to save the people that will be saved whether I participate or not;” “I’m not called to participate in missions;” “we have no busi-
ness taking the gospel overseas when there are plenty of people to reach in our city;” “evangelism is for those who have the gift of evangelism;” “it makes people uncomfortable when you constantly push us to do missions;” and “you talk about missions too much.” The temptation is to let opposition to missions by a few of
Stay up to date on news that matters to you. SUB SC R I B E AT
Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/SBTexan Follow us on Twitter: @SBTexan
our members cause the pastor to take his foot off the gas pedal. It’s easy to become discouraged if we lose perspective of what is actually happening. Here is a word of encouragement my fellow church leaders: every single church has members like this ... every single church for the 2,000-year history of the local church. Don’t believe me? Check out the book of 3 John. The book was written to encourage a church that was becoming discouraged and divided over missions because a member named Diotrephes vocally opposed missions in their church. Not only did Diotrephes refuse to do missions himself, he vocally criticized the leaders and his fellow members who engaged in the mission of Christ (vs. 10)! Here’s a word of encouragement: vocal opposition to missions is nothing new; it’s to be expected. Even if the Apostle John himself were pastoring your church, your members who oppose missions would say the exact same things to him that they now say to you! Here’s another word of encouragement: John calls such opposition to missions “wicked nonsense” (vs. 10b), and he did not take it lying down (vs. 10a); in other words, he refused to take his foot off the gas. Here’s another word of encouragement: the local church in 3 John also had a Gaius (1) and a Demetrius (12a) and other encouragers in the mission like John himself (12b) as well as
IN THE END, LET THE CALL OF CHRIST TO GO AND THE CRY OF THE LOST TO COME DROWN OUT THE SOUND OF YOUR DIOTREPHESES.
members whose enthusiastic support of missions is laid out in vs. 5-8. Unfortunately, every church has a Diotrephes, but praise God every church also has a Gaius. My fellow shepherds, don’t abandon the mission because you are intimidated by someone speaking “wicked nonsense.” Wisely and lovingly push your congregation to engage the mission of reaching our cities and the nations. 1,000 people are moving to Texas every single day. There are still 3,000 Unengaged Unreached People Groups. There are still 5,000 Unreached People Groups. The fields are white unto harvest. In the end, let the call of Christ to go and the cry of the lost to come drown out the sound of your Diotrepheses.
S O U T H E R N
B A P T I S T
T E X A N
Trump knocks Moore after national media comments
BRIEFS Ill. pastor Doug Munton to be 1st VP nominee Illinois pastor Doug Munton will be nominated for first vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Missouri pastor John Marshall announced April 26. Munton has been pastor of the St. Louis-area First Baptist Church in O’Fallon, Ill., for 20-plus years. He is a former president of the Illinois Baptist State Association and a current member of the SBC Committee on Committees. During Munton’s pastorate, First Baptist has baptized approximately 2,000 people and grown in average worship attendance from 550 to more than 1,600, according to the release. Data from the SBC’s Annual Church Profile indicates an average of 116 baptisms over the past five years for which statistics are available. First Baptist reported giving approximately 8 percent of its undesignated receipts through the Cooperative Program in 2014-15. -from bpnews.net
2 nominees announced for SBC Pastors’ Conference president John Avant, pastor of First Baptist Concord in Knoxville, Tenn., and Dave Miller, pastor of Southern Hills Baptist Church in Sioux City, Iowa, have both been announced as nominees for president of the Southern Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference. This is the first time since 2010 that more than one candidate has been nominated for the position. Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn., stated his intention to nominate Avant in an April 27 announcement to Baptist Press. Todd Benkert, a pastor at Eastlake Baptist Church in Crown Point, Ind., told Baptist Press May 9 he wants to nominate “a small church guy and do a different kind of Pastors’ Conference [next] year.” Miller “is a small church pastor,” Benkert said. “Dave has shown over the years both in his blogging and participating in convention life that he’s committed to unity in the SBC and he’s committed to broad participation among the various groups that make up the SBC.”
Mississippi religious liberty law challenged Mississippi is now headed to federal court over its effort to protect the religious freedom of individuals who
object to same-sex marriage and restroom use based on gender identity. Two organizations—the American Civil Liberties Union and the Campaign for Southern Equality—challenged the state’s Protecting Freedom of Conscience From Government Discrimination Act May 9 and 10, respectively. Filing its suit on behalf of a same-sex couple, the ACLU described Mississippi’s new law as unconstitutionally discriminatory and asked a federal judge to block enforcement of the measure before it takes effect July 1.
Russell Moore spoke and Donald Trump took notice in one of his Twitter posts May 9. Trump’s tweet came the morning after Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, criticized the presumptive Republican nominee on CBS’ “Face the Nation” and, two days earlier, in a New York Times online op-ed. “@drmoore Russell Moore is truly a terrible representative of Evangelicals and all of the good they stand for. A nasty guy with
Jeffress: Moore provoked Trump with attacks on policies, character While many Southern Baptists have sided with Southern Baptist Convention Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission president
no heart!” Trump tweeted at 5:05 a.m. May 9. Trump’s tweet quickly stirred diverse reactions among outspoken Southern Baptists, from
Russell Moore in his scuffle of words with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, some, including First Baptist Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress, say Moore essentially brought it on himself with inflammatory remarks. “Trump’s response to Moore was not unprovoked,” Jeffress
pro-Trump pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church in Dallas to several Baptist leaders who affirmed Moore’s comments. -from bpnews.net
said in an email to the Christian Post. “Moore had been launching vitriolic attacks not only against Donald Trump’s policies, but also personal attacks against [his] character. … When you keep poking the bear, don’t be surprised when the bear takes a bite out of you.” -from christianpost.com
Sudan releases church leader held since Dec. Sudan has released one of two church leaders jailed since December, sources said, leaving another pastor incarcerated without charges. Telahoon Nogose Kassa, head of discipleship at the embattled Khartoum Bahri Evangelical Church, was released May 10 after Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) arrested him without charges Dec. 13, 2015, according to church members. “Finally, Telahoon is released, thanks for your prayers and hope the rest will be released,” Kassa’s brother wrote on his Facebook page. It was unclear why Kassa was released, but NISS can hold detainees for up to four-anda-half months without judicial review, according to Human Rights Watch. Sudan was also subject to a United Nation’s Universal Periodic Review on human rights abuses last week.
Survey probes pastors’ views on handling misconduct
A pastor with another church who was arrested in December remains in detention without charges. Authorities arrested the Rev. Hassan Abdelrahim Tawor, vicemoderator of the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC), at his home Dec. 18. No charges have been brought against him, although NISS officials were said to have objected to his Christian activities. -from bpnews.net
Ed Stetzer to join Wheaton College faculty Ed Stetzer, executive director of LifeWay Research and executive editor of The Gospel Project curriculum published by LifeWay, has been named to the faculty of Wheaton College and as executive director of Wheaton’s Billy Graham Center for Evangelism. Stetzer, 49, will begin his new roles at Wheaton July 1, which also will include publisher of Evangelical Missions Quarterly, founded nearly 50
There’s no consensus among Protestant pastors whether a colleague accused of misconduct should step down from the pulpit for a time, according to a LifeWay Research survey released May 10.
years ago, and chair of the Wheaton College Graduate School’s evangelism and leadership program. LifeWay President Thom S. Rainer voiced appreciation that Stetzer, in nine years with the SBC entity, “made a significant contribution to our ministry. We are excited for the impact Dr. Stetzer will make in his new role, and also grateful LifeWay will have a continued consulting relationship with him.” Stetzer, while with LifeWay, also has served as executive editor of its Facts & Trends journal and authored or coauthored 10 books, most recently “Transformational Groups: Creating a New Scorecard for Groups” with Eric Geiger. Before joining LifeWay, he had written five other books. He also is the lead pastor of Grace Church in Hendersonville and Gallatin, Tenn., which he founded in 2011. -from bpnews.net
Sexual addiction tragedy prompts seminary conference The suicide death of a beloved colleague after a sexual addiction came to
Few respondents, however, say pastors who commit adultery should be permanently banned from ministry, LifeWay Research reported on the findings of a telephone survey of 1,000 Protestant senior pastors. “Pastors believe church leaders should be held to high standards,” said Ed Stetzer, executive director of LifeWay Research, based in Nashville. “They also want to protect themselves against allegations that could be false.” The LifeWay Research survey asked pastors for their views on handling allegations of miscon-
light drove the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary community to their knees in prayer last August. They rose determined to help others caught in pornography and sexual addiction.
“Recalibrate,” a campus-wide conference with Greg Miller of Faithful & True, a ministry to those impacted by sexual addictions, came together as a response to the death of John Gibson, longtime professor at NOBTS’ Leavell College on the opening day of classes on Aug. 24, 2015. Thomas Strong, Leavell College dean, encouraged the seminary community to attend the April 28 conference in an NOBTS weekly publication. -from bpnews.net
duct; the type of misconduct narrowed to adultery in one of the questions. Forty-seven percent of those surveyed say a pastor should step aside while church leaders investigate alleged misconduct. About a third (31 percent) say the church should leave the pastor in the pulpit. One in 5 (21 percent) is not sure. Older pastors (those 65 and older) are more likely to want the pastor to stay in the pulpit (36 percent). Younger pastors (those 18 to 44) are less likely to hold that view (27 percent). -from bpnews.net
T E X A N O N L I N E . N E T
Five new Southern Baptist missionaries have Texas ties them together while attending Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, she explained. “Five years ago, a war began in the Middle East allowing millions of people to become open to hearing the gospel,” he shared during the appointment By Tammi Reed Ledbetter Special Assignments Editor service in Rockville, VA. Their work overseas has allowed them to witness ROCKVILLE, Va. A missionary couple many Muslim families coming to faith headed to the North Africa and the in Christ. Now they return with their Middle East region in partnership with young daughters with the assistance of the International Mission Board sees Meadows Baptist Church in Plano. evidence of God’s Texas native Angedivine plan, as their la Banks was educat“As long as we’re in ed at Southwestern family histories have overlapped. More this world, remember Seminary and West than a century ago, Texas A&M Univerevery one of us an American missity in Canyon where sionary shared the she is a member and finds ourselves in a gospel in his family’s at First Bapforeign land, seeking interned village in the Middle tist Church. More rea homeland—a city East. Then 50 years cently she served in ago, her great aunt where we’re migrants, IMB’s Hands On proand uncle became the gram and later was a multicultural founding members of nanny for a SWBTS the Texas church that faculty member’s citizenry of another is sending the couple family. worldly kingdom.” to bring the gospel “Ten years ago, God back overseas. used a trip to show — DAV I D P L AT T It’s the kind of me spiritual darkness pathway that IMB that I’d never seen President David Platt loves to talk before,” she told those gathered for the about, as he did in commissioning 29 commissioning service. “My response? new missionaries on May 10. God, I will do whatever you want me While they, like so many others, to do, to go wherever you want me to cannot be identified because of securi- go, and stay where you want me to stay ty concerns, their story is compelling because for me, to live is Christ and to as they recognized the opportunity to die is gain. Now, I am being sent by First share their faith in the most danger- Baptist Church in Canyon to the Hausa ous of war-torn circumstances. Their people in West Africa to see the light of shared heart for the nations drew the gospel push back the darkness.”
Elaine and Clyde Meador (right) receive appreciation for their 41 years of service through the International Mission Board from Zane Pratt (left), IMB vice president for training, during a May 10 luncheon given in their honor. PHOTO BY ROY M. BURROUGHS/IMB
MISSION BOARD HONORS MEADOR FOR 41 YEARS OF MINISTRY
IMB trustees and staff spend time in concerted prayer for the Muko-Muko people group of Indonesia who are unreached with the gospel. PHOTO BY ROY M. BURROUGHS/IMB
Another couple with vocational ties to the Austin-based Docent Research Group is returning to Madagascar where they walked through open doors for service, sitting under a tree with a team from their sending church in North Carolina. There they listened to a village elder describe how their community had been transformed by Jesus—“a Jesus hundreds of thousands have never known.” “Growing up, I never wanted to be a missionary,” Nathan Baker admitted during the appointment service. His wife, Tessa, countered by sharing that she’d wanted to be a missionary since childhood when she learned of opportunities through the GA missions education program in her church. Sent by Southern Baptists in partnership with two North Carolina churches, Tessa Baker said, “We are going, as God told Isaiah, ‘to the distant islands that have neither heard my fame nor seen my glory. And they will declare my glory among the nations.’” Southern Baptists fund their missions enterprise by giving to the Cooperative Program through state conventions like the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention and through their gifts to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. The Board’s decision to move all of this year’s appointment services to the International Learning Center outside of Richmond has saved half a million dollars that will be reallocated overseas, according to a report given to trustees on May 11 by Platt. Platt also offered a hopeful report of anticipating higher giving to missions,
recognized Clyde and Elaine Meador for 41 years of ministry, and announced upcoming meetings with Southern Baptist leaders to brainstorm the types of mission pathways he envisions. While the final tally of contributions to last year’s Lottie Moon Christmas Offering has yet to be announced, Platt said “things are looking better than ever,” expressing gratitude for progress toward exercising greater responsibility with short term finances and long term organization for the largest missionary-sending organization. “We can’t just think like we always have as to who can go and how to get there,” he added. “We’ve got to make a way for the churches to go to the nations.” IMB leadership will meet with Southern Baptist pastors, seminary leaders and state convention leaders to brainstorm how those pathways will develop “if we really are serious about making the glory of God known” to the nations, Platt said. Citing the current refugee crisis in Syria and surrounding countries, the leader of the largest missionary-sending organization discouraged “looking at it through the lens of political punditry,” and instead focusing on accomplishing the Great Commission. “We need to see the world in which God has put us.” The IMB president said he anticipates the day when such sin and suffering will be no more, reminding those present, “As long as we’re in this world, remember every one of us finds ourselves in a foreign land, seeking a homeland—a city where we’re migrants, multicultural citizenry of an other-worldly kingdom.”
S O U T H E R N
Research committee created to engage new generation of SBTC pastors By Keith Collier Managing Editor DENTON With the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention’s 20th anniversary coming in 2018, executive board members have approved the formation of a research committee to determine future methods for strengthening “the convention’s relational strategy with its churches and the next generation of church leaders.” During their spring meeting at Camp Copass in Denton, April 19, the board also approved a new collegiate ministry leader and a missions partnership with the Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention in addition to other business. “We want to celebrate where we’ve come from; we want to always remember what God has done; but we also want to be drawn to the story of our future, what God has for us next,” said Nathan Lino, SBTC president and pastor of Northeast Houston Baptist Church, in his recommendation for the creation of the “Strategy Research Committee.” Lino believes the SBTC’s organizational structure is streamlined and positioned for success, so the focus will
be on updating the convention’s branding. The board approved the committee to work with a consulting firm to develop and implement a new relational strategy, beginning in 2017, which includes creation of a new logo and “updated materials to tell the story of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.” Funding for the work will come from financial reserves, as approved by the board’s administrative committee. “What we need to think about is the matter of how we explain ourselves to those who are not us,” Lino said. “How do we tell our story? How do we cast our vision? How do we help people in the coming years to understand who we are and what we are about? “We will get the leaders we need in the future because we tell our story well.” The newly formed committee will be comprised of Lino; board chairman David Fleming, pastor of Champion Forest Baptist Church in Houston; board vice chairman Kie Bowman, pastor of Hyde Park Baptist Church in Austin; board secretary Robert Welch, pastor of Rock Hill Baptist Church in Brownsboro; and Kenneth
B A P T I S T
T E X A N
Priest, SBTC director of convention strategies. Collegiate Evangelism Associate The board affirmed the appointment of Mitch Tidwell as collegiate evangelism associate for the convention. Tidwell, a member of First Baptist Church in Colleyville, has served at the SBTC since 2012 as a ministry assistant in the church ministries department and for a year prior as the coordinator for the Engage ministry, which sends college students on revival teams around the state each summer.
Tidwell shared his testimony with board members, noting his own conversion to Christ in his early 20s and his desire to see college students commit their lives to Christ. “What I experienced on that night is what I hope everyone on this earth experiences. You don’t experience the holiness of God and walk away unchanged. I want college students across Texas to experience that,” Tidwell said. Pointing to the 2 million students on nearly 450 university campuses in Texas, Tidwell said, “I believe the college campus is the most strategic mission field in the world.” Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention partnership The board affirmed a new missions partnership with the Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention to connect Texas churches with church planting and church revitalization needs
on the islands. While partnerships do not typically require board approval, the peer-topeer nature of the partnership between two state conventions and the fact that Hawaii is a destination location caused missions staff to request the board’s affirmation. “This may sound like an alluring situation, but it will prove to be trying and taxing; it’s a long way over there, and it’s expensive,” said SBTC Executive Director Jim Richards. “We wanted total transparency and your affirmation that this is something positive. It’s a tough work and a challenge, and we won’t be going there for a vacation.” SBTC currently has existing partnerships, which generally last three to five years, with NAMB’s SEND Seattle, the IMB in Ecuador, and Reach Houston. Missions staff are also working on a possible partnership in Indonesia. Other items: u The board amended an approved motion from its April 2015 meeting regarding the gifting of a conventionowned property to a ministry in Laredo, Texas. The property, located at 3124 Potomac Ct. in Laredo, was given to Laredo Baptist Network Ministry. The amendment allows “the 501c3 exemption to be obtained at any time prior to the conveyance of the property, rather than requiring the IRS exemption to be obtained within twelve months from the original motion.” u New requests from 38 churches seeking affiliation with the SBTC were approved along with 13 churches removed—eight of which had disbanded, four merged with another church, and one disaffiliated. The number of affiliated churches now stands at 2,569. u The board received a clean audit review of 2015 financials from outside accounting firm PSK.
SBTC Exec Director Jim Richards released from hospital after heart surgery
By Staff GRAPEVINE
SBTC Executive Director Jim Richards was released from the hospital May 11 and is now resting at home following a May 4 surgery to correct a congenital valve defect and an aortic aneurysm. The Richards family is overjoyed at the news and asks continued prayer as his recovery continues. Richards informed the SBTC Executive Board of the procedure during their April 19 meeting in Denton. During that meeting, the board approved convention CFO Joe Davis as acting executive director for the period in which Richards would be unavailable to perform his duties.
S O U T H E R N
B A P T I S T
T E X A N
SUPREME COURT RULING GOOD NEWS FOR GUIDESTONE, MINISTRIES By Roy Hayhurst GuideStone DALLAS The U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion May 16 ordering the government to work out a solution in the contraceptive mandate cases that would actually protect the religious beliefs of objecting religious organizations, including GuideStone and the ministries it serves. The court vacated the lower court decision that had gone against the religious organizations and ruled that
the government cannot fine the ministries as the cases proceed. No ministries served by GuideStone have been fined; a temporary injunction has been in place since December 2013, preventing the government from enforcing the mandate or applying penalties against ministries served by GuideStone’s health plans. Churches and closely related auxiliaries of churches were exempt from the mandate from the outset and were not at risk of penalties.
“We are thankful, first and foremost, to the Lord for this decision,” GuideStone President O.S. Hawkins said. “We appreciate the diligence of our legal teams in working through the legal and constitutional issues that were raised as well as for the men and women of the Supreme Court who took seriously their oaths of office. This is a good day for which we are thankful.” The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents GuideStone in the case, called
the development a victory for religious freedom. “The Court has recognized that the government has changed its position,” said Mark Rienzi, senior counsel at the Becket Fund. “It is crucial that the justices unanimously ordered the government not to impose these fines and indicated that the government doesn’t need any notice to figure out what should now be obvious. There is still work to be done, but today’s decision indicates that we will ultimately prevail in court.”
Hawkins noted that the Affordable Care Act has created challenges for the health care industry as a whole, but GuideStone continues to work on behalf of its participants. “The federal health care law continues to create challenges for all who provide medical plans,” Hawkins said. “Despite the headwinds caused by regulations out of the law, GuideStone remains committed to providing high-quality and affordable medical coverage in 2017 and beyond.”
Lovelady church experiences big God in small town By Amy Malott TEXAN Correspondent LOVELADY Approximately 100 miles north of Houston, the small town of Lovelady, Texas, covers only 1.1 square miles of land and boasts a population of 600. Despite its size, God is doing some big things in the life of Antioch Baptist Church. Tony Wolfe, serving in his first pastorate after a number of years as a music minister in Louisiana and Texas, came to Antioch four years ago and saw immediate growth. In his first
year as pastor, the church outgrew its sanctuary and has been meeting in the gym ever since. Wolfe said at times it feels like a church plant because each Sunday morning a team of people sets up and tears down for the service. Plans are in the works to build a new sanctuary and remodel older facilities to meet the needs of their growing faith community. In the midst of this numerical growth over the past three years, Sunday morning attendance has grown from 80 to 220, with the church
IMPACTING THE NEXT GENERATION By Jeff Steed Southern Baptists of Texas Foundation
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children.” Deuteronomy 6:5-7a [NKJV]
Fulfilling the great commandment to love God with all our heart, soul and mind calls for a commitment of all our being and gives purposes to our existence. Living out our faith models to the next generation an authenticity that perpetuates the forward movement of God’s kingdom. Toward that end, it is critically important for each generation to leave a legacy that impacts the lives of our children and grandchildren with the teachings of God’s Word. Scripture emphasizes the importance of generosity as a key component of the Christian life. How are we teaching this key scriptural value to the next generation? Our children best
learn about generosity through our own personal actions. As we seek to tithe and give to the kingdom, our children take notice. They see Matthew 6:21 lived out—“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Through our generosity for the sake of the kingdom, the next generation sees the passion of our hearts. They see our desires to financially support the ministries of the local church, to fund mission efforts around the world, to improve the lives of students in Christian colleges and universities and to help those in need. Through our generosity we impact the next generation as they see our love for God lived out through our stewardship of God’s blessings! Jeff Steed is director of planned giving for the Southern Baptists of Texas Foundation. For more information, visit sbtexasfoundation.com.
baptizing 140 people—55 of those in 2015. “There is nothing that will do more for the forward momentum of your church than baptizing people nine Sundays in a row,” Wolfe said. Lovelady is located in one of the more economically challenged counties of Texas, with about 21 percent living below the poverty line. Despite this reality and a major economic downturn in January and February of 2015, giving at the church increased during those months by 52 percent. Wolfe attributes this to a mighty work of God in people’s lives. Members are eager to give because they are seeing lives changed for the glory of God. “Whole families are coming to Christ and many others we [Christians] would normally write off,” Wolfe said. Creating a new mission statement is a seemingly small change, but the words “knowing Jesus and making him known through Christcentered relationships” have
become a rallying cry for Antioch members. Rather than develop new and innovative programming, staff encourage church members to build relationships with Christians and non-Christians as the most important way to disciple and evangelize. This simple, biblical approach is paying off in dividends in this small town. “When it comes to church growth, there is just no substitute for consistent, faithful gospel witness,” Wolfe said. Quick to say they are not solely focused on numbers, Wolfe
understands that every number or percentage represents a man, woman or child. “Other than the numbers, it’s amazing to see lives transformed, marriages saved and people with nowhere else to turn coming to our church,” he said. Wolfe prays that during their successes and blessings that everyone, himself included, remembers that it is all for the glory of God. Antioch Baptist Church is proof that sometimes big things do come in small packages.
S A M P L E PAY M E N T R AT E S AG E
R AT E
R AT E
6 . 80 %
5 .1 0 %
7. 80 %
5 . 80 %
9. 0 0 %
Notes: Rates are subject to change. Rates are based upon one-life.
JUNE 2016 CHURCH POSITIONS PASTOR u Meadowbrook BC, Rockdale, is seeking a FT pastor. Rockdale has a population of 5,500 and is halfway between Austin & Bryan. Must be strictly Southern Baptist and adhere to the 2000 Baptist Faith & Message. Resumes accepted through July 31. Mail to Search Committee, P.O. Box 996, Rockdale, TX 76567 or email [email protected]
. u West Shore BC, Sandia, (rural area; 30 miles N of Corpus Christi) seeks FT pastor with 5 years’ experience and a Master of Divinity. Submit no later than 06/17/2016. Parsonage available. Mail resume to: Pastor Search Committee, c/o Jim Bell, 150 FM 534, Sandia, TX 78383 or email to [email protected]
u New Colony BC is seeking a FT pastor. Send resume to New Colony Baptist Church, Pastoral Committee, 3086 Hwy 59 N, Linden, TX 75563 or newcolonybaptistchurch@ yahoo.com. u FBC Cameron seeks FT senior pastor. Ideal candidate will have prior youth minister or pastor experience. Strong preaching, leadership, communication and people skills. Competitive compensation package with available parsonage. Send resume in confidence to fbccameron@ outlook.com. u FBC Jewett is seeking a FT senior pastor. Send resume to [email protected]
or PO Box 263, Jewett, TX 78546. u Grace BC, Salado, is seeking a FT pastor. A minimum of five years’ pastoral experience is required. Resumes will be accepted until filled and should be sent via email to [email protected]
. com. Receipt of resume will be acknowledged. Salado is located approximately 50 miles north of Austin, TX. u FBC of Roby seeks FT pastor. Parsonage available. Send resume to FBC Roby, PO Box 460, Roby, TX, 79543 or email to fbcroby@ sbcglobal.net. u FBC Galveston is seeking a FT pastor who holds at least a master’s degree, has at least five years’ FT ministry experience as an associate pastor or senior pastor. For a complete profile, see:
T E X A N O N L I N E . N E T
fbcgalveston.com/fbc-galvestonpastor-search. All inquiries and materials should be directed to the Pastor Search Committee by email to fbcgalvestonpastorsearch@ gmail.com. u Eastside BC of New Braunfels is accepting resumes through August 1, 2016, for the position of bi-vocational pastor. Eastside is a small SBC church. Send resume with references to: kmlehmann@ satx.rr.com or Eastside Baptist Church, Attn: Kathy Lehmann, 983 Holly St, New Braunfels, TX 78130. u Eastside BC of McCamey seeks a bi-vocational or FT pastor. Please consider researching the area prior to submitting a resume. Parsonage and utilities furnished. Please submit a resume to Eastside Baptist Church, PO Box 786, McCamey, TX 79752 or [email protected]
. u Triple C Christ Cowboy Church in Snook is seeking a bi-vocational pastor. Please send resumes to PO Box 471, Snook, TX 77878 or email [email protected]
. u Luella FBC is seeking a bivocational pastor. Please send resumes to Patty Madison, chairman of Pastor Search Committee by email at pjmprinc@ aol.com or mail to 3162 State Hwy 11, Sherman, TX 75090. u FBC Flat is seeking a bivocational pastor. Parsonage included. Send resume to FBC Flat Search Committee, PO Box 87, Flat, TX 76526 or email to [email protected]
. u FBC Blum seeking bi-vocational pastor. Parsonage included. Send resumes to First Baptist Church, attn: Sam Howard, 207 E 3rd St, Blum, TX 76627. u Maplewood Baptist Fellowship, North Richland Hills, is seeking a bi-vocational senior pastor. Please submit resumes to tara@ maplewoodfellowship.org. u Lone Oak BC near Snook, TX, 15 miles from Bryan-College Station is seeking a bi-vocational pastor. Parsonage available. Submit resumes to [email protected]
or Pastor Search Committee, PO Box 300, Snook, TX 77878. MUSIC u Emmanuel BC in southwest OK is prayerfully searching for a FT worship minister to lead with passion our blended music and worship ministry. Send resumes
to EBC, 800 N Forrest, Altus, OK 73521 or email to ebcaltus@ sbcglobal.net. u Highland Park BC, Bartlesville, OK, a conservative, reformed Southern Baptist Church, is seeking a FT worship pastor to lead in a blended worship style service. Preferred abilities include choir conducting and media skills. Visit our website at highlandparkbaptist.net. Email resume to: office@ highlandparkbaptist.net. u FBC New Braunfels is accepting resumes for a FT music minister until July 15. Worship style is updated blended using contemporary instruments, praise team and choir. Responsible for organizing, managing, and leading the church’s music ministries. Seminary degree with music emphasis and church ministerial staff experience desired. Send resumes with references and video sample to musicministersearch@ fbcnb.org. u Main Street BC, Grand Saline, is seeking a FT worship leader. Must be able to play instruments, direct choir and move into community. Send resume to David@ churchonmainstreet.com or call Edell Davis at 409-489-5323. u Cornerstone Baptist Church in Lucas is looking for a pastor of worship & creative arts who is gifted instrumentally and administratively. He will have the ability to recruit, train and shepherd volunteers and execute technical, creative and musical aspects of the church. Contact Darrell Edwards, [email protected]
or 2242 W Lucas Rd, Lucas, TX 75002. COMBINATION u Connection Church, a growing church plant in Spearfish, SD, has multiple staff openings for combination positions in the areas of worship, small groups, children, youth, college, and administration. For details, please go to: http:// spearfishconnection.com/whowe-are/paid-positions. For more information, contact 605-5591020. u Calvary BC, Lufkin, is seeking a bi-vocational director of music and media, responsible for musical worship, planning blended worship music for Sunday services in collaboration with lead pastor’s sermons, directing
choir rehearsal on Wednesday evening, and managing basic media and technology. Please submit resumes to secretary.cbc@ icloud.com. YOUTH u FBC of Newton is seeking a FT youth pastor. Please contact Pastor Dean Ferguson at 409-3793381 or email resumes to pastor@ newtonfbc.com. u Indiana Ave BC in Lubbock is seeking a FT minister of youth. The qualified candidate will need both education (bachelor’s degree minimum) and experience (at least three years full-time). Over 100 students are waiting for you. Send resumes to tommy. [email protected]
. u Kirkwood Church, Houston, is seeking a FT student pastor to work with high school and college students. Contact Pastor David Mai 281-495-7783 or email resume to [email protected]
. u Community BC, Crosby, is seeking a FT student pastor. If interested, please send resumes to [email protected]
OTHER u Calvary BC of Pampa is seeking a FT families pastor. Primary responsibility will be pastoring a growing youth department as well as overseeing leadership in children’s ministries. Resumes may be sent to calvarybaptist@ cableone.net. u FBC of Troy is in need of paid nursery workers. Nursery workers need to be at least 18 years of age and available to work on Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings, Wednesday evenings and would occasionally be needed for other special occasions. Workers can expect to regularly work 8-9 hours per week. If you or someone you know would be interested in this position, please contact the church office at 254-938-2582 or [email protected]
for an application. u Panhandle Baptist Association in Guymon, Oklahoma is seeking an associational missionary. We would consider a bi-vocational/semi-retired individual. Send resumes to PBA; Attn. A.M. Search Committee, 221 NE 12th St, Guymon, OK 73942 or [email protected]
Announcements u Saundra (Snipes) Mayo was born May 5, 1937 in Brownwood, Texas and died April 29. She was a faithful member of Hillcrest Baptist Church, Cedar Hill, Texas. She was an outstanding basketball player for Early High School. She attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary while her husband was a student. She worked with youth in churches where her husband served as Minister of Education and Youth. She had a compassion for giving a witness for Christ. She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Benny. Children: Penny Varian and husband, Lee. Kitty Yntema and husband, Howard; brothers, Weyland Snipes and wife, Patti, Jack Snipes and wife, Brenda, aunt, Mickey Mathis and a host of nieces, nephews and cousins. She is also survived by 8 grandchildren and 5 greatgrandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, sister, Wynell (Snipes) Winslett and brother, Tommy Snipes.
PAID CLASSIFIEDS u CUSTOM SCREEN-PRINTED T-SHIRTS FOR CHURCHES Great prices and free shipping across the state! Small and large orders welcome. Printed by Christian owned and operated business. Call Southeast Texas Printing Co. 409-622-2197. u BUSINESS FOR SALE Christian publisher, Nets $47K,
Part-time from home. E-Z to learn. Will train. $24,900. Call 828-633-2737. u CAREER OPPORTUNITY Immediate earning potential. Be part of the rapidly-growing precious metals industry. Free training and ongoing support. Work from home. Rapidly growing international company. 888-644-4408. Call NOW!
ROLES CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
complementarianism in a post titled “Complementarianism for Dummies.” “Though the concept of male-female complementarity can be seen from Genesis through Revelation, the label ‘complementarian’ has only been in use for about 25 years,” Kassian wrote. “The need for such a label arose in response to the proposition that equality means role-interchangeability (egalitarianism)—a concept first forwarded and popularized in evangelical circles in the 1970s and 1980s by ‘Biblical Feminists.’” Kassian debunked the myth that complementarians consider women inferior to men. “Essentially, a complementarian is a person who believes that God created male and female to reflect complementary truths about Jesus,” Kassian wrote. ”That’s the bottom-line meaning of the word. Complementarians believe that males were designed to shine the spotlight on Christ’s relationship to the church (and the LORD God’s relationship to Christ) in a way that females cannot, and that females were designed to shine the spotlight on the church’s relationship to Christ (and Christ’s relationship to the LORD God) in a way that males cannot. Who we are as male and female is ultimately not about us. It’s about testifying to the story of Jesus. We do not get to dictate what manhood and womanhood are all about. Our Creator does.” Alexander Strauch, in his book Men and Women, Equal Yet Different: A Brief Study of the Biblical Passages on Gender, describes the disparate views on gender within Christendom as an “emotionally charged controversy that divides churches and denominations worldwide.” Still, he said, the gender roles debate is an issue from which no
S O U T H E R N
B A P T I S T
T E X A N
one can hide and one which no one should try to avoid. Strauch points out that each view is represented by a major organization—complementarianism by CBMW and egalitarianism by Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE). CBE says it exists “to promote biblical justice and community by educating Christians that the Bible calls women and men to share authority equally in service and leadership in the home, church and world.” The group formed on Jan. 2, 1988, led by Gilbert Bilezikian, W. Ward Gasque, Stanley Gundry, Gretchen Gaebelein Hull, Catherine Clark Kroeger, Jo Anne Lyon and Roger Nicole.
INTERPRETING SCRIPTURE Complementarians draw their convictions on role distinctions from the “plain, literal, straightforward teaching of the Bible on gender,” Strauch argues in Men and Women, Equal Yet Different. Patterson echoed Strauch’s view, saying a natural reading of Scripture is the most appropriate hermeneutical approach to understanding what the Bible says and means. “If you read [1 Timothy with a] natural reading of the text, there is no way to get around what it’s saying,” Patterson explained. Complementarian scholars typically cite five key Scripture passages that define gender roles in the home and in the church: u Genesis 2 describes a prefall design for male headship in the home and the designation of the wife as a helper to her husband; u Genesis 3 describes the post-fall curse that women would have a desire for their husbands, which some inter-
In Their Own Words HANDLING 1 CORINTHIANS 14:34-35 AND 1 TIMOTHY 2:11-12
“While these two New Testament passages are often confusing to women, they have profound biblical truths. The command to ‘keep silent’ does not reflect a prejudice against women. God gifts women with the abilities to think and speak. The command is about order in the congregation. Women should not speak critically or judgmentally, but demonstrating submission to the Lord and spiritual leaders in the church, listen and learn. Most of us learn more when we listen with an open heart and willing attitude.” +RHONDA KELLEY NEW ORLEANS BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
pret as a desire to rule over or overcome; u Ephesians 5 instructs wives to submit to their husbands and charges husbands with the responsibility of leading and loving their wives— both in emulation of the relationship between Christ and his church; u 1 Timothy 2 prohibits women from teaching men or exercising authority over them within the context of the church; and u 1 Timothy 3 presents qualifications for overseers (commonly known today as pastors or elders) and deacons, indicating they are offices reserved for men (though some complementarians differ on whether women can serve as deacons). Egalitarians argue the institution of gender roles followed the fall and therefore are not what God called good. They propose that Christians should seek to overcome the distortion of roles, equating submission with inferiority. CBE claims that “the Bible, properly interpreted, teaches the fundamental equality of men and women of all ethnic groups, all economic classes, and all age groups, based on the teachings of Scriptures such as Galatians 3:28: ‘There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.’” Complementarians, however, interpret Galatians 3:28 as pertaining to salvation being available to all people and not role interchangeability. The egalitarian view that roles are interchangeable is essential to their belief that God calls women to the pastorate, a primary goal of the organization Women in Ministry, founded in 1983 by disenchanted Southern Baptist
women at the encouragement of the Woman’s Missionary Union, Christian Life Commission and several Southern Baptist seminaries. The group changed its name to Baptist Women in Ministry in 1995 and continues to promote women as pastors. Funding schools and churches include Truett Seminary at Baylor University, First Baptist in Austin, Wilshire Baptist in Dallas, Willow Meadows Baptist in Houston and Calvary Baptist in Waco.
BAPTIST FAITH & MESSAGE Southern Baptists have set as their statement of faith The Baptist Faith and Message (BF&M). First crafted in 1925 and revised since, the BF&M delineates what Southern Baptists have agreed to be the theological tenets of their faith, practice, and cooperation with each other and serves as a way to “define and defend its beliefs,” according to the study committee that drafted the revision adopted in 2000. In the BF&M 2000, Article 6 affirms the equality as well as the role distinctions of men and women in the local church. “While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture,” the document reads. There is no stipulation that women cannot serve in non-pastoral roles, and local churches exercise autonomy in their practice of employing women in non-preaching assignments. Article 18 affirms the equal value yet different roles God has ascribed to men and women, this time within the sphere of the family. “The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God’s
image,” the article reads. “The marriage relationship models the way God relates to his people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the Godgiven responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the Godgiven responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.” While the BF&M 2000 does place the role of pastor as assigned to a man (1 Timothy 3), the document does not include other aspects Scripture addresses such as the instruction of 1 Timothy 2:11 that a woman must not “teach or have authority over a man.” Nor is the debatable role of women as deacons addressed in the document. The BF&M is not intended to be a complete statement of faith or to have “any quality of finality or infallibility,” according to BF&M study committee.
COMPLEMENTARIANISM IN THE SBC SBC entities are guided by the BF&M 2000, which presents a complementarian view of gender roles. Additionally, several Southern Baptist seminaries have also officially adopted the Danvers Statement as a doctrinal document. Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Provost Jason Duesing, who serves as a board member for CBMW and editor for the Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, said, “As all the seminaries of the Southern Baptist Convention have reaffirmed their confessional commitments over the last two decades, … those who serve in and attend these schools are not left wondering where the institution stands and thus have great freedom to work within these standards.” Duesing said observers don’t have to look too far back to see that this was not always the case, and with ambiguity came confusion and theological drift. “These [doctrinal] statements serve as helpful guardrails that provide the minimal boundaries for cooperation and instruction as the seminaries seek to serve the churches,” he said. Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a CONTINUED ON PAGE 13
ROLES CONTINUED FROM PAGE 12
CBMW board member, said the Wake Forest school also affirms the BF&M 2000 and the Danvers Statement. “Both personally and at Southeastern, we affirm without any hesitation or reservation that God calls men to a leadership assignment—a servant leadership assignment—both in the home and in the church,” Akin said. “Men and women are equal in essence before God, but there are specific assignments and functions related to our gender both in the home and the church,” he added. When it comes to faculty at Southeastern Seminary, those positions that very closely approximate the office of the elder and pastor are also reserved for men. “So, for example, I would not have a woman teach preaching, pastoral ministries or theology,” Akin said. “I would never hire to a [church or seminary] leadership position an egalitarian. I would also never allow an egalitarian to teach a Bible study in a church that I was leading.” Speaking to an April 2016 conference on complementarity organized by CBMW, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. cautioned attendees to remember that a secular worldview currently shapes the viewpoints promoted on university campuses, what comes out of Hollywood and what is messaged to the culture. Referring to CBMW, Mohler said, “It’s a deeply subversive organization in all the right ways. As I tell people, it’s not a conspiracy if you tell people you’re doing it, and so this isn’t a conspiracy. We’re just very, very clear about the fact that what we hope for, teach for, pray for, preach for, raise our children for, is a recovery of all that Scripture presents as God’s design.” Among the most popular speakers at last fall’s LifeWay Women’s Leadership Forum in Hendersonville, Tenn., was
T E X A N O N L I N E . N E T
Southern Baptist Jen Wilkin, who has written blogs on women in church leadership positions but does not argue for women serving as pastors. More than a decade ago she began speaking to the practical application of the complementarian viewpoint, writing an Oct. 17, 2003, post for The Gospel Coalition titled “Pastors need women teachers (and vice versa).” “There is little disagreement among Christians that women can and should teach women,” Wilkin acknowledged. If the gift of teaching has been given to women, she asked, “How might a pastor properly value, cultivate and employ the gifting of women teachers?” A staff member at the Flower Mound campus of The Village Church, Wilkin went on to offer insight into how women can be a valuable asset in church life and a help to their pastors. She expressed a desire, too, for male leaders who will help train women leaders well so that they in turn can train other women well. “As those uniquely designed to speak truth to others of our gender, we need you to commit to help us ‘handle the truth’ with the seriousness and skill it deserves,” Wilkin wrote. “In doing so, you follow the example of the greatest Teacher who walked the earth.” The late W.A. Criswell, longtime pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, was described as a pioneer in utilizing women in ministry, according to a paper Susie Hawkins, wife of GuideStone President O.S. Hawkins, presented in 2010 as part of the Criswell Theological Lecture series. In addition to hiring women, involving them in lay positions and including them on the platform alongside their deacon husbands who led in prayer on Sunday mornings, Criswell actively sought the input of key women in his church on a regu-
lar basis, Hawkins explained. “He often prayed with the women staff members, spoke with them frequently and listened to their counsel,” she said. “And he was equally engaged with the women in the church,” she added, describing his use of a “women’s council” made up of leading women who were invited to meet monthly with the pastor to discuss matters related to the church. In a Jan. 20, 2016, post for the North American Mission Board’s sendnetwork.com blog, church planter Tanner Turley encouraged a similar approach to including women in key roles and listening to their input. “One of the best moves I ever made as a young church planter was seeing the game changing possibilities of ‘recruiting’ a godly, mission-minded young lady in our sending church named Abbey. She, along with our three church planting wives, proved to be invaluable assets for our team that moved to Boston to start Redemption Hill Church.” Kathy Litton, who serves as a national consultant for ministry to pastors’ wives and leads
Flourish, NAMB’s online equipping community for ministry wives, also speaks publicly about the value women staffers bring to Christian ministry. Litton affirmed Turley’s blog post, saying, “Women can strengthen the leadership team at church plants as well as existing churches. Their perspective, skills and heart for the lost will expand the perspective of the larger team that might be all male. Together they work to create informed and inclusive ministry to the community around them, which already operates in an inclusive way.” Julie McGowan, public relations leader for the International Mission Board, told the TEXAN that the missions agency seeks to conform missionary practices with the SBC’s doctrinal commitments. “On the international field, missionaries serving with the International Mission Board are required to adhere to a complementarian stance in every area of their ministry, including church planting, follow-up and discipleship, family ministry, and theological education,” McGowan said.
“In many cultures around the world, only women can share the gospel with women, and only women can disciple women,” making it essential for women to be able to communicate effectively, she said. In a local church setting, church leaders should recognize the giftings of women and help them find ways to serve their local congregations, Patterson said. “Churches ... have not always recognized the gifts of women and the appropriate ways they work within the kingdom,” she observed. “But, all the work in the church is not paid position work,” Patterson continued. “And I think we have not challenged women enough to let them see a vision—remind them again of all those things that we do as Jesus did them—behind the scenes and without compensation, without recognition, but just in ministering to human needs. We’ve kind of lost sight of that as it was exemplified in our Savior himself.” Candi Finch, assistant professor of theology in women’s studies at Southwestern Seminary, says Christian women have Betty Friedan, author of the feminist manifesto The Feminine Mystique, to thank for the notion that for work to be valued, it has to be compensated. Finch, a self-proclaimed former feminist, believes secular feminists “placed themselves as authorities over Scripture and viewed God’s Word as an instrument of oppression.” “Here’s the truth,” Finch said. “This is a very divisive issue in the church today, even holding a conversation with someone who holds a different view. “Our goal is to be obedient. So if you’re convinced that this is what the Word of God says, that’s the end—you’re obedient.” As complementarians hold to their convictions, though, Finch said, “We’re always to be ready to give an answer to the hope that we have, but we do it with gentleness and respect.”
In Their Own Words
In Their Own Words
“Don’t believe the whispers of the world or your own heart that your children are just getting in the way of something better or that they would be better off being raised by a different mother. They are God’s blessings to you. God chose you to be your children’s mom. He chose your voice to sing them songs, your imagination to tell them stories and your way to teach them to fold laundry or bake and fish and cook. The little moments of your presence—these are the things they will remember. They don’t want a perfect mom. They just want a mom who loves to be theirs.”
“Embracing womanhood came with embracing the gospel—being changed by what Christ did for me on the cross; being changed by the Holy Spirit; but also community. I don’t think I would have had a renewed mind if it weren’t for women walking with me, but also, equally, men walking with me. Having pastors to lovingly guide me in this but also to show me that all men are not like I think men to be. But for young women, my heart, as of late, is simply for them to believe that the Bible is true, and in believing that the Bible is true, also seeing that what God calls women to be is wise and good. I think the culture is trying to communicate to us that it’s not good, nor is God wise in doing and saying what he is. But it’s like, ‘No. The culture doesn’t define the character of God. God defines the character of God.’ So if I can submit myself under that, then I’ll actually experience joy and peace.”
WIFE, MOTHER, AUTHOR
POET, WRITER, HIP-HOP ARTIST
S O U T H E R N
B A P T I S T
T E X A N
WOMEN’S ROLES IN SBC FOCUS OF ADVISORY COUNCIL By Baptist Press ATLANTA— A diverse group of 18 women is studying the perspectives and strategies women in Southern Baptist churches bring to the Godgiven task of fulfilling the Great Commission. They comprise the Women’s Ministry Advisory Council appointed by Frank S. Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee. The council joins a list of advisory councils Page has appointed to provide insight into the needs, desires and goals of the many groups represented in SBC life. “We are excited about encouraging our leaders in women’s ministries across our convention,” Page said when he announced plans to form the council. “Women, we appreciate you, and you are not alone! “In each [advisory council] meeting, we have sought to educate and encourage various demographic subsets about the ‘proven and effective cooperative framework’ of our Southern Baptist Convention, foster open dialogue, and instill the essence of any and all concerns,” Page said. “We have sought to encourage confidence in the SBC way of doing missions.” Advisory council member Chris Adams, senior lead women’s ministry specialist with LifeWay Christian Resources and a member of Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tenn., praised Page’s efforts. “Many women in Southern Baptist churches do not feel valued as leaders though they want to make a kingdom difference,” she noted at the advisory council’s first meet-
ing. “The fact that the SBC Executive Committee has asked about women in our churches is huge. Thank you for affirming the value of women and encouraging the use of our spiritual gifts in ministry.” Rhonda Kelley, an adjunct professor of women’s ministry at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where her husband Chuck Kelley is president, chairs the council. “While the SBC has always valued the worth of women and followed the biblical guidelines for female roles in the church,” Rhonda Kelley said of the group, “there is a sincere desire to increase the involvement of Southern Baptist women in biblically appropriate ways at all levels of the convention and to provide the support services to maximize their service.” Kelley, a member of First Baptist Church in New Orleans, referenced LifeWay Research indicating women comprise about 52 percent of church congregations. Historically, she said, women have often been the majority in church attendance and in participation in service projects. Southern Baptist women are encouraged to participate in the council’s online survey at surveymonkey.com/r/ SouthernBaptistWomen. In addition, comments may be emailed to [email protected]
. Kelley described input from women across the SBC as “essential for the task force to complete its important assignment.” The advisory council will work throughout 2016 and present its findings to Page in an official report, expected to focus on ways to increase women’s participation in church and SBC life. The inau-
Women’s Ministry Advisory Council members in attendance at the inaugural meeting are, seated left to right, Chris Adams, Rhonda Kelley, Rhonda Rhea and Ana Melendez; and standing left to right, Jacqueline “Jacki” Anderson, Brandi Biesiadecki, Lourdes Fernandez, Elizabeth Luter, Trillia Newbell, Davee Ly, Candi Finch, Tabitha Barnette and Ashley Unzicker. They are joined by Frank S. Page. PHOTO BY ROGER S. OLDHAM
gural meeting was held Jan. 7-8 in Atlanta. Questions considered by the council at the first meeting centered on the ministries, training and resources the SBC provides for women; effective evangelistic methods and resources in reaching women with the gospel; any additional support women might need from the SBC; and recommendations regarding women’s ministry to be made to the SBC Executive Committee. Women from 14 states comprise the council, representing different age groups, stages of life, ethnic backgrounds, and ministry positions. Joining Kelley and Adams are: u Jacqueline “Jacki” Anderson, pastor’s wife, Women in Ministry director and execu-
tive assistant, Colonial Baptist Church, Randallstown, Md.; u Tabitha Barnette, pastor’s wife and speaker, Peace Baptist Church, Decatur, Ga.; u Brandi Biesiadecki, pastor’s wife, writer, speaker and women’s minister, First Baptist Church, Bartlesville, Okla.; u Linda Cooper, Woman’s Missionary Union president and a member of Forest Park Baptist Church, Bowling Green, Ky.; u Lourdes Fernandez, an attorney and a member of Riverside Baptist Church, Miami; u Candi Finch, professor of theology in women’s studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a member of Hope Church, Fort Worth, Texas; u Ann Iorg, wife of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary President Jeff Iorg
In Their Own Words WOMEN IN MINISTRY
“Neo-complementarianism is exploring how to apply the biblical parameters regarding gender while fully utilizing women and their giftedness in the local church. This is a good thing! Our seminaries are graduating hundreds of bright, well-trained and biblically astute women. Will they only have opportunities to serve in women’s ministry or children’s ministry? While I believe those are two crucial ministries for the local church, surely they aren’t the only ones where women can creatively use their leadership skills and theological education, whether on a staff or in lay leadership. “[We must] remain firmly tethered to Scripture. We cannot add more to Scripture nor remove anything from it. Like most pastors’ wives, I have worked in just about every area of the church with the exception of RAs! In 45 years I have never known one woman who intended to ‘usurp authority’ from the pastor or male leadership. I hope when women are excluded or passed over for leadership, it is on the basis of the biblical gender parameters (such as being a pastor or elder) or that she is simply not qualified for the position, rather than on a general suspicion of women trying to control men.” +SUSIE HAWKINS AUTHOR, SPEAKER
and a member of First Baptist Church, San Francisco; u Elizabeth Luter, wife of Southern Baptist Convention immediate past president Fred Luter and women’s ministries director of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, New Orleans; u Davee Ly, pastor’s wife, school teacher, speaker and Sunday school director at First Hmong Baptist Church, Morganton, N.C.; u Ana Melendez, Hispanic state women’s consultant and a member of Iglesia Cristo Es Rey, Bolingbrook, Ill.; u Mary Mohler, wife of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler and a member of Third Avenue Baptist Church, Louisville, Ky.; u Trillia Newbell, director of community outreach for the SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and a member of Redemption City Church, Franklin, Tenn.; u Rhonda Rhea, pastor’s wife, columnist and speaker, and a member of First Baptist Church, Troy, Mo.; u Myra Sermon, registered nurse and nursing consultant, and a Sunday school teacher at Grace Filipino Church, Woodbridge, Va.; u Ashley Unzicker, church history songwriter, rapper, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary student, and a member of The Summit Church, Durham, N.C.; u Angela Um, founder and CEO of Boston Academic Consulting Group, and wife of the pastor of Antioch Baptist Church, Cambridge, Mass.
T E X A N O N L I N E . N E T
COMPLEMENTARIAN WOMEN SERVING IN MINISTRY
BI O SKETCHE S :
By Melissa Deming TEXAN Correspondent
NANCY TURNER has served as a pastor’s wife almost as long as she’s been married. Married for 32 years, Turner and her husband, Terry, have served for the past 25 years at Mesquite Friendship Baptist Church (MFBC), a congregation that welcomes a robust female presence in service, while reserving the role of pastor to men. “God created man and woman as equals but with different roles.” Turner said, referring to God’s design for the home and family. “Male leadership carries over into the church. Women are not allowed to teach men.” Turner said her heart is to help women and children to draw nearer to God, a passion manifested in her role as the teacher of an adult women’s Sunday school class and a middle school Wednesday night Bible study. “Our church has women who serve as deaconesses,” Turner said. “It is not a position of leadership but one of service. Several of the ladies are married to deacons; however, that is not one of the qualifications for being asked to serve as a deaconess.” Turner said the role of deaconess at MFBC is simple. “We prepare the communion table, assist the female baptismal candidates, and make sure an adequate supply of baptismal and communion supplies are always on hand.” “On a personal note, I do not believe the role of a deaconess is the same as a deacon,” Turner said, referring to the biblical character of Phoebe in Romans 16:1. “Although the word servant is used in 1 Timothy 3:8, 10, 12, 13 to explain the qualifications of a deacon, I do not believe that Paul is recommending Phoebe in the exact manner. Whether you are a deacon or a deaconess, your primary attitude should be that of a servant.” ANITA WOOD has served as director of education and evangelism at Memorial Baptist Church in Spring since 2011 and has worked with SBTC’s women’s ministries since 2004. “My church is a very conservative SBC congregation, and
I am honored to serve them as staff,” Wood said, noting Memorial has two additional female staff members serving children. “There is a distinction among our staff titles, indicating their understanding of gender roles. Our church addresses male staff members as pastors and female staff members as directors. “Certainly all people are created by God equally; however, God established a chain of command and authority whereby families and churches remain healthy. Men are to lead their homes and serve as pastors of congregations,” Wood said, adding that if a man held her position, he would probably undertake additional roles excluded from her job description such as administering the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper as well as teaching men. “In my particular ministry as director of education and evangelism, I am consciously aware of my role and responsibilities,” Wood said. “I serve at the pleasure of my church and my pastor, seeking to honor him as the ultimate Godordained authority for this local body of Christ. I feel free to discuss matters with him, and he listens to my ideas and opinions. Should we ever disagree, I willingly submit to his authority and position.” “For example, in staff meetings I have opportunity to share from a female perspective. This offers insight into families and church members that broadens our collective understandings. When I am with our congregation, I intentionally address our pastors by their titles—Pastor Cliff or Pastor Scott—so as not to dishonor them before our people. I want my speech to be honoring of their role and the godly men they are.”
ANN HETTINGER was called to ministry in a time when few women committed to full-time Christian service. In college and as a young married woman, she served a variety of churches in administrative roles. When her husband’s profession relocated them to the northern U.S., Hettinger served as a church secretary to a medium-sized church, where she was the only full-time staff member. “The daily run of activities initiated at my desk, and God was my very present help in every moment of that journey,”
Hettinger recounted. When her husband’s job relocated them to the Northwest, she served a small church as education assistant for seven years teaching children. And when they later moved to Texas, God provided service opportunities in a large church. Believing Scripture is definitive concerning the male-only pastoral role, Hettinger said there are so many tasks women may fill that she cannot imagine “a woman not being able to match up her gift with some need.” “For over 30 years, God trained, moved, provided over and over again in my life to take all of these experiences and use them for the last 22 years serving families in public policy influence,” said Hettinger, who currently serves as the state director for Concerned Women for America. Hettinger believes the scriptural instructions related to pastoral roles in church do not apply to women serving in government roles. “Indeed, the Scripture is replete with examples of women who bear strong governmental responsibilities,” she said, pointing to Deborah in the Old Testament. “In my view, women bring to the public policy arena experience as unique and necessary as men bring. There is no governmental task that does not involve both genders’ consideration in the same way that we need multigenerational and multi-ethnic considerations.”
DEBORAH PEARLE had the privilege of leading her future husband, Bob, to Christ in high school. “Needless to say, it changed not only his life but mine as well,” Pearle said, recounting her journey as a pastor’s wife. Looking back over their 44 years of marriage, Pearle says her call to serve alongside her husband was a defining mark in her life. “There’s no joy like serving the people of a local church.” While Birchman Baptist Church in Fort Worth reserves the teaching of mixed audience roles to men, Pearle said her position as pastor’s wife has afforded her with countless service opportunities, including serving as women’s ministry director, playing the piano, leading children’s and youth choirs, teaching Sunday school and Bible studies, leading VBS, taking mission trips, mentoring young
women, and singing in the choir. Pearle considered each of these service roles as acts of love for Christ and her church family as well as a complementing function to her husband’s leadership role as pastor. “We miss the biblical meaning that Christ has for our homes when we take the position of equal authority,” she said. “Christ himself, who is the equal part of the Godhead, took a position of submission to the Father. His example sums it up for me. My flesh wants the recognition, but by taking the view Scripture explains, I have found tremendous joy, peace and satisfaction I never experienced when I believed the lie that I didn’t have to submit.”
MELANIE LENOW has fulfilled many roles in her lifetime—biblical counselor, student, pastor’s wife, and chiefly, mother to four children. “I have been incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to work alongside many women in my church and c o m mu n i t y for the cause of Christ,” said Lenow, who has a master’s in biblical counseling. “Each of my experiences has one common thread, though. Another very talented woman could step into my place at any given time and do an equally effective job.” However, Lenow believes differently of the role of motherhood. “Each child has [his or her] own personality, gifts, talents and struggles. God places specific children with specific parents purposefully. This means there is no other woman on earth who can mother my children the way God has created me to mother them. I am not saying I am perfect at the job, but in God’s wisdom he has placed me in that role,” she said. “He wants the mother and father to be the primary influence on a child’s life until adulthood. Therefore, if I am absent from my children, even doing other good things, I am missing out on the one job that God has given to me and no one else.” For this reason, Lenow believes motherhood to be the highest calling, whether a woman is mothering a biological or adopted child. Motherhood also requires making hard decisions about setting aside certain ministries for seasons. “I thoroughly enjoyed acting as women’s ministry leader at my church, but with the ages of my children, I
have had to lay it down for the season,” she said, appreciating the fact that God has used her circumstances to introduce her to new ministry opportunities such as working with the teachers and other parents at her children’s school, serving as costume organizer/ backstage manager for her church’s musical productions, and helping lead Locals for Life, a pro-life organization based in Fort Worth.
SUSIE EDWORTHY, current IMB missionary, felt called to ministry in the 7th grade—a role she thought would be fulfilled as a pastor’s wife. But while working on her master’s in religious education alongside her husband, Mark, God confirmed their call to the mission field. “God used many experiences from my upbringing as well as current challenges to show me his calling to serve overseas,” she said. “I was excited that I could be a woman and have a great role in reaching the world. I heard a missionary woman share her experiences as wife and mom and how that impacted the kingdom. Throughout this time, though, I never felt that my calling was secondary nor limited.” While noting that Scripture teaches different roles for the genders in both the church and home, Edworthy said, “That’s never really been a struggle for me as I’ve seen how God wanted me to use my gifts that he gave, and he’s provided ways for me to do that.” Even as an international missionary, Edworthy said her role as a full-time mother has opened doors unique to her. “During the years, I’ve been able to be active in the schools where my kids attended as well as some other schools. “I’ve also seen great potential to have impact on the lives of women. I haven’t seen my role limited because I wasn’t a male but always felt it was different. Having a chance to disciple women through the years has been great,” she said, referring to one of the roles she enjoys most—influencing younger missionaries. “I’ve never seen different as lesser but have tried to enjoy where God has planted me and to take advantage of the opportunities he gives. I’ve seen that there have been times that I’ve had ministry because I was a woman.”
S O U T H E R N
B A P T I S T
T E X A N
EVANGELICALS GATHER FOR TWO-DAY CONFERENCE ON COMPLEMENTARIANISM By Sharayah Colter News Writer LOUISVILLE, Ky. Twenty-seven leaders in the evangelical community gathered to address attendees of the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood’s (CBMW) Together for the Gospel pre-conference April 11-12 in Louisville, Ky. The conference, themed “The Beauty of Complementarity,” was designed to give attendees a chance to hear from an array of voices on complementarianism—the theological viewpoint held by Southern Baptists and many other evangelicals that distinguishes men from women in regard to roles and functions while ascribing equal value to both genders. The conference topic was not without controversy, with a large portion of those posting to the official social media hashtag #CBMW16 criticizing CBMW organizers for promoting patriarchy and limiting women’s involvement in certain church and family roles. Speakers, however, stood firm in their alignment with complementarianism, citing biblical texts that shape the view and noting their recognition that the issue of gender roles is one wrought with controversy. “As we gather in this room, I am reminded how counter-cultural this very event is,” Jason Allen, president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, said at the outset of his 15-minute talk. CBMW tasked Allen with addressing complementarianism and the disappearance of men. Allen cited statistics demonstrating that men no longer dominate the workforce, that one-fifth of able-bodied men
are unemployed, and that 60 percent of both college- and master’s-level graduates are female. While these statics are telling about society and culture, Allen said what he most wants to examine is the state of the home and church. “Regrettably … we acknowledge and we see around us that practically speaking, many of our churches are practically bereft of male leadership,” Allen said. “And many churches abide in a subtle fog over what biblical manhood should look like. In many of our churches, biblical men are like corks of testosterone bobbing in ponds of estrogen. “We have to acknowledge that pop evangelicalism has not done much to help. Even within the church, much of the emphasis on manhood has not been very helpful at all, and it sends us—encourages us— toward two different erroneous poles. One of these poles has said in essence to be a better man, to be a better Christian man, men should become more like women: more thoughtful, more caring, more romantic, always mindful of expressions of romance and dutifully carrying them out. The other pole, alternately, at times sounds much like a beer commercial, frankly, glorifying machismo, gruffness and honoring the strong arm. Through this, the church must recover biblical manhood, Christian masculinity—what we might think of as ‘sanctified testosterone.’” Allen went on to offer five practical ways to foster the reappearance of biblical manhood in the church and home, including frankly telling a church when a qualified man
In Their Own Words I S C O M P L E M E N TA R I A N I S M RESTRICTIVE?
“I can’t speak to every potentiality in the local church, but I can say this: the idea that complementarians are behind a cultural eight-ball thanks to the teaching of Jesus and his apostles is a non-starter. The design of God for the church is sufficient and glorious. This means Titus 2 ministry; this means calling singles to serve God in a kaleidoscope of doxological vocations (1 Cor. 7); this means training men to be shepherds of their home; this means mothers loving the biblical vocations of child-raising and homemaking, and much more. There’s no new word for us when it comes to these matters. God’s design for men and women in all its particulars is unbeatable. It not only is impressive in design, it is created for experiential joy.” +OWEN STRACHAN PRESIDENT, COUNCIL FOR BIBLICAL MANHOOD & WOMANHOOD
Southwestern Seminary women’s studies professor Candi Finch (second from right) shares her views on women in ministry during a panel discussion at CBMW’s pre-conference at T4G. PHOTO BY SHARAYAH COLTER
is not available for a position rather than playing “word games” in changing titles so that a woman can fill the role out of pragmatism. Trillia Newbell, a freelance writer and author who serves on staff with the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, gave her testimony to the group of how she came to leave feminism and embrace complementarianism. Newbell said she grew up a liberal “holiday Christian” who was fully prochoice and held Oprah as her role model. Newbell said after she was saved in 1998 at the age of 19, God changed the entire course of her life. “Something radical happened to my perceived notions of rights when God captured my heart with his gospel. Nothing was the same,” Newbell said. “As my heart began to be transformed, so was my worldview. “I don’t have a strong desire to fight with the world or to fight with feminists or anyone. My desire is to proclaim Christ. He gave me new life, and I know that he can do that for anyone—
anyone listening, anyone out there, anyone you’re reaching out to. He does it. He transforms hearts. He transformed mine.” Courtney Reissig, author of The Accidental Feminist, also gave her testimony during the conference, explaining how the Lord turned her once-rebellious heart toward a complementarian mindset. She described the journey to complementarianism as a “bumpy one,” and recalled that while her Christian family practiced the Bible’s teaching in that respect, she did not grow up knowing the term. Ultimately, God used her family and his Word to solidify in her mind an understanding that all humans are created equal as image bearers of God but that men and women have distinct roles. Heath Lambert, executive director at the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors and associate professor of biblical counseling at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, also spoke, reminding attendees of the words of Psalm 119:37: “Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things.” Tying the
In Their Own Words FINDING PLACES TO SERVE IN THE CHURCH
“If our churches would help women look at how they’re gifted— their personalities, their experiences—[and say], ‘Okay, based on this let’s see where you can best minister and fit into the kingdom,’ so that whether you’re paid or not, you get a sense that I am actually a valuable part of this whole church, and I fit my little puzzle piece. Churches [need to] affirm women for who God’s created them to be. We may have a fantastic Bible teacher. Let’s put her in the right place to be able to take women to the deep things of God.” +TERRI STOVALL SOUTHWESTERN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
verse to the current trends, even among pastors, of looking at pornography, Lambert talked about how counter-complementarian the specific sin is. “If you look at pornography, you are not a complementarian,” Lambert said. “Everything about pornography undermines everything about complementarity.” During a panel discussion, Southwestern Seminary’s Candi Finch, a theology professor in women’s studies, was asked what gender role-related issues arise in the classroom where she trains women for future ministry. “I’ve been distressed of late because while I’m excited that we’re encouraging women to do what they are biblically encouraged to do, I think some complementarians have gone too far,” Finch answered. Referencing 1 Timothy 2, she addressed those who claim that “as long as a woman is not authoritatively teaching, she can do whatever she would like in the church.” “They’re saying as long as she is not the pastor, she’s not the authoritative teacher. That’s not what that Greek word didasko means. There’s not authoritative teaching and unauthoritative teaching,” Finch said, adding that such a distinction is unhelpful and unbiblical. Also speaking during the pre-conference were Gavin Peacock; Thomas White; Danny Akin; Grant Castleberry; Anthony Moore; Sam Allberry; John MacArthur; and John Piper, one of the CBMW’s founders and co-editor of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, a foundational book on complementarianism. Video of the sessions can be viewed at http://cbmw. o r g /u n c a t e g o r i z e d / 2 0 1 6 cbmw-conference-media.
T E X A N O N L I N E . N E T
CBMW PRESIDENT JUXTAPOSES WORLD’S VIEW OF GENDER & ROLES WITH SCRIPTURE’S
By Sharayah Colter News Writer LOUISVILLE, Ky. Owen Strachan, president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW), said that instead of a culture thriving thanks to movements of feminism and egalitarianism, society is crumbling because of them. In a message April 11 at CBMW’s conference on “The Beauty of Complementarity,” Strachan pointed to the rise in marital separation and divorce and the effects of “hookup culture” on college campuses as just two areas of society negatively impacted by movements of the previous century. “This is in the age, by the way, of the great social experiment that has seemingly triumphed over the kind of viewpoint that we are talking
about in this conference. This is supposed to be when our culture is enjoying the spoils of egalitarianism and feminism,” Strachan said. “Instead, young men and women are experiencing profound heartbreak, are on all sorts of medication, need hours of counseling. And we have to realize this is not a successful revolution.” In rapid-fire fashion, Strachan offered 10 thoughts on how important complementarity is to human flourishing, juxtaposing things the world says with responses from a biblical worldview. Of the 10, Strachan first touched on the creation order. “The world says that there is no such thing as hard and fast manhood and womanhood,” Strachan said. “Complementarity says, in response, the man and the woman are God’s
own invention. We have been taught that the age of creation is the preeminent matter in Genesis 1. … But please note this, in Genesis 1, the apex of creation is not [the earth]. It is man and woman. It is male and female. That is the apex of God’s superintelligent design, his creative work. It’s not the trees. It’s not the Grand Canyon. It’s man and woman. That is God’s masterpiece. What does that tell us about whether manhood and womanhood are important? Does that perhaps signal something to us in our theological systems about how we should think about anthropology?” Strachan gave three specific replies he would suggest offering to those who argue that issues of manhood and womanhood are trivial and less important in the grand scheme of theological doctrines.
In Their Own Words A P P LY I N G C O M P L E M E N TA R I A N I S M I N T H E C H U R C H
“I am aware of some debates as to how exactly complementarianism should be fleshed out when it comes to the appropriate roles that women may fill in a local church. The bottom line for me is I will speak definitely where the Bible speaks, and I will show grace and allow for differences where the Bible does not speak. I do think the Bible speaks very clearly that men are to be in a leadership position in the church, and there should never be any question about that. I also think that men should be instructed by men. I do not think it wise to have women teaching mixed classes. I also think it is unwise, and unbiblical, to ever have a woman fill the pulpit in an authoritative teaching posture that one would connect with the pastor. However, 1 Corinthians 11 is in the Bible! Therefore, are there appropriate times where women can speak in the gathered congregational setting? The answer is absolutely yes. I would have no difficulty with a woman praying, sharing a testimony, serving the Lord’s Supper or even baptizing another woman or a girl. I find nothing in the Bible that reserves the latter two to men. I think the issue is one of the authoritative teaching positions in the local church. That is something that a woman should not do.” +DANNY AKIN SOUTHEASTERN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
“Now the gospel is paramount for Christians,” Strachan said. “Christ is our head, but even in speaking of that language, I’m using complementarian verbiage. Am I not? If somebody says to you within the church that manhood and womanhood are really not that important—‘they’re nice little doctrines that if you want to kind of geek out and focus on those, we can have a club for people who are hopped up on manhood and womanhood, but the rest of us really aren’t going to focus on that stuff’—you tell them these three things: 1 No doctrine of the Word of God is small. No doctrine. None of it is unimportant. God doesn’t give you a ranking system in Scripture for any doctrine. You don’t have the privilege, you don’t have the right, to rank any doctrine. 2 Humanity is the apex of creation. 3 If we even say, ‘The gospel is foremost in our thinking,’ which is true, which I affirm, it is. What is the gospel but the message—the eternal message—the undying truth that Jesus died for his bride? You could say it this way: ‘The gospel has a complementarian structure. Complementarity is not the gospel, but the gospel cannot be vacuumed out of this complementarian structure. It is not possible for us to do if we will hold to what the Word of God teaches.’” Strachan explained that the church is not formless nor its shape open to interpretation, but Scripture prescribes how it should operate. “We recognize the teaching from Scripture on church leadership as a blueprint,” Strachan
said. “It is not an office that Paul prohibits women from holding in 1 Timothy 2; it is a function. He does not say women cannot be an elder. He says that he does not permit a woman to teach a man or exercise authority over him. We need to hold fast to this teaching. Brothers and sisters, hear me clearly: My eyes are wide open. We are battling on this point today. We hold this—it can feel like, ‘Oooo, that’s a bridge too far.’ But it is a function. Go back to the Scriptures. Don’t take my word for it. Search them. Is this what Paul prohibits? “If this sounds too rough to you, then I fear that you may need to work out your submission to Scripture because this is basic Bible teaching when it comes to complementarity. Of course we also must say this, that if women are not teaching in the church, then it is being unfaithful to God’s plan. Women must train women, right, per Titus 2? Sometimes people say to me, ‘As the president of CBMW, do you support women teaching in the church?’ And I say, ‘If women are not teaching in the church, something is terribly misfiring.’ Women are called to train other women, especially in homemaking, discipleship, in building a home, in managing a home— these are things that are highlighted by Paul in Titus 2.” In addition to serving as CBMW president, Strachan works as associate professor of Christian theology and church history at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City. Video of his session at the CBMW conference can be viewed at cbmw.org.
In Their Own Words R I S E O F “ N E O - C O M P L E M E N TA R I A N I S M ”
“Since the time at which God first gathered a people for himself, there have always been doctrinal ebbs and flows with the rise of a new generation, and sometimes with greater faithfulness than the generation prior. Such is the case in the present as a new generation of evangelicals work to define who they are and what they believe. As is the case with all theological discussions that count, thankfully regardless of generational change, they all boil down to the same question: What does the Scripture say? So, for ‘Neo’ type movements of yesterday, today, or tomorrow, the issue of “what is truth?” remains. For example, regardless of what the culture or one’s personal experience may claim, each generation will need to wrestle with 1 Timothy 2:12-14 and its clear connection to pre-fall creation account in Genesis 1-2. This is why I remain thankful for the work of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and their relentless efforts to present and re-present wonderful engagement on these issues at both the scholarly and basic levels.” +JASON DUESING MIDWESTERN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
S O U T H E R N
B A P T I S T
Resources for further study of complementarianism and related issues BOOKS 1 Biblical Womanhood in the Home edited by Nancy DeMoss (Crossway, 2002) | This book calls women to return to godly womanhood with insight from Nancy DeMoss, Susan Hunt, Mary Kassian, Carolyn Mahaney, Barbara Hughes, P. Bunny Wilson, and Dorothy Patterson, 2 Divine Design: An Eight-Week Study on Biblical Womanhood by Nancy DeMoss and Mary Kassian (Moody, 2012) | A study-style book written to challenge and encourage women to understand and embrace the design for who God created them to be.
3 Mixed Ministry by Sue Edwards, Kelley Mathews, and Henry J. Rogers (Kregel, 2008) | Two Dallas Theological Seminary professors team up with a corporate chaplain to explore common and thorny issues, advising how staff and lay leaders can develop healthy working partnerships in their ministries. 4 Womanhood Revisited: A Fresh Look at the Role of Women in Society by Anne Graham, (Christian Focus Publications, 2002) | With consideration of how expectations of women have changed throughout history, the author considers current challenges to living in cooperation and not competition with men, equal in value, yet different in purpose.
5 Biblical Foundations for Manhood and Womanhood edited by Wayne Grudem (Crossway, 2002) | A layperson’s guide to understanding gender role differences. 6 50 Crucial Questions: An Overview of Central Concerns about Manhood and Womanhood by John Piper and Wayne Grudem | This booklet is available as a free PDF download online (cbmw.org/topics/ complementarianism/50-crucialquestions) and covers the main points of the popular and lengthy volume, 7 Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, in a concise manner.
8 Ministry in the New Marriage Culture edited by Jeff Iorg (B&H, 2015) | Worth the introduction alone, Iorg pulls together experienced ministers to address biblical and theological foundations on marriage and sexual ethics, with models and methods to guide pastors and laity to address problems they face in a today’s culture.
9 Women in the Church: Interpretation and Application of 1 Timothy 2:9-15 edited by Andreas Köstenberger and Thomas R. Schreiner (Crossway, 2016) | The book offers a definitive statement of the complementarian interpretation of the passage on the role of women in the church.
q Jesus and the Feminists: Who Do They Say That He Is? by Margaret Köstenberger (Crossway, 2008) | This survey of feminist scholars reveals how they interpret Scripture related to Jesus and his view of women. w God’s Design for Man and Woman: A Biblical-Theological Survey by Andreas and Margaret Köstenberger (Crossway, 2014) | With an academic approach and practical application, the authors tackle current issues and accompanying hermeneutical fallacies.
e Women Leading Women, the Biblical Model for the Church by Jaye Martin and Terri Stovall (B&H, 2009). The book addresses the biblical paradigm for women’s leadership in the church and encourages women as they lead and train other women, engage the culture and involve other women in ministry.
be a man or a woman abounds, Strachan and Peacock explore the Scriptures to help readers understand God’s grand design for manhood and womanhood. Different, A Brief Study of the Biblical Passages on Gender by Alexander Strauch (Lewis & Roth Publishers, 1999) | This short book was written with those in mind who would like to know more about biblical teachings on gender roles but who don’t have time to read lengthy volumes on the subject.
Feminine Faith in a Feminist World by Carolyn McCulley (Moody Press, 2008) | Drawing from her experience in the feminist world, the author explains the three waves of feminism to show how they hindered God’s vision for women.
biblicalwoman.com | Biblical Woman, the online home of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Women’s Programs, offers a website including a blog, a host of resources and information about education and events pertaining to women.
t Women on Life edited by Trillia
flourish.me | Flourish is the home of the North American Mission Board’s equipping community for ministry wives. Their website is a blog that focuses on family, ministry and spiritual growth through the lenses of a variety of writers.
i The Accidental Feminist: Restoring Our Delight in God’s Good Design by Courtney Reissig (Crossway, 2015) | This book recounts the journey of a wife, mom and writer from “accidental feminisim” to a biblical view of womanhood. o The Role of Women in the Church by Charles Ryrie (B&H, 2001) | Revised edition of a classic resource combining background on the status of women in early times and offers biblical exegesis related to marriage, celibacy, divorce and ministry in the local church. p The Grand Design by Owen Strachan and Gavin Peacock (Christian Focus Publications, 2016) | In a culture where confusion about what it means to
s Fierce Women: The Power of a Soft Warrior (True Woman) by Kimberly Wagner (Moody, 2012) | The author explains how women can use their strength to honor the Lord by honoring their husbands and cautions against the temptation to use strength destructively.
r Radical Womanhood:
y Women’s Evangelical Commentary on the Old Testament and uWomen’s Evangelical Commentary on the New Testament both edited by Dorothy Kelley Patterson and Rhonda Harrington Kelley (B&H, 2011 and 2006) | Comprehensive foundational commentaries on every book of the Bible written and edited by women for women with practical explanation of the complementarian view to equip lay teachers and Bible learners.
a Men and Women, Equal Yet
Newbell (Leland House Press, 2016) | In chapters by women from all walks of life, many of them Southern Baptists, the contributing authors make personal application of complementarian principles in their daily lives as mothers, wives of pastors, and activists in the prolife movement.
T E X A N
womenslife.sebts.edu | Women’s Life is the online home for all things woman at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. The website includes blog articles as well as information about education, events and mentoring. cbmw.org | The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, founded in 1987, is the flagship organization for the complementarian movement. It exists to help guide individuals and churches in understanding God’s design for gender, family, marriage and church.
JOURNALS cbmw.org/journal | Produced semi-annually by CBMW, The Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood is an academic journal that facilitates scholarly conversation on a variety of issues surrounding gender, family and church as they relate to aspects of Christian faith from church history and biblical study to systematic and practical theology. 9marks.org/journal/ complementarianism-the-localchurch | For its Winter 2015 issue, the 9Marks Journal focused their articles on ‘Complementarianism and the Local Church.’ The issue, which is 75 pages in length, can be found online in PDF, Mobi or ePub formats.
Learn more about complementarian viewpoint from Criswell College President Barry Creamer by tuning into Coffee with Creamer on Monday, June 20, at 6:30 p.m. or 10:30 p.m. on 90.9 KCBI-FM (Dallas-Fort Worth). Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes by searching "Coffee with Creamer," or visit barrycreamer.com.
T E X A N O N L I N E . N E T
S O U T H E R N
B A P T I S T
T E X A N
SBC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES ANSWER QUESTIONS ON MISSIONS FUNDING, ALCOHOL USE AND CALVINISM
Steve Gaines preaches at the SBTC’s 2014 Bible Conference. PHOTO BY ALLEN SUTTON
David Crosby (red shirt) visits with Southern Baptist disaster relief volunteers following Hurricane Katrina. PHOTO BY KAREN L. WILLOUGHBY
“I hope to encourage all our SBC members and churches to 1) pray for missions, 2) give financially to support missions, and 3) go on a mission trip.”
“Cooperation, to me, has a financial component, and my churches have always been deeply invested in the Cooperative Program and the special missions offerings.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: The TEXAN conducted interviews with each of the candidates for SBC President. The following is the second of a two-part series. Part 1 is available at texanonline.net and printed in the May 2016 edition where candidates discussed their priorities, tent-broadening, ethnic and generational diversity and religious liberty. By Tammi Ledbetter and Bonnie Pritchett TEXAN Staff ST. LOUIS In interviews with the Southern Baptist TEXAN, three pastors nominated for Southern Baptist Convention president offered their viewpoints on issues such as funding Southern Baptist causes, the role of state conventions, the use of alcohol, and their views on soteriology. The TEXAN asked direct questions of David Crosby of First Baptist Church in New Orleans, Steve Gaines of Bellevue Baptist near Memphis, and J.D. Greear of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, after reviewing information available on their church and personal websites as well as interviews with SBC Voices. Messengers to the annual meeting in St. Louis will vote June 14 on new officers, with the possibility of additional nominees being offered when that item of business is considered on the afternoon of June 14.
MISSIONS STRATEGIES Missions and money were frequent concerns in light of funding challenges that triggered the severe downsizing of the International Mission Board. All three men pastor churches that are engaged in stateside and international missions strategies through Southern Baptist entities. “My commitment to missions is both cooperative and community-oriented,” Crosby said. “I hope I can give greater visibility to the necessity for community involvement by our churches,” he said, pointing back to the life-changing experience of hurricane relief. “[Hurricane] Katrina washed us out of our pews and into the streets and lanes of our city. If churches are interested in becoming relevant to their communities, we can show them how it is done,” citing ministry in prisons, nursing homes, and public schools, extending their reach to hungry children, recent immigrants, foster families and even strip club employees. The New Orleans church sponsors NOLA Baptist Church, a NAMB church plant and sends teams to Ghana in conjunction with its adoption of an unreached people group through IMB. Similarly, Gaines’ church has embraced Memphis by strategically partnering with 50 churches, parachurch and
civic organizations to serve in schools and hospitals, as well as offering free dental care and ministering in prisons, senior facilities, fire stations and apartments. “I hope to encourage all our SBC members and churches to 1) pray for missions, 2) give financially to support missions, and 3) go on a mission trip,” he said. Bellevue partners with NAMB’s Send North America church planting efforts in Seattle, with other efforts in New York, Massachusetts and Las Vegas, and Native American church planting in New Mexico, South Dakota and Montana. Internationally, the church sends teams to Nicaragua in partnership with IMB, as well as conducting ministry in Haiti, Honduras, Uganda, Guatemala, and Guatemala, networking with additional mission organizations. “Southern Baptists should be known for their excessive love toward their neighbors and nations,” Greear said on his website. “We must, like Christ, enter into the world that God loves, with the courage to speak the truth and the compassion to do so with grace.” The Summit Church where Greear pastors connects members to minister with neighbors who are homeless, orphans, prisoners, single moms and disconnected youth. Other examples of outreach include ministry to single moms, inter-
national students, trafficking survivors and assistance with refugee resettlement. Last year The Summit Church supported a network of 21 churches spread across North America. They also network with several mission organizations, including IMB, to deploy short- and long-term missionaries internationally, some of whom are fully funded by the sending organization. Strategic partners include NAMB, North Carolina Baptists, Acts 29, IMB and Fellowship Associates. FUNDING MISSIONS The manner in which Crosby, Gaines and Greear lead their churches to finance local, stateside and international missions varies—as does the way they’ll motivate Southern Baptists to be more generous. “I really believe in cooperation, and I believe the Southern Baptist Convention exists primarily to facilitate cooperation among our churches for the world mission of the gospel,” Crosby told Baptist Press. “Cooperation, to me, has a financial component, and my churches have always been deeply invested in the Cooperative Program and the special missions offerings.” He observed that many churches do independent missions, stating, “There is nothing distinctive about it. What is distinctive about Southern Bap-
tists is that they do missions together. That can and should remain our heart and our reputation,” Crosby said. Gaines believes CP is the financial lifeline of the SBC. “While it might need tweaking, it does not need to be tossed. We do not need to abandon it and digress to an independent form of supporting missions.” He draws the line at dictating percentages at any level. “Just as we must not impose on our churches a specific percentage to give to the CP as the ideal, neither should we impose on our state conventions a certain percentage as the ideal to forward to the SBC. Greear said he hopes his church has been a model in increasing both CP and Great Commission Giving, reiterating his call for the next generation of Southern Baptists to increase giving to cooperative efforts. “I believe we in the convention need to recognize that God is doing new things in our generation, and we need to create new pathways for new generations of Southern Baptists to get engaged.” COUNTING THE COST Crosby’s church leads in the percentage of undesignated receipts given through the Cooperative Program with 7 percent—higher than the average amount of 5.47 percent that SBC See Q&A, 21
T E X A N O N L I N E . N E T
the field instead of bringing them home.” Greear notes the Cooperative Program is his church’s primary means of funding the Great Commission. But, he said, “The SBC has recognized the category of Great Commission Giving as a legitimate way to support Southern Baptist mission. We
operates, not the church of Jesus Christ. All we do together must be placed on the table as we seek to evaluate our CONTINUED FROM PAGE 20 effectiveness and develop a strategy for the deployment of churches typically give, accordour resources going forward,” ing to 2013-14 records. Gaines’ Crosby added. church is set to give 4.6 percent In his appeal to pray, give this year while Greear’s church and go, Gaines said, “We need is committed to 2.4 percent. more people to pray for the specific needs of our SBC missionaries. We also need to encourage church members to have a personal stewardship revival and get their own financial house in order so they can give more to their churches, and enable their churches to give more to missions.” Gaines said, “We also need to enJ.D. Greear converses with locals in the courtyard of an Indonesian mosque. BP FILE PHOTO courage more of our people to go on short-term mission trips.” Such ventures will be used by the Holy Spirit to call more people to full-time missions or as bivocational missionaries. “There are two sides to the current —J.D. GREEAR struggle we’re seeing when it comes to Cooperative Program giving and the IMB downsizIn 2010, Southern Baptists need to respect the autonomy ing,” Greear said. Both involve approved a new funding cat- of churches in deciding where the younger generation of egory known as Great Commis- and how to allocate their re- Southern Baptists, who he said sion Giving, one of several ini- sources between these. must take personal responsitiatives advanced by the Great While calling for the kind of bility for the funding and opCommission Resurgence Task generosity he said C.S. Lewis erations of missions. Force. It includes all monies described as “to give away “The next generation needs channeled through the causes more than we can spare,” to sacrificially give, support and of the SBC, state conventions Greear also expects Southern serve in these entities, boards and associations. Baptist institutions at all levels and institutions,” Greear said. Crosby’s church allocates at to ask how they can get more As churches give away more least 10% of its budget to GCG, money to the mission. money to missions than they including gifts to New Orleans “We believe the Spirit of God feel they can spare, Greear Baptist Theological Seminary, is leading us to take radical mea- said, they can trust when New Orleans Baptist Associa- sures in response to the press- seeking the kingdom of God tion, Baptist Friendship House ing needs of the hour, and that first that “he’ll supply to us the and a local seafarer’s ministry— if we put his kingdom first in all rest of what we need,” citing all of which have ties to South- things, he will take care of us.” Matthew 6:33. ern Baptist ministry. Gaines’ church anticipates STATE CONVENTIONS FUNDING CHALLENGES giving 6 percent of undesigState conventions also play In SBC Voices interviews, all nated receipts to Great Com- three candidates agreed sup- a role in asking hard quesmission Giving in 2016, includ- port of missions is directly tied tions and making sacrifices to ing direct gifts to SBC entities, to an individual’s personal mis- get more of the money they associational giving and state sions experience, as going en- receive from churches to the convention ministries. mission field, Greear said. “We courages giving. At Greear’s church, GCG “Nothing so inspires mission need to be willing to ask unhas been at or around 10 per- work like going yourself and comfortable questions. For the cent for the last several years, lending a hand and a voice in sake of the Great Commission, including direct gifts to SBC a cross-cultural presentation we have to ask what we most entities as well as the local of the gospel,” Crosby said. “I need to accomplish the task association and state conven- encourage our people to go as the Lord Jesus has given us and tion ministries. direct the lion’s share of our rewell as pray and give.” “We all have things we faBut managing the shortfall sources to that.” vor, things that are exciting and is the immediate challenge at Crosby favors state convenhave local connections,” Crosby hand. Crosby said the best way tions becoming specialists in said. “But it is the unrestricted to do that is through the Co- planting churches among the money that funds the strate- operative Program. “Southern dominant people groups and culgies and visions of our entity Baptists got this right back in tures in their particular region. boards and leaders.” Gaines noted that associa1925, and it is still right today.” Gaines stressed the need to Crosby said, “We must for- tions and state conventions are encourage increased giving get turf wars. This cannot be a able to minister to the needs of “so we can put an additional power struggle. Lording it over churches in ways that the na1,000 missionaries back on one another is how the world tional convention is not able to
“The next generation needs to sacrificially give, support and serve in these [SBC] entities, boards and institutions.”
do. Similarly, seminaries and other SBC entities help churches in ways the local association and state convention do not. “The SBC will self-destruct if we digress to a society model of doing missions where every level is aggressively competing financially with the others,” he added. “We do not need to compete. We need to cooperate with each other and complement each other,” Gaines concluded. ALCOHOL USE Asked for their perspective on the interpretation of “freedom in Christ” in regard to the consumption of alcoholic beverages, candidates gave different responses in light of increasingly varied convictions within SBC churches. “I am a teetotaler,” Crosby said. “I don’t drink a drop. I think that is the best answer and the best position,” he added. “We do not need alcohol for medicine anymore. We have many better choices. We do not need it to purify water. Our water is pure. We do not need to consume alcohol. Its negatives far outweigh any imagined benefits,” Crosby said. He hopes churches will continue to teach abstinence as the best approach in regard to alcohol, adding, “I have always included warnings and sometimes prohibitions concerning alcohol use among church leaders.” Gaines said he doesn’t believe Christians should drink alcoholic beverages. “It is not a matter of ‘freedom/liberty,’” he said, adding, “I believe it is a matter of wisdom.” Noting that neither he nor his wife drink alcoholic beverages, Gaines said his reasoning is based on several points, including “the fact that it doesn’t take much alcohol to become intoxicated,” skewing a person’s ability to respond mentally and physically; and the abundance of other legitimate and less dangerous choices as compared to a time when wine was more sanitary than water and sometimes served a medicinal purpose. Furthermore, he said, Christians should not be “mastered” by anything, according to 1 Corinthians 6:12, citing the addictive nature of alcoholic beverages. “What one does in ‘moderation,’ someone else might do in excess,” Gaines added, warning against setting a bad example for others people. Gaines said he has asked his congregation how they would react if they saw him and his wife drinking wine with their meal at a restaurant. “Every time I’ve asked that question over the last 33 years, the majority of the people in our churches raised their hands, indicating they would be highly offended if we drank alcoholic beverages.” He added, “Frankly, I’m shocked at how many pastors say that drinking alcoholic bev-
erages is okay. It’s not wise, and it’s not okay. I pray that Southern Baptists never capitulate in this area.” Greear said he knows “sincere, godly Christians on both sides of the alcohol question.” He explained, “I know many who believe that this is an area where we should respect one another’s ‘freedom in Christ,’ and others who believe that while we are indeed free in Christ, considerations of wisdom and witness compel us to abstain from alcohol altogether.” As for him, Greear told the TEXAN, “All things considered, I choose to abstain from consumption myself.” INFLUENCE OF CALVINISM Asked how the ongoing debate over Calvinism will affect presidential appointments, all three men offered assurances that the Baptist Faith & Message provides the theological parameters for selecting committee members. Crosby said he believes God is sovereign and humans are free and therefore accountable for their choices. Noting that the Southern Baptist tent has included both camps since the beginning of the convention, he added, “We have not considered these views as heresy.” “We can resolve to work together and love each other for the sake of the gospel.” Crosby stated. Gaines said he is not a Calvinist but has friends who are and can fellowship with any Christian who believes salvation is “by grace alone, through faith alone and in Christ alone,” that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and that in order to be saved one must “repent of sin, believe savingly in Jesus and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior.” “As long as a man believes these biblical doctrines and is an avid soul-winner, I can work with him,” Gaines said. Greear said he has never been comfortable with “the neat and tidy Calvinist or non-Calvinist labels,” but believes God’s work in salvation is “always prior, and that no man can say that ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.” Observing much in Scripture about “whosoever will may come,” he believes “we are to spread the gospel promiscuously and that our prayers and evangelistic efforts have real effect.” He said his church staff includes people “who lean more reformed and others who lean the other way,” and would personally prefer to be known for the gospel and the Great Commission than a particular stance regarding Calvinism. “The majority of Southern Baptists just want to love Jesus, believe and teach the Bible, and see people saved. That and the doctrinal confession of the BF&M 2000 should be our point of unity and our evaluative tool for leadership,” Greear said.
S O U T H E R N
B A P T I S T
T E X A N
RACIAL UNITY & THE 2016 SBC ANNUAL MEETING 2016 SBC ANNUAL MEETING HIGHLIGHTS
By Ronnie Floyd SBC President SPRINGDALE, Ark. When I was elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention in June of 2014 in Baltimore, little did I know God would take me through the open doors of addressing racial challenges in America. While racial unrest already existed in our nation, it was not until Aug. 9, 2014, and the tragic death of a black teenager named Michael Brown, shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., that we began to see this racial unrest erupt like a volcano across our nation.
God adjusted my path of understanding From my very first press conference as the newly elected president of the SBC, I began calling upon Southern Baptists to join me in pray-
ing extraordinarily and passionately pursuing the next Great Spiritual Awakening in America. When the Ferguson tragedy occurred, God burdened my heart immediately, adjusting my path of understanding. Politicians, corporate leaders, educators, religious leaders and pastors in America rarely initiate and move forward a positive agenda that leads to racial unity. We should seek to change this. While this path is still toward the next Great Awakening, God revealed clearly to me and anyone else that has been spiritually alert in America that one of the greatest sins in our nation today is the sin of racism. Jerry Young, Marshall Blalock, and the racial unity panel Immediately following my presidential address on June 14, we will move into our National Conversation on Ra-
CAN’T MAKE IT TO ST. LOUIS? W ATC H L I V E S T R E A M AT SBCANNUALMEETING.NET
cial Unity. Jerry Young, president of the National Baptist Convention, USA, and Marshall Blalock, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Charleston, S.C., will begin the conversation. Dr. Young will speak on “Where we are today and where we must go in the future,” and Pastor Blalock will speak on “The tragedy and triumph of Charleston, South Carolina.” From this foundation, I will lead a panel conversation on racial unity in America. During this 55-minute section of our Southern Baptist Convention, we will be joined by the following 10 pastors: u Marshal Blalock, pastor, First Baptist Church, Charleston, S.C. u Jerry Young, president, National Baptist Convention, USA u H.B. Charles, senior pastor, Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Fla. u Joe Costephens, pastor, First Baptist Church, Ferguson, Mo. u Timmy Chavis, senior pastor, Bear Swamp Baptist Church, Pembroke, N.C. u D.A. Horton, church planter, Reach Fellowship, Los Angeles, Calif. u Fred Luter, senior pastor, Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, New Orleans, La. u Gregg Matte, senior pastor, First Baptist Church, Houston, Texas u Kenny Petty, senior pastor, The Gate Church, St. Louis, Mo.
u David Um, senior pastor, Antioch Baptist Church, Cambridge, Mass. The entire Tuesday morning session will be powerful, so please do not miss any of it. All scheduled luncheons will occur following the dismissal of the morning session. You won’t want to be late! Tuesday morning will help set up Tuesday night One of the areas we will pray about on Tuesday night of the convention in our “National Call to Prayer for Spiritual Leadership, Revived Churches, and Nationwide & Global Awakening” is the racial crisis in our nation. How do we not do this when we are meeting within 20 minutes of Ferguson, Mo.? Pray now for this national conversation Would you begin to call out to God daily by name each of us who will be participating in this conversation during our convention gathering? See graphic (included with this article) and put in a prominent place and join me in this prayer initiative. The sin of racism is a spiritual stronghold in this nation and now is the time this wall must come down. As we repent of it personally, repent of it in our churches, and repent of it in our nation, we will perhaps see the next Great Spiritual Awakening in our generation.
T E X A N O N L I N E . N E T
HEALTHY CHURCH PLANTING STRATEGY REACHES GROWING SECTORS OF AUSTIN By Erin Roach TEXAN Correspondent AUSTIN High Pointe Baptist Church in Austin has implemented a church planting strategy that has yielded new congregations in a growing area of Austin in need of a strong gospel witness. A decade ago, when Juan Sanchez became pastor, High Pointe was not healthy financially, but the church decided that if God allowed them to grow, “we would no longer build auditorium space, but instead we would plant churches.” High Pointe committed to give at least 10 percent of its receipts to causes outside its walls to ensure they were not keeping all the money for themselves but by faith—despite financial difficulty—were modeling for the congregation sacrificial giving, Sanchez told the TEXAN. Their first church planting venture grew out of the handful of Hispanics that Sanchez was preaching to each Sunday before the morning service. They hired someone to lead the group, and it became an independent Spanish church. As High Pointe continued to grow, the church realized a large number of members were driving from Elgin and from Cedar Park and Leander, all of which were a half-hour’s drive from the church. “If we had people coming from those distances all the way to High Pointe, then clearly there was a need for gospel churches there,” Sanchez said. “So in order to care for our members well and plant gospel churches where our members felt there wasn’t one they could attend, we just started longterm deciding we need to plant
“SO IN ORDER TO CARE FOR OUR MEMBERS WELL AND PLANT GOSPEL CHURCHES WHERE OUR MEMBERS FELT THERE WASN’T ONE THEY COULD ATTEND, WE JUST STARTED LONG-TERM DECIDING WE NEED TO PLANT CHURCHES WHERE OUR PEOPLE ARE COMING FROM SO THEY DON’T HAVE TO DRIVE SO FAR.” — JUAN SANCHEZ, PASTOR, HIGH POINTE BAPTIST CHURCH IN AUSTIN
churches where our people are coming from so they don’t have to drive so far.” The leadership developed a church planting strategy that includes bringing someone on staff in a pastoral assistant role to learn who they are, what they’re about, how they’re structured, how they govern and what their philosophy of ministry is—“just getting to know our DNA,” Sanchez said. In the second year, the church planting resident develops a core team of members who will agree to help start a new congregation. The team studies what it means to be a church, studies a statement of faith and church covenant, studies how to live together as a church, and studies how to develop a culture of evangelism and discipleship. “It’s really just equipping them to understand what this might look like and the commitments that are going to be expected of them,” Sanchez said. In year three, they launch. In 2011, High Pointe launched Covenant Life Fellowship in Elgin, sending 30-35 people on a core team, and that church was selfsustaining by its second year. Then, for the church members who were driving from
northwest Austin—mainly Cedar Park and Leander— High Pointe turned to Ben Wright, who had served on staff for several years as an associate pastor. “Ben already knew our DNA, so we jumped right to year two, which was developing the core team,” Sanchez said. “The next step was planting the church. They were planted in February (2016), had their first public meetings in early March, and the Lord has really blessed them already.” Wright, now pastor of Cedar Pointe Baptist Church in Cedar Park, said the population in that area is growing significantly as people move from around the world to Austin’s technology sector. “Church planting hasn’t even begun to keep up with that need,” he said. The nations are coming to northwest Austin, Wright told the TEXAN, and “there’s an opportunity to reach people with the gospel who will have ways to spread that gospel back to countries that are very difficult to reach.” “I’m grateful for High Pointe’s leaders taking the risk of sending out a bunch of solid, faithful people for the sake of the
Members of Cedar Pointe Baptist Church, a church plant of High Pointe Baptist Church in Austin, gather on their launch Sunday, March 6. PHOTO COURTESY OF CEDAR POINTE BAPTIST CHURCH
gospel,” Wright said. “High Pointe isn’t a rich church by any means, and I have tremendous respect for Juan leading his church to act in faith for a cause infinitely bigger than his own church’s interests.” Wright said he has read in church planting literature that many, if not most, of the initial launch team members tend to leave the plant within three to five years. “By God’s grace, that didn’t happen in the plant High Pointe launched five and a half years ago, and we pray it won’t happen with us,” Wright said. “People who’ve already been part of the same church know what to expect from the pastor, and they know what to expect the church will be like. There aren’t nearly as many surprises, and that creates stability.” Sanchez compared church planting to getting married and having children. People want to wait until they’re ready, but they’ll never be ready, he said. “If you’re waiting until you’re ready to plant a church, you’ll
never plant a church,” Sanchez said. “It does require faith. It requires wisdom. You don’t want to do this foolishly. You have to count the cost.” Part of counting the cost is financial, he said, and another part is letting go of valuable church members to start new growth. “If we were to wait until we thought we were ready financially and leadership-wise, we would never do it,” Sanchez said. “So we have to pray about it, the church has to come to an agreement, and by faith we have to step out and do the Lord’s work.” Sanchez emphasized that no congregation has to plant a church alone. “I would encourage people not to reinvent the wheel but to get help that’s already available. The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention has a lot of good people who have wisdom and experience. So you don’t have to be an expert in church planting to plant a church,” Sanchez said.
S O U T H E R N
B A P T I S T
T E X A N
PRESTONWOOD PREGNANCY CENTER CELEBRATES 25 YEARS OF SAVING LIVES By Jane Rodgers TEXAN Correspondent RICHARDSON As nurse sonographer Laura Tatum employed the handheld Doppler, an infant heartbeat reverberated through the small room. The client’s boyfriend, sitting in a corner and scanning his smartphone, ignored the sonogram projected on the large screen despite his girlfriend’s attempts to get his attention. Upon hearing the heartbeat, the boyfriend suddenly looked up. Staring at the monitor, he exclaimed, “That’s a life!” That day, another abortionminded couple made a decision for life, one of 42,000 pregnancies preserved since the founding of the Prestonwood Pregnancy Center (PPC) in 1991. “A baby was saved that day,” said Leanne Jamieson, director of the center since October 2015. “We try as much as possible to do a same-day sonogram because that is often where a changed view happens. Statistics [confirm] that between 70 and 80 percent of abortionminded women, if they have a sonogram, will change their minds and choose life.” Jamieson’s route to the PPC was circuitous. After serving in women’s ministry at Houston’s Second Baptist church, Jamieson served in a similar role at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas. Following the death of PPC director Michelle Thames last year, Jamieson was invited to step in. “I bring a fresh perspective to the pregnancy world. I didn’t come up through the system. I asked a lot of questions,” Jamieson said, adding that her experience in women’s ministry has helped her take a “different look at things.”
“We deal not just with women here but sometimes with the men that join them, so it’s more of a family ministry than a women’s ministry.” The center’s focus is not just on being “pro-life,” Jamieson said, but rather also “pro-love.” This philosophy permeates the organization, as does intentionality about reaching the millennial generation. “Pregnancy centers need to evolve. The millennials are changing how they want to intake information. If they can YouTube it, they are not going to come to us for it. We want to develop a relationship. We want to be there and walk with them. And so that means we are here for the long haul if they will allow us to be.” Part of walking with millennials means still offering classes in parenting, but also digitizing publications, giving clients the ability to make and confirm appointments by text, continuing rewards programs for free car seats and diaper coupons, implementing downloadable computer apps and even installing a 24/7 crisis phone line. Jamieson said she expects the crisis phone line to be operational this summer. A new prayer app, Friends of Prestonwood Pregnancy Center, became available in early May. To address client needs, PPC has begun a mentoring program for young mothers involving career counseling, assistance in pursuing higher education, resume writing and interview coaching, including a partnership with Upscale Resale to help clients acquire outfits for job interviews. PPC is also in the process of developing partnerships with child care centers.
“We want to help the young mother more holistically,” Jamieson said. “We are not here just to give, but we want to help her with those tools … so that she can successfully manage life and this child.” The center also offers referrals to medical professionals, adoption agencies and other resources. The pregnant woman has three choices: abortion, parenting, and parenting by giving up the child for adoption, Jamieson said, noting that one in four pregnancies also ends in miscarriage. “Women will say, I cannot have this change my life. Well, your life has changed the moment you got pregnant. The question becomes, in what way is it going to change? We will talk to them about options.” One option is adoption. “We try to provide clients with the true picture of what adoption looks like. We will refer to several different adoption agencies,” Jamieson said. For women who choose to keep their babies but lack support systems, PPC has begun a new program called the Cuddlers, women sent out in pairs to visit clients after the baby is born.
With a paid staff of 9, the center depends upon its 8090 volunteers who commit to serve weekly at the main center or with a mobile sonogram unit. These volunteers, mostly client advocates, “are the hands and the feet of the ministry,” Jamieson said. “Without them, we would not be able to see the number of clients that we do.” That number is growing. In 2015, 2,800 clients received services and counseling at the main location and the two mobile units, the latter deployed to socio-economically underserved areas. Thus far in 2016, Jamieson reported, that number is on track to reach 4,000. Since 1991, the center has seen 62,000 women. Part of each client visit includes a gospel presentation by staff or trained volunteers. Not only does the client hear the gospel, but so does everyone who comes in with her. These “divine appointments” have resulted in more than 2,300 salvations since 1991, including 78 so far in 2016. PPC also offers an abortion recovery program called Hope Restored, involving a confidential small group Bible study lasting several months and meeting in the safe and
neutral location of the center. “The woman [who has had an abortion] needs to know that Christ died for her and that he forgave her, if she knows him,” Jamieson said. “Often her biggest issue is that she needs to forgive herself.” Prestonwood pastor Jack Graham, whose vision it was for the center, said in a May 6 radio interview on KCBI’s “Coffee with Creamer,” that the PPC is part of Prestonwood’s commitment to “engage the vital issues of our time: poverty, injustice, abortion.” Graham called PPC the “child” of a pregnancy center started at his former church in West Palm Beach, Florida. Remembering an occasion when he had preached against abortion, Graham recalled feeling God speak to him: “What are you going to do about it?” Thus the West Palm center was founded. “Prestonwood Pregnancy Center is an outgrowth of that,” Graham said, referring to the fact that he brought the ministry idea with him to Texas. On Mother’s Day, May 6, a yearlong celebration of the silver anniversary of the PPC began at Prestonwood. The stage of the worship center was adorned with blue, pink and white flowers representing babies and souls saved during the PPC’s 25 years. Pew envelopes provided the congregation with opportunities to give. A mobile sonogram unit in the church parking lot provided a glimpse of the work, as did the airing of a 25th anniversary video. For more information, visit prestonwoodpregnancy.org and download the free “Friends of Prestonwood Pregnancy Center” app at prestonwood.org/apps.