Last week I traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, to work with my fellow Southern Baptists on the SBC Committee on Nominations. We met in Nashville because Southern Baptists chose this location years ago to put its headquarters, most likely for geographical reasons (this fact has something to do with the consideration by the convention to change our name).
I was privileged to serve as chair of the Committee on Nominations. The SBC works this way: the president of the convention (Bryant Wright of Georgia) appointed two people from each of the 35 state conventions to serve on the Committee on Committees. This committee in turn nominated two people from each state convention to serve on the Committee on Nominations. That’s where I come in. I was elected by the SBC meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, last year to chair the Committee on Nominations.
We put together a slate of nominees to fill positions for the boards, agencies, and committees of the convention. The members will be elected by the convention meeting in New Orleans in June.
We worked really hard for two days last week and did the lion’s share of the work for this year.
Here’s what struck me. We had a meeting marked by prayerfulness, cooperation, flexibility, and love for God, the convention, and one another. I was not surprised but I was amazed. It was truly a wonderful sight.
Something else was just as beautiful. While we didn’t have people from every tribe, language, people, and nation (Revelation 5:9), we certainly came close. We were a wide variety of locations, genders, and ethnicities.
We nominated people to serve on the various boards who reflected the same demographics. I was struck by how we came together to recommend all of these different people.
What made this even more significant to me was the meeting of the pastors of my local association of churches this past Monday. We fulfilled the ideal of my Sunday School song: “Red and Yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.” When you see people often and know of their commitment to please God, you forget that they come from different backgrounds. You simply see what God has made them to be–new people in Christ.
How beautiful when red, yellow, black, and white are united by love for God and by the cleansing blood of the lamb. I am more proud than ever to be a Southern Baptist and to be part of God’s Kingdom.
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