Wednesday, February 4, 2009

SBC headed for extinction?

Nathan Finn from Southeastern Seminary writes on one of the major challenges Southern Baptists face: a lack of young leaders who are interested in getting involved. His conclusion:

This much I do know: we have to address our generation gap if the SBC is to enjoy a viable future as a denomination. Some already think the Convention is a dinosaur that just needs to go extinct, especially a number of folks in the under-40 crowd. Maybe they are right, but I am not ready to give up on the denomination just yet. I still think God has something for us to do as a Convention of autonomous churches. I continue to hold out hope that our best days lie ahead and that (Lord willing) my children and grandchildren can be a part of a great heritage of Baptist Christians who have been mightily used of God.
You can read the whole article here. I can attest that what Nathan observed at the National Convention was noticeable at our California State Convention last November also. There simply aren't many young pastors coming out to these events.

I found it helpful to read some of Nathan's reasons why the under-40 crowd is not involved. I also appreciated his reference to internship-minded pastors like Mark Dever and Johnny Hunt. This indeed is one of the keys to raising up a new generation of young, involved leaders: a focus on internship and leadership development.

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