Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A Band of Bloggers Selecting a Squad of Expository Exegetes

The only reason I began blogging was to provide an outlet for the voice of truth and reason regarding an organization I was affiliated with from 2008 to 2014. Since then the Crescent Crier has helped me disseminate information on numerous subjects, provided to me another pastoral outlet for cultural commentary (and other philosophical musings) and has served as a conduit to introduced me to some dear new friends. As time has passed it stands now as a testimony vindicating me (and a few other friends) in regard to my warnings and concernes that went unheeded in 2013 & 14. ;) However, what has developed recently from that endeavor is one of the more humbling and exciting opportunities to ever cross my path.

The unbelievable has happened. This past June a "small-church" pastor, who was best known for overseeing the most perused blog in SBC life, has amazingly been elected president of the Pastor's Conference of the Southern Baptist Convention. Formerly, that post has been held by some of the most famous and well-loved pastor/preachers from some of the largest churches in the world's largest Protestant "Denomination." Today, that post is held by Dave Miller, pastor of Southern Hills Baptist Church in Sioux City, Iowa. This election is one for the Baptist history books! (I don't have time today to flesh that out but suffice it to say that a "blogger" was elected to the helm of what was once thought to be the preeminent position in SBC life)

I'm convinced Dave did not win this election simply because he was a widely-known guy who publishes a well-read clearing-house type of blog. It was his vision, his proposal, the concept he was espousing that I believe won this election. You see, Dave and a few friends had decided to suggest something out of the ordinary. Rather than the same old Pastor's Conference full of the same well-known mega-star preachers (not that there's anything wrong with that--I still love to hear most of those guys), Dave proposed that we do things "radically" different for our coming meeting in Phoenix next year.

Dave believes there are faithful pastors all across our convention who might not be serving the largest churches (they might even be in some of our smaller churches since our convention is predominately made up of small and medium sized churches) but who are, week by week, faithful to the text, who happen to also be very good preachers. What if we were to invite these solid expository preachers (through a nomination process) to preach at this event while also walking through one of Paul's Epistles? Dave suggested that we could divide up one of the shorter epistles into 12 divisions that could be easily handled by good exegetes. Think about it, we would be modeling to the Pastor's Conference what we claim to be the best model of pastoral teaching - expository "through-book" messages - while also exposing our convention to the solid biblical preaching of bunch of "regular guys" who labor in places just like those in which you and I labor. WHAT AN IDEA! This was the vision set forth... AND IT WON!

I mean really, taking nothing away from the big time guys (a few of which are dear friends of mine), what a great, even over-due idea that is both encouraging to hear and exciting to consider. Maybe it will only happen this one time in the history of our convention but I just think this is a profound and appropriate message to deliver to our churches and to the pastors and guests attending the Pastor Conference in Phoenix next June.

So this is where my involvement comes into play. For whatever reason, Dave has chosen to invite me to be one of about 12 guys in this "Band of Bloggers" (or maybe better described as a Bunch of Bloviators) to help give some oversight to the event. I am both humbled and totally confused as to why I was on his list to begin with. Since the Convention meting in St. Louis we have been the the midst of constant communication (and when I say constant, I mean my text messaging apps have been working overtime) about everything from who we will choose who to invite as speakers, to the worship leaders, to the book we will walk through (by the way it's Philippians), to how we will divide up the text. Those of us who are helping with the organization of the event will not be considered as speakers, so that gives us great freedom to talk openly, pray through and work diligently to find the right men who'll be filling these spots for us.

HERE is what we need from YOU. We need you to help us find these men. Please go to and you will find a google form (everyone seems to be using these now) with all the pertinent information you need regarding what we are looking for and how to nominate those men you'd like to hear preach in this year's SBC Pastor's Conference.

I am also doubly excited to know that the Caskey Center for Church Excellence at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary is a sponsor of our event. For those of you that know about my struggle in the organization I mentioned in the beginning of this post (which actually gave rise to this blog and thus my involvement in this Band of Bloggers) you might notice the irony of having this wonderful organization serve as a partner with us for the Pastor's Conference. It is not likely to mean much to anyone but me... but.. talk about things coming full circle. ;)

Won't you join us in praying for a great event that will unite, encourage, strengthen and bless the all those who'll gather with us in Phoenix.