Continuing Review Committee deserves our thanks
Conservatives believe in order. If change is needed, then there are rules and a process to follow. Attempts to bypass the rules/process are frowned upon. Conservatives are willing to accept change, but only after the change has been examined and determined to be an improvement. This often means reform comes too slowly for some people.
It has been said that conservatives are great at fighting – and winning – a war, but “the jury is still out” as to whether they can effectively govern. As one Southern Baptist Convention conservative leader once reportedly said, “Now that we’ve caught the garbage truck, what are we going to do with it?” Being in charge is new to conservative Missouri Southern Baptists. For decades conservatives were under the yoke of moderate rule in the state – until now. Thus conservative governance in the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) has, at times, been messy (the messiness can also be attributed to our congregational polity and its process which is unavoidably political).
When Project 1000 and the Missouri Baptist Laymen’s Association led conservatives to victory over moderates earlier this decade, they changed the rules governing the Nominating Committee, which recommends people to MBC agency boards. Up until that time moderates had loaded Convention boards, committees and commissions with gobs of people from a handful of churches. This is how, for decades, they were able to maintain control of the MBC while in the minority.
Once moderate domination was crushed, the beginnings of reform came with it. Conservatives quickly moved to enact rule changes that promoted more diversity, giving more Missouri Baptists a chance to serve. The days of churches like Fee Fee Baptist Church in Bridgeton having seven people on Convention boards or committees were – and are – long gone thanks to the victory delivered by Project 1000, a conservative movement dominated by the Convention’s smaller churches tired of being snubbed by the convention’s larger churches. The new rules limited the number of people from one church serving on a Convention board to just three, greatly increasing the chances to serve for people who previously had no hope of ever doing so.
Despite that success, with the passage of time, conservative leaders have come to see that the reform of the Nominating Committee rules in those early days did not go far enough. This became apparent to the Convention’s Continuing Review Committee (charged with overseeing the MBC’s governing documents) several months ago. The committee’s desire to more closely examine the rules was aided by excellent recommendations from the Investigating Committee (IC) that recently completed its work that led to the dismissal of David Clippard as MBC executive director. The IC’s recommendations have largely now been embraced by the Continuing Review Committee.
The Continuing Review Committee’s work came to fruition May 29 with the changes detailed on page 12. I encourage all Missouri Baptists to read them and then make a point to thank members of the committee for their work. They did an outstanding job. They followed the rules and procedures. The process worked. We now have better rules governing the work of our fine Nominating Committee. As a result, the Continuing Review Committee, chaired by David Krueger, pastor, First Baptist Church, Linn, has moved the conservative resurgence forward and the MBC will be better for it.
Now for a closing, personal note: June 1 marks my fifth anniversary as editor of The Pathway. I’m the only editor it has ever had and I would like to express my thanks to my Savior, King Jesus, for calling me to serve Him in this capacity. I also want to thank our readers for their intense loyalty. I want to again thank The Pathway staff for their hard work and commitment to our Lord. Whatever good comes from The Pathway is due to them and to the honor and glory of Jesus Christ. I have just been blessed to have come along for the ride.