Executive Board to hear from 3 key committees
JEFFERSON CITY—Members of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) Executive Board will hear reports from the Baptist Building Sale and Relocation Committee, the Executive Director Search Committee and the Theological Study Committee when they gather for their final meeting of 2007 at the Baptist Building Dec. 11.
The boards, various standing committees and subcommittees will meet at the Baptist Building Dec. 10.
The executive board voted Oct. 29 to sell the Baptist Building to a Springfield company for a maximum sale price of $1.7 million and to appropriate up to $200,000 from the convention’s reserve fund to conduct a space needs study and hire an architect to begin design of a new building.
That same day the board voted, 28-22, to build a new headquarters building in California, Mo., then voted to postpone that action so that members could study the proposal further. Another vote is anticipated at the Dec. 11 meeting.
The Executive Director Search Committee continues to accept written recommendations and resumes until Dec. 15. The committee anticipates narrowing the number of candidates to perhaps three or four by mid-January when an extensive vetting process would begin. James Freeman, committee chairman and a member of Oakwood Baptist Church, Kansas City, said the only timetable for calling an executive director belongs to God.
The board also is expected to resume deliberating the merits of receiving the report of the Theological Review Ad Hoc Committee.
The committee was appointed by then-MBC president Mike Green at last December’s board meeting and met a total of eight times up to its presentation at the Oct. 29 board meeting at Tan-Tar-A, when the reading of the report was suspended amid questions and concerns that a minority report ought to be received as well. Eighty percent of the committee members are in general agreement; 20 percent generally dissent.
The theological review committee has arrived at The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (1979) as a consensus document. The text of that document may be accessed online at www.reformed.org.
The intent of the body of work produced by the committee is to hold MBC staff to a set of guidelines (policy statement) that has yet to be approved by the Executive Board.
The guidelines, which consist of 13 points, are for MBC staff only and not for churches. They are designed in such a way as to hold convention staff to “the Bible, the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, the statement on the sufficiency of Scripture, and the doctrinal vetting policy in evaluating the theological soundness of the ministry organizations with which they network,” according to the report. The sufficiency statement was intended for presentation as a recommendation for adoption to the Executive Board before it stalled on Oct. 29.
The heart of the report is to help produce MBC staffers who are “theologically conservative, discerning, intuitive, and accountable,” according to the report. The Baptist Faith and Message is viewed as “a minimum standard” for entities such as the MBC, according the committee, not the exhaustive description of what the MBC would be allowed to do to conduct its ministries. The committee took its language for that point from a statement that appeared March 5 in The Southern Baptist Texan.
Members of the theological review committee are: Michael Knight, chairman, pastor, First Baptist Church, Viburnum; Jeff White, pastor, South Creek Church, Springfield; Kim Petty, laity, Grace Community Church, Smithville; Denny Marr, minister of education and administration, Calvary Baptist Church, Republic; and David McAlpin, pastor, First Baptist Church, Harvester, in St. Charles. Knight, White, Petty and Marr generally make up the majority. McAlpin generally makes up the minority. Knight, Petty and Marr are also members of the Executive Board.
The committee was originally charged with reporting its findings to the Executive Board no later than the July board meeting. The committee held a series of eight meetings at the Baptist Building from Feb. 8 to July 3 in order to come up with its findings, which include a section on the Emerging Church.