Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Thoughts on the TBC and church in general

The TBC (Tennessee Baptist Convention) is underway in Kingsport, TN. I attended the afternoon session of the pastor's conference on Monday and was blessed by the messages of Johnny Hunt, Dennis Swanburg, and Jerry Vines. Tuesday was the first day of the convention and I attended the morning session. The reports were encouraging, giving is up (even excess), talks of change and moving forward. A few motions and changes to committee reports were offered. All in all the business session seemed to move well. What concerned me most was the mass exodus of messengers after the business session and before the time of worship and the president's message. I realize some probably had important things to attend to, but I believe many were only there to cast their vote in the business session, and when that was over there was no reason for them to stay. I think that's very unfortunate. It reminds me of those people in our churches who never come to participate in the Wednesday prayer service with their fellow church members, but come for the monthly business meeting to make their voice be heard.
It is no wonder we are divided as a Convention. First of all, even at an annual convention, the worship of our Lord should have priority over our business sessions. If we spent more time in worship together, we'd probably need less time for the business sessions. Secondly, if we can't worship together, how can we possibly work together for the glory of God. We're divided in our work because we are divided in our worship. Worship must always come before work. God is always more concerned about who we are than what we do. When we again make worshiping together a priority in our Convention, we'll see our divisions being dissolved and God working through our Convention to reach the lost and unchurched people of our state. And what is true in our convention is true in our individual churches as well. A house divided against itself cannot stand.