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2022 SBC Report for FBC Dickson

SBC ANNUAL MEETING ANAHEIM, CA 2022 REPORT FOR FBC DICKSON

 

FBC Dickson:

On behalf of my wife and I, I would like to say thank you for the opportunity to represent our church as messengers at the 2022 SBC Annual Meeting in Anaheim, CA.  The meetings began on Sunday June 12th and concluded on Wednesday June 15th.  The first two days of the meeting are always dedicated to the annual SBC Pastor’s Conference.  This year’s theme was “We Proclaim Him.”  There was a total of 12 sermons all delivered from the book of Colossians.  It was a very encouraging time of equipping and being reminded of why I do what I do daily.

Tuesday and Wednesday of that week were devoted to the actual business of the SBC Annual Meeting.  For those who may not be familiar with the SBC Annual meeting, it is a time when SBC churches from all over America gather to conduct the business of the convention.  Each church is allotted a certain number of messengers they can send.  And at this meeting there was over 8000 registered messengers in attendance.  The primary purpose of the meetings is to hear reports from our SBC entities which includes IMB, NAMB, the 6 SBC Seminaries, the ERLC, the Executive Committee, Guidestone, and Lifeway. It is also a time to vote on and approve the next year’s budget.  As an SBC church, FBC Dickson contributes 10% of our general offering to the Cooperative Program.  The Cooperative Program then funds all the SBC entities.  75% of all Cooperative Program funds go to support the work of missions through the IMB and NAMB.  So this budget that is voted on every year, is a very import part of why Southern Baptists gather each year.

Another component of the SBC Annual meeting is the passing of resolutions and the making of motions.  Resolutions are presented to a committee every year, and they choose and determine which ones to bring to the messengers to vote on.  Resolutions are not binding on individual churches, they just provide a general opinion on where Southern Baptists stand on certain issues. I will address 2 of those in my report that I think were key.  Motions on the other hand are a call for action. They are made from the floor during designated times and are usually assigned to the entity they address to deal with.  For example, the Sex Abuse Task Force is the result of a motion made at last year’s meeting in Nashville.  So resolutions express general opinion but are not binding, and motions call for action by an entity. Motions given and approved by the messengers at this year’s meeting were assigned to an entity and that entity will report back next year on it’s course of action.

So with those definitions in place, I would like to briefly present a report from this year’s meeting.  These are things I thought worth highlighting.  You can go here and view the whole report, and you can go here for copies of all resolutions passed in Anaheim. The 2022 Book of Reports and the Tuesday and Wednesday bulletins from the meeting are all on the website.

4 Primary Highlights:

  1. Sex Abuse Task Force (SATF) Report and Recommendations:

One of the more pressing issues at this year’s annual meeting was addressing the finding of the SATF report which was the result of a motion passed at last year’s annual meeting in Nashville.  The report was very extensive and long, and if you wish you can see it here. The report revealed alleged cover up and stonewalling by certain people in the Executive Committee regarding matters of addressing sexual abuse in SBC Churches.  The investigation and subsequent report only dealt with the one entity of the SBC, so it isn’t comprehensive of all SBC entities.  It’s scope was only of the 1 entity’s handling of cases of sexual abuse.

It was a very lengthy and complicated report.  What was presented to the messengers at the meeting was 2 recommendations in order to bring about reform in how the SBC and its churches handle matters of sexual abuse.  Again, I provided a link below to the whole report of the SATF so you can read it for itself.  Primarily what the SATF recommended was two things.  First, the creation of what they called the Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force (ARITF) to continue to review the findings of the report and guide the reforms over the next year.  This includes working with SBC Entities, state conventions, and local associations to provide training and resources on handling matters of sexual abuse in SBC churches and entities. The ARITF must be approved at each future annual meeting to continue to exist. Secondly, the task force recommended the creation of a Ministry Check website.  The purpose of the website was to be a resource to churches to be able to better track cases of abuse within SBC Churches.

One of the primary issues in how the SBC has handled abuse in the past has been that given that SBC churches are autonomous, and operate independently of other churches, abusers have allegedly been able to go from church to church and continue harming and abusing. So the task force, in the spirit of cooperation, wanted to provide a resource for churches to better track and deal with these cases. Many criteria must be met before someone or a church ends up on the website, and for that you can see the full recommendation link below.

As far as SBC Dickson is concerned we recognize that some of the reforms are controversial.  The reforms were overwhelmingly passed by the Anaheim messengers, but what the end result of the reforms will be is still uncertain.  Many feel the SBC is making positive steps towards dealing with sexual abuse, but many others feel that there is still uncertainty on how these issues should be handled to protect victims and to also protect the innocent from false accusation. FBC Dickson staff will continue to monitor the progress of this new task force, and you can too.  We have many policies and procedures in place as a church to prevent and address these matters if they ever arise.  Sexual abuse is a horrible and devastating sin that all churches should take seriously. Continue to pray for our convention regarding this matter, as it is far from being over.

 

  1. Credentials Committee Report and Recommendations:

Another highlight of the annual meeting was the report from the credentials committee.  Basically, the job of the credentials committee is to ensure that all participating SBC Churches at the annual meeting are in good standing and friendly fellowship with the SBC.  They receive recommendations from churches to review a church that they feel may be not in good standing for reasons of doctrine or practice.  For example, a church was disfellowshipped and labeled as not in good standing in last couple years for having a stance for homosexuality that was unbiblical. Churches not in good standing are still a church, but the SBC just will not receive funds from them for the Cooperative Program or allow them to have messengers at the annual meeting.

Last year a motion was given to the committee to look into Rick Warren and Saddleback church as they had openly ordained 2 women and given them the title of pastor. Of course, the ordaining of women for pastor is against the Baptist Faith and Message as SBC recognize that the Bible teaches that only men should hold the office of pastor.

The credentials committed investigated Saddleback during 2021 and brought a recommendation to the messengers that a study group be formed and determine how SBC churches are using the title “pastor”, and what would constitute a church being disfellowshipped.  This was done primarily because neither of the women ordained by Saddleback were operating as the primary preaching pastor for the church. You can watch video of the debate because much ensued. But the primary take away was that by and large SBC churches still affirm male headship in the church and believe in only ordaining men to the role of pastor, whether primary preaching pastor or associate pastor. The committee saw that their recommendation wasn’t going well so they withdrew it.  This means they are still determining whether to recommend disfellowshipping Saddleback Church.

 

  1. Key Resolutions Passed:

A total of 9 resolutions passed at the 2022 Annual Meeting.  They call all be read in full in the link above.  Among the issues addressed in the resolutions was affirming and resolving to continue Southern Baptist efforts to see the rural areas of America be reached with the gospel.  Many church plants are centered in urban areas, but there is still a concentration of lostness and spiritual needs in the country’s rural areas, and there continues to be a need for church revitalization in rural areas as well.

Resolution 2 issued a strong statement against the propagation of the prosperity gospel. Resolution 3 was a statement against and opposed to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Resolutions 5 and 6 both dealt with sexual abuse. Based on the wording of the resolutions it is clear that the messengers to the SBC not only want to take seriously the issue of sexual abuse in the church, but want to see laws put in place to protect churches from liability when reporting sexual abuse.

Resolution 7 took a hard stance for pro-life advocating prayer for the overturning of Roe v. Wade (which happened shortly after the annual meeting), and it encouraged southern Baptists to advocate for and support ministries like local pregnancy resource centers and adoption agencies. Resolution 8 was a strongly worded statement against the LGBTQ+ movement.  It made clear that man and woman are made in God’s image and that homosexuality and transgenderism are sins.  It encouraged churches to educate future generations about God’s good design for humanity and sexuality.

 

  1. Missionaries Commissioned:

Finally, I wanted to celebrate the work of IMB and NAMB.  You can see below the statistics reported for this year.  90% of the money given to the cooperative program for missions is going to fund ministries in unreached areas, where people know little to nothing about Jesus.  A personal highlight for Rebekah and I as we attended this year was seeing 52 new, full-time, fully funded missionaries commissioned at the annual meeting. Many of those missionaries had to hide their real names and identities because they were going to places of high persecution. The goal of IMB is to increase their total full time missionaries by 500 over the next 5 years.  There are currently almost 3500 missionaries serving, so by 2027 they hope to see that number climb over 4000 full-time, fully funded missionaries serving in hard to reach places where Jesus has never been heard.  That is something to celebrate!

I would like to express my gratitude once again for allowing Rebekah and I to attend the annual meeting.  If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to me.

 

Blessings,

Ryan Wicker, Associate Pastor of Education

 

International Mission Board Key Figures:

Evangelism :

How many people heard a Gospel witness? 769,494

How many people had an opportunity to respond to Christ? 576,395

How many who received a Gospel witness do you believe are seekers? 151,512

How many who heard a Gospel witness became new believers? 144,322

How many believers were baptized? 86,587

Healthy Church Formation:

 How many total groups intending to become churches are meeting now? 48,082

How many new groups were formed that intend to become churches? 11,333

How many new churches were formed? 18,380

How many 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-generation and higher churches are meeting now? 78,368

How many 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-generation and higher churches have ceased to meet? 2,385 Note: In some cases, churches cease to exist as people change locations or as members are absorbed into other congregations. In other cases, IMB personnel lose direct contact with the work and consequently have no interaction to be able to include them in the totals.

How many baptized believers met in groups or churches? 496,832

Discipleship:

 How many people met in on-going Bible studies? 353,860

How many people are being personally mentored? 56,175

Leadership Development:

 How many men have received practical pastoral training? 20,750

 How many people received training to start new churches? 55,304

How many individuals received advanced theological education? 51,101

How many believers were trained in other training opportunities? 91,614

 

Key North American Mission Board Highlights:

 

In 2021, Southern Baptists started:

  • 1,018 new congregations which included:
    • 600 new church plants,
    • 135 replants,
    • 201 new affiliations and
    • 82 new campuses.

Send Relief is a partnership between IMB and NAMB. Southern Baptists have a single, central place to go where they can serve on mission to carry out compassion ministry in North America or around the globe. And this ministry is growing. We now have 16 Send Relief Ministry Centers in North America with more coming in 2022. Not only do these centers give mission teams a place to serve, they also provide models for churches that want to start similar ministries in their own communities. Our dream is to see hundreds of church-based ministry centers in the years ahead. All of it is focused on meeting needs while sharing Christ.

 

Evangelism and Leadership:

  • As of November 2021, nearly 44,000 people have gone to WhosYourOne.com to commit to praying for their one.
  • Over 208,000 cards have been distributed through Who’s Your One?
  • More than 14000 trained and equipped through Who’s Your One training tour.

Next Gen Ministries:

  • Shane Pruitt, national Next Gen director, has spoken at 129 (in-person and online) events that included student camps, collegiate events, conferences, state convention and local association events, local churches, webinars, as well as evangelism and other trainings on reaching the next generation
  • Approximately 120,000+ attended those events with well over 10,000 decisions recorded that included professions of faith for salvation, desires to follow in baptism, and surrendering to the call of ministry or missions.
  • NAMB dedicated $5 million as an infusion of funds dedicated for student evangelism over the next four years.

 

 Link to Full Sex Abuse Task Force Report and Recommendations:

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/6108172d83d55d3c9db4dd67/t/62a102bb3b077d4d13fb140f/1654719163768/SATF_Recommendations+and+Motion.pdf