The link above is to Ken Coffee’s blog, Strong Coffee. There are a few occasions when I don’t necessarily see eye to eye with Ken on issues related to the BGCT, but this post is right on target. I don’t know Ed Jackson, other than recognizing his name as both a member of the Future Focus Committee, and as the one who made the motion at the convention in Amarillo which resulted in the formation of the committee, but if Ken says he’s an O.K. guy, and that he would be of like mind with David Lowrie in regard to selections of committee members, then I’ll be glad to support his bid for FVP.
I had a similar experience in Amarillo in 2007, as one of the nominees for FVP of the BGCT. In the approach made to me to allow my name to be submitted for nomination, it was pointed out that the officers work as a team to make nominations, and that if Dr. Lowrie was elected, someone who would be willing to support his appointments would be necessary for his presidency to accomplish what he intended for it to do in opening the BGCT back up to its full constituency, instead of rubber stamping the TBC endorsed slate of candidates. TBC had endorsed a full slate of candidates that year, and I was reluctant to run for a couple of reasons. First, being neither a pastor or a layperson, I’m in that middle, somewhat nebulous ground of being a “church staff member.” And while I have always been such, and have never considered that inferior to anything else, few people from such “second chair” positions ever run for convention office. Second, I am not a native Texan, which sometimes seems to be a prerequisite to any kind of convention office, especially in a state where native loyalties run deep, and all of my ministry service in the state, except for a short stint while at Southwestern, has been in the Houston metro area.
In the long run, I decided to allow the nomination because I thought there should be a choice, and because those who asked felt that a lesser known, and thus less controversial, candidate might have a better chance than those who had been vocally opposed to TBC. My experience was somewhat opposite that of Ken’s. Though I never had any illusion that I would win, or even come close, and was surprised and pleased that I got about 250 votes out of the thousand or so that were cast, after the vote totals in the presidential election were announced, there was a mass exodus from the hall that did not return for the FVP vote. The fact that messengers materialized and narrowly elected Carolyn Strickland, a high profile supporter of TBC, last year in Ft. Worth, supports Ken’s contention.
Reform needs to come to the BGCT in a more rapid progression, however, than the time that will be required to effect it by simply electing officers who make some committee appointments. The committees and boards themselves need faster turnover, and need to be populated from a much broader constituency in a much shorter period of time if the BGCT is to even have the hope of reform, in time to make it relevant to a future that is, in effect already here. A simple constitutional amendment and bylaw change motion, passed this year and next, limiting terms, stopping rotation, and limiting the number of individuals from any single church at any given time would easily do the trick.
If those who are genuinely interested in reforming the BGCT don’t show up at the convention, it won’t happen. Your support, and your votes, are needed in Houston to make this happen. I’ve received many emails in support of these proposed motions, but they won’t pass unless you get to the convention to vote.