The Southern Baptist Convention meets next week in Greensboro, N.C. This year proves to be an interesting presidential race. After Johnny Hunt, pastor of FBC Woodstock GA, declined nomination, at least three others stepped in as candidates. Ronnie Floyd of First Baptist Church in Springdale, Ark., Frank Page of First Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C. and Jerry Sutton of Two Rivers Baptist Church in Nashville TN all vie for the appointive powers held by the office.
I will not attend the SBC this year. If I did, my vote would go to Mark Dever, pastor of Capital Hill Baptist Church in Washington DC and director of 9 Marks. I briefly spoke with Dever at the Together for the Gospel conference. I asked him if he had any interest in accepting a nomination to the SBC presidency. He disinterestedly reacted as if he had never even considered the possibility. He noted the fact that he didn’t serve a mega church. I told him that is exactly why many of us would love to see him at the helm. The vast majority of SBC churches are not mega-churches. Most of these churches will probably never be mega-churches; but they can become healthy churches who reflect the character of God and display God’s glory.
Dever lists the Nine Marks of a healthy church as:
- Expositional Preaching
- Biblical Theology
- Biblical Understanding of the Good News
- Biblical Understanding of Conversion
- Biblical Understanding of Evangelism
- Biblical Understanding of Membership
- Biblical Church Discipline
- Promotion of Christian Discipleship and Growth
- Biblical Understanding of Leadership