A Question for Ronnie Floyd

In a recent interview with B21 presidential nominee Ronnie Floyd stated,

I believe one of our most discouraging trends right now is the lagging attendance at our Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. At this time, we do not know our attendance for our upcoming Baltimore convention meeting, but we do know that our most recent trajectory is not encouraging. If I am called upon to serve Southern Baptists, it is my desire to reinvent our annual meeting with the goal of making it a spiritual experience that is so fresh and exciting that all generations are compelled to come and be sent out with a renewed engagement with who we are and what we do as Southern Baptists. I believe this is possible and if we worked together, we can see it done. I really believe it could become one of the greatest cross-generational annual gatherings in Christianity.[1]

So here’s a question for Ronnie Floyd:

What would it look like to make the SBC annual meeting a spiritual experience? 

Perhaps no one comfortable with the current annual meetings is asking this question.  That’s the point.  Thousands have voted with their feet.  For others who would like to see the whole thing refreshed, we would very much like to know what would a reinvented annual meeting look like?  The thought of a refreshed annual meeting is thrilling.  This is why I’m very excited about Ronnie Floyd’s potential presidential election.

With years of experience leading large events, he actually could reinvent the events of the annual meeting. He has the wisdom to know the difference between the spiritually exciting and the spectacle. He has demonstrated a love for prayer and spiritual awakening that is exactly what we need at this moment. He understands the theological tensions in the present and past of the SBC.

The annual meeting is not everything.  In theory, it’s simply the place where SBC business gets done. However, it has at least three other functions. First, it is the face of the convention. If you want to introduce someone to the SBC and you take them to the annual meeting, would it be attractive? Second, the spirit of the meeting flavors the business that takes place there, as it should. Finally, the annual meeting of the SBC should absolutely motivate us to reach the world. The annual meeting in our rearview mirror should mean the world is in our sight.

For our outward perception, the need for effective work, and for the need to be launched, the annual meeting’s importance can’t be overemphasized.  We need a refreshed annual meeting.  And coming generations need to know we think this is important.

So, what exactly would this look like? I don’t know. That is a question for Ronnie Floyd. One I’m praying he will have the opportunity to answer.

[1] http://www.baptisttwentyone.com/2014/06/sbc-presidential-candidate-interview-ronnie-floyd/.  Accessed, June 6, 2014

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