I love the SBC family of churches. Truth be told one of the greatest strengths of our convention is that we are a family of churches that share a common cause and may share little else. The SBC meeting is our annual family reunion where our family gets together and reaffirms our kinship. In this there are always relatives that make you shake your head just as there are the relatives that you connect with even though you have never met them before.
The final day of the SBC meeting is often the day when we truly see how different we are. We have discussions over where a microphone is placed, whether certain language should be used in evangelism and many other inconsequential discussions that would boor most any person attending. That said, I'm glad we have so many different types of people in our convention. We are a denomination that agrees on the basics, yet chooses to disagree over pointless intricacies because our collective mission means that much. When we get together some of those intricate friction points show up, but we all leave united in our great commission goal.
One of the distinctives of our convention is that we are not a top down convention. The president and leaders of the GCBC/SBC do not tell us what to do our how to do it. Instead the power of the SBC lies in its churches. Any person representing his church can speak at our convention. Any person can bring a motion to the floor of our convention. Sometimes our strange cousins bring a hair ball ideas forward, but since we are a church centered group, they are given an equal voice. As painstaking as it is, I'm glad my cousin who parks his old Winnebago in my yard has the same right as me to speak.
The SBC/GCBC is a family like no other. We are a group of misfit churches that combine our efforts to do what none of us could do alone. We give our missionaries the security of not having to raise their own funds. We give church planters the freedom to plant the vision God has placed on their hearts. We cooperate to serve those who have been hurt by tragedy through our disaster relief. We do all of this as misfit cousins who put aside our differences for the Gospel's advance.
In recent days it has become popular to dog the SBC/GCBC. Certainly we have made our share of mistakes. Who hasn't? We have had family who has claimed our name embarrass us. Even with all of the turmoil of family, this family does more for the gospel than any other denomination. Are we different? Sure. My opinion is that our differences are what make us special. We are a family of folks who gladly set aside our differences for the gospel's advance.