Three years ago, May 1-2, 2003, civic leaders from around the country gathered in Memphis, Tennessee to discuss the future of their respective cities and to dialogue about ideas and possible solutions to make our nation's cities better culturally, economically, and educationally.
The city of Greensboro, North Carolina sent eleven young professionals to The Memphis Summit in 2003. The report from these eleven participants, entitled Action Greensboro, contained eight relevant questions that arose from the meeting.
This Tuesday I will be joining between thirty and forty Southern Baptists from around the nation as we dialogue about how to make our beloved Southern Baptist Convention better. I would expect that the report coming from this particular Memphis Summit will consist more of recommendations and resolutions rather than questions. However, to keep you fully informed of my thoughts prior to the meeting, I am proposing eight questions that I think might be good for the dialogue all of us, including the Memphis particants, as the questions might help us address pertinent issues and arrive at some concrete solutions.
Question 1: "If the Southern Baptist Convention will prosper by creating the conditions that allow future leaders and their creative ideas to flourish, then what are those conditions, and how are they created?"
Question 2: "How is technology altering our world and our convention, and what are the related policy issues?"
Question 3: What factors can propel the Southern Baptist Convention into a “golden age” of missions, evangelism, and cooperation?
Question 4: "What is the harm, if any, for individual agencies to establish doctrinal standards that push beyond the Baptist Faith and Message 2000?"
Question 5: "What are some creative ways in which more people can be involved in the appointment process for boards and agencies of our convention?"
Question 6: "How can a framework of communication be established that allows employees of our agencies to freely express their ideas and thoughts without fear of intimidation, retaliation or termination?"
Question 7: "What are the implications of (a). former employees of agencies serving as trustees of the very agencies that employeed them?, or (b). sitting trustees vetting future trustees prior to nomination in order to determine their feelings for administration? and (c). trustee accountability to both his fellow trustees and the Southern Baptist Convention?"
Question 8: "What can be done to enhance the Southern Baptist Convention's spirit of cooperation toward all conservative evangelicals?"
I think these are eight good questions for our consideration.
In His Grace,