Sunday, March 05, 2006

IMB Minutes From 2004 That Are Worth Noting

There are comments on my blog that are posted by people, both named and anonymous, that cause me to stop and reread what I just read. Today I would like to make one of those comments the subject of this post.

This is one of those posts you will want to remember, and I'm sure, I will point back to it in the future. The following comment was dated Saturday, March 4, 2006.

"About 5 years ago (in an open session), a motion was made by an IMB trustee that the board assess church plants on the field by conducting spot checks of some churches. This motion was defeated; one argument made was that once churches are established, they are autonomous and not under the authority of the SBC or IMB.

A similar motion was brought to the floor again in 2004 and passed. This explains the reference to prior board action in the following.

According to the public record (minutes of the September 2004 Board of Trustess Meeting) a report was made to the board of the results of an August 2004 meeting of representatives of the IMB staff and trustees and seminary presidents and missions professors. The trustee representatives presented 10 recommendations to the board (not for a vote but to be referred to committee for study). The following is an excerpt of several of those recommendations:

Michael Barrett brought recommendations from the four representatives of the trustees, Tom Hatley, chairman; Michael Barrett, vice chairman; John Floyd, chairman of the Mission Personnel Committee; and Bob Pearle, chairman of Overseas Committee.

The following recommendations are from the four trustee representatives in consultation with staff, seminary presidents and seminary professors coming from the August 13, 2004 meeting ...

THAT we refer to the Overseas Committee the action to implement an accurate annual audit of beliefs on the field as previously adopted by this Board, and that this audit is to be reported to the full board. (This is to insure that Baptist churches are being planted on the field.)

....THAT the Overseas Committee or appropriate sub-committee revisit the definition of boundaries and level of cooperation with G.C.C. groups, with the purpose of bringing clarification to the board, staff, and especially to our leadership on the field.

....THAT the Overseas Committee and appropriate sub-committee continue to study and evaluate the teachings and curriculum at M.L.C. and training on the field as especially regards ecclesiology and the role of women in ministry..

....THAT the proper Overseas subcommittee revisit and clarify for all the definition of a local church.

....THAT the Overseas Committee review the role of women on the field and work with staff to improve our communication in this area.

Tom Hatley referred these recommendations to the appropriate committees."

As far as can be acertained from subsequent minutes, the definition of a church has been addressed as has the issue of levels of cooperation with other groups. It will be interesting to see, in light of the discussion on this post, what will be the criteria for the belief "audits" and what will be the definition of "Baptist" church. It may behoove those interested to also be alert to the issue of the "proper role" of women on the field and whether that too will exceed the parameters of the BFM.

It is healthy for our convention to stay informed on these issues within the IMB.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson


Anonymous said...

Having spent the better part of the weekend with a group of about 30 pastors, I can report that the IMB issues are a hot topic - at least among that group. Although a formal poll was not conducted, based on the comments it was my sense that not a single pastor supports the policy changes.

Dr. Paige Patterson was our guest for Saturday morning's meeting. I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Patterson regarding the February 3, 2006 article by Bob Pierce entitled "Charismatic Leaning Southern Baptist Being Betrayed, Excluded, Says Phillips" in the online version of Baptists Today. I gleaned from our conversation that Dr. Patterson's primary concern is his sense that many of the churches being planted on the field by IMB missionaries are not Baptist churches (in his view, many are "charismatic") and he strongly supports the policy additions adopted in November because he believes there are significant problems on the field that the policies are needed to address. He clearly has issues with the direction of the IMB under Dr. Rankin's leadership.

My sense is that the change in policy at the IMB is just the beginning. The article (referenced previously)notes, "Patterson said, as a Baptist, he would not forbid anyone from speaking in tongues, but would not call such a person to be his pastor or appoint someone with such leanings (charismatic) as a seminary professor." Dr. Patterson confirmed that this was indeed his position and that Dr. Rankin would be disqualified from serving as a professor at SWBTS because of his "private prayer language."

He also indicated that the statement in the article from Judge Pressler's "A Hill on Which to Die" was not accurate and should not have been included by Judge Pressler. That statement reads as follows: "I assured him (Wally Henley) that Paige, our friends, and I would not turn on charismatics after the battle over biblical authority was over."

Dr. Patterson also noted that "Baptists are not charismatic".

If Baptists with "charismatic leanings" are today's target, who will be in the crosshairs tomorrow?

Anonymous said...

And, by the way - you will remember that Dr. Patterson is a member of the church the Chairman of the Overseas Committee, Bob Pearle, pastors...

Anonymous said...


I am glad to learn that Doctor Patterson agrees with the Apostle Paul who told us not to forbid speaking in tongues (1 Cor 14:39).

But at the same time I guess Doctor Patterson would not call the Apostle Paul to be his pastor or support his appointment to a Baptist Seminary since Paul wrote " I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you." (1 Cor 14:18)

Is this a fair assessment of Doctor Patterson's view?

Anonymous said...

Do I understand correctly that John Pierce of BT quoted Pressler accurately but that Patterson disagrees with the statement written by Pressler in his book?

Tim Sweatman said...


Thanks for the update. While I disagree with Dr. Patterson on a number of issues, I respect him because he is willing to declare his views clearly. That being said, I am quite disturbed by the statements he made both in the article and to you.

Anonymous said...

It is very disturbing to me that people have such a problem with Charasmatic folk. I heard a story, part funny part true:

In the sand dunes of the Arab Penn. some SBCers were behind a hill, waiting for someone to come their way so they could share the "Good news". A little while later a Charasmatic wearing an I love Jesus T-shirt goes running past them over the sand dune. The SBCer says "He/She is going to be killed" ... a little while later the Charasmatic comes running back over the hill and the SBCer said "I knew they would get him!" to his suprise a whole crowd of folks wearing an I love Jesus T-shirt are running behind him.

What if SBCers were as on fire for God as some Charasmatics! I am an SBCharasmatic. I am on fire for God and doing something about it! I am on the other side of the world telling folks about Jesus not telling the about the SBC!

Aren't we supposed to be sharing the Good News? What kind of disciple are we if we are building churches and not believers. What good is a building if it is empty!?

Just my thoughts

Anonymous said...


The IMB approved a new definition of a Baptist church about a year ago, I believe in March. Check the minutes.

Anonymous said...

Greg Hicks,

What area of the country are you in where all 30 pastors in the meeting disagreed with the IMB policy changes?

Kiki Cherry said...

Apparently the apostle Paul would not have been able to teach at SWBTS either, then.

Savage Baptist said...

If the Southern Baptist Convention endures a millennium before Christ's return, there will always be honest and strong differences of opinion about ecclesiology and soteriology and what ought to be taught and/or allowed on the mission field. That doesn't bother me. What bothers me is the seeming reluctance on the part of some to have their views and actions widely known and disseminated. It makes it seem like they lack confidence in their ability to defend those views and actions in a public forum, to persuade the messengers at the convention of the goodness and rightness of their cause--so the idea seems to be to come in under the radar. That, in turn, makes it difficult to fully trust some of these people. said...


I really like your sense of humor. I'm sorry that I can't post your last two comments, but I really don't want to sidetrack the issue.

There are those who really want to identify me with all comments on my blog. I post any and all comments, even those who take me to task, but I am trying to avoid character assassinations. Good, tough questions are appropriate, but people on both sides of the issue are brothers with whom I desire fellowship.

Anonymous said...

Greg's comment may be a good one to make an entire post out of.

Anonymous said...

Wade, et al

I think this line of conversation is very interesting, and very disappointing. It is also ironic since we are in the Annie Armstrong Missions Offering season, and ANNIE ARMSTRONG WAS NOT A SOUTHERN BAPTIST.

Does the right hand care what the left hand is doing?


Anonymous said...

In answer to the post about the church definition guidelines:

Church definition guidelines Jan 05

Bob Pearle moved that recommendation on Church Definition and Guidelines be approved. This recommendation was approved. (Following the trustee meeting, grammatical changes were made and the following is the corrected copy.)
The definition of a local church is given in the 2000 edition of the Baptist Faith and Message:
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth.
Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.

We believe that every local church is autonomous under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the authority of His inerrant word. This is as true overseas as it is in the United States. Some churches to which we relate overseas may make decisions in doctrine and practice which we would not choose. Nevertheless, we are accountable to God and to Southern Baptists for the foundation that we lay when we plant churches, for the teaching that we give when we train church leaders, and for the criteria that we use when we count churches. In our church planting and teaching ministries, we will seek to lay a foundation of beliefs and practices that are consistent with the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, although local churches overseas may express those beliefs and practices in different ways according to the needs of their cultural settings. Flowing from the definition of a church given above and from the Scriptures from which this definition is derived, we will observe the following guidelines in church planting, leadership training and statistical reporting.
1. A church is intentional about being a church. Members think of themselves as a church. They are committed to one another and to God(associated by covenant)in pursuing all that Scripture requires of a church.
2. A church has an identifiable membership of baptized believers in Jesus Christ.
3. A church practices the baptism of believers only by immersing them in water.
4. A church observes the Lord’s Supper on a regular basis.
5. Under the authority of the local church and its leadership, members may be assigned to carry out the ordinances.
6. A church submits to the inerrant word of God as the ultimate authority for all that it believes and does.
7. A church meets regularly for worship, prayer, the study of God’s word, and fellowship. Members of the church minister to one another’s needs, hold each other accountable, and exercise church discipline as needed. Members encourage one another and build each other up in holiness, maturity in Christ, and love.
8. A church embraces its responsibility to fulfill the Great Commission, both locally and globally, from the beginning of its existence as a church.
9. A church is autonomous and self-governing under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the authority of His Word.
10. A church has identifiable leaders, who are scrutinized and set apart according to the qualifications set forth in Scripture. A church recognizes two Biblical offices of church leadership: pastors/elders/overseers and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor/elder/overseer is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.

Anonymous said...

As a pastor and supporter of the IMB, I'm not interested in investing in the planting of charismatic churches on the field and the interpretation of Paul's comments in 1 Cor 14 found in other comments is, IMO, simplistic, inaccurage and not shared by most Southern Baptists that I know. IMB Trustees absolutely should address the matter.

However, the issue of tongues as a private prayer language is a side issue. Rankin said if there were problems with planting charismatic churches on the fields they could handle it without the harsh policy that was passed. I agree with him.

The issue of openness, transparency, and Landmarkism is the greater concern that I have.

Alan Cross said...

As I keep watching the desire to plant "Baptist" churches on the mission field, it seems that the main issue is the charismatic issue. If you combine private prayer language with the baptism issue, it seems that we are saying that we want to make sure that we narrow the focus concerning charismatics (for example, many but not all Assemblies of God do not believe in eternal security). Many charismatics and Pentecostals also allow for women in ministry. Combine this with Patterson's comments and the Fundamentalist antagonism against all things charismatic - I think we are starting to see the new enemy emerge.

Perhaps I am wrong (and I hope I am), but this is extremely dangerous and does require theological reflections and not edicts from a few people on the trustee board of the IMB. If this group goes after charismatics or perceived charismatics within the SBC (and these people are almost all very conservative and inerrantists), it will be completely devastating. Where error exists, correct it. But, fear and exclusion based on prejudice are never the way.

Anonymous said...

Wade, regarding your last reply, I hope you desire fellowship (in a Christian way, of course) with the sisters (also no matter which side of the issues) as well. Or were you using “brothers” in a generic sense. Sorry for the dig. :-)

I definitely agree that people should not judge you by comments on your blog. Unfortunately those who do are the ones who would suppress discussion and dissent from their views, and they are using that against you. It reminds me of the Puritans who came to the New World for freedom to worship and then denied it to anyone else. You are to be commended for being so open, which is certainly a Baptist idea, which many seem to forget.

I reread the post referred to here. Some years ago a longtime, well-respected college professor of religion (now gone to her heavenly reward, so don’t start a heresy hunt of present faculty) told me that in many other countries the Baptist churches had women as well as men in positions of church leadership because they, being Baptist, had studied the Bible and concluded that there was no reason not to do this. I have often thought that the so-called “women issue” is at least as much about power as about theology; that, and reducing the competition for desirable jobs. Of course, many have said that this is true of much of the - I will use a neutral term here - changes in the SBC in the past few decades.

I’m not sure what else the ecclesiology issue refers to, but unless everything in the SBC including its mission work becomes a “top down” dictatorship, I don’t see how once a church is established and independent it can be controlled. Certainly good discipling is necessary, not just “dip them and drop them”; but just as parenting requires letting go at some point and hoping/trusting we have raised them right, so it is with new Christians. At some point we must trust God and let go. (I almost wrote “trust the work of the Holy Spirit”, but decided that might sound charismatic.)

About the comments at the top of this list, in a previous group of comments it was said that, at the rate things are going, in 50 years the SBC would consist of 2 people with a list of 400 doctrines they must agree on, and my thought was: And after that it would consist of one person who had the power to oust the one who did not agree with him(I am using “him”in the specifically male, not the generic/inclusive sense here, sorry if it offends) on number 401.

Some, it appears to be a growing number, are tired of power struggles and just want to get on with doing God’s work. I hope it can happen. Wade, you seem to be working toward this, and I wish you success in it.


Kevin Bussey said...


How do we disagree without spliting the SBC? This kind of stuff is why so many of us have stayed out of the controversy. It appears that we have "BIG BROTHER" watching our M's. I feel for Joe Missionary!

One positive is that it has made me pray more for our M's and our leaders.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Tim. Dr. Patterson's statements to Greg are troubling, but not unexpected. We have an enemy in our endeavor to accomplish the great commission, but we all must remember that it is not Dr. Patterson nor any other man or woman. Now, I don't know Dr. Patterson personally, (or Bro. Wade either, for that matter) but I do know this: We all at one time or other have fallen into the trap of wanting our own way, and even forcing others to do our will, thinking that ours is God's will, and therefore we are right in using any means to justify an end. Any time we approach a subject without humility, with an "I'm right--you're wrong" attitude, we are in error. There is only one "I AM" in the Church, and that is Jesus Christ. We all need to stop and humbly pray and see what the Holy Spirit says on this or any other matter. Remember, Jesus does not come into our lives, our churches, or our denomination to take sides, He comes in to take CHARGE. We will only be successful at missions or anything else when we let Him lead.

Anonymous said...

Such dogmatic insistence that the churches we plant have "SBC purity" is disconcerting because not even the apostle Paul enjoyed this kind of success. In fact, most of Paul's letters were written precisely because the churches didn't "turn out" as he intended. "Result's or else" church planting does not work and our pursuit of accountability doesn't demand this kind of rigid approach. What is more disturbing, a charismatic, or the gross immorality that existed at Corinth? We, just like the apostle Paul, should trust the Holy Spirit in the churches we plant, not the men in the churches we plant. That's Roland Allen. Thank you Wade. We've been praying for you.

Patrick Barrett

E. Goodman said...

Oddly enough, the narrow definition of church that the Board passed has made trustee oversight through "inspections" a non-issue. By current definitions, most of the "groups" we are seeing formed don't qualify as churches. We therefore, can't "count" them in our reports.

I'm ok with that, though, because I would never want a trustee (with no language or cultural insight) coming around to "assess" our groups anyway. From a modern, American perspective, some of them may not look like Southern Baptist Churches. Thankfully, the Great Commission doesn't call for them to.

I understand the need for accountability, but we have it worked into our team/cluster/region level. Don't they trust us?

Anonymous said...

As some wag said and this blog suggests ; "its not the unknown tongues that you need to worry about...its the known tongues" or perhaps even better the unknown known tongues.

J. Guy Muse said...

I guess it just needs to be said over and over, but the churches being planted on the field do not look like those back home in the States.

As Wade has written about over the past few days, we do not plant S. Baptist churches overseas. We plant New Testament churches that are "baptistic" in their practice, doctrine and outlook. Other than the language barrier, I truly believe most S. Baptists reading this comment would feel very comfortable attending the churches that are being planted. For the most part they resemble what we read in the book of Acts, rather than FBC, Any-Southern-Town, USA.

These "controversial" churches meet in homes, they have leadership, they baptize, they teach, they nurture one another, they worship together, they make disciples, they are FAR MORE evangelistic than USA churches (visit my blog for a glance at our team 2005 annual statistics we have a 3:1 baptism ratio compared to 44:1 in the SBC. Who out there talking is actually OBEYING what Christ said in the Great Commission? No, we don't have mega-facilities with bowling alleys and waterfalls, nor multi-million dollar budgets, and paid professional staffs, but is that the standard for the kind of churches we are talking about? What we have is LIFE in Jesus and a passion for winning souls to Christ.

We would welcome any doubters out there to come visit us. But to save you a bundle of money it would cost you in airfare, allow me a moment to share my experience last night as we paid an unannounced visit to one of these "questionable churches." Judge for yourself whether or not this is the kind of churches you want to see your missionaries planting overseas:

1) 6:30 pm we began with around 20 adults and several children, meeting in the home of the servant-leader which also doubles as a beauty parlor. All the beauty parlor equipment had been moved to another room to make space for the plastic chairs that were set up in a circle around the small room. It was very hot and crowded, but nobody seemed to mind (except the visiting M!)

2) We sang a cappella2 hymns, 1 psalm, and 1 praise chorus, all chosen at random by those present from tattered song books and a few xeroxed copies (I guess you could get us on that one!) No instruments--nobody there who could play, no praise band, no orchestra, no choir, no microphones, pulpit, etc. that are considered essential by many to have "church", but it was nonetheless heartfelt praise to the Lord.

3) Several people shared testimonies of how God is working in their lives and experiences from the week. There was an open prayer time.

4) A participatory inductive Bible study of Matthew 10 led by the church planter with a focus on persecution and how to confront it. There were no theologians quoted, books referenced, Greek word studies--just pure Bible, verse by verse. The illustrations were all from their own personal life experiences. Lots of participation, questions, and dialogue. The visual aid was a piece of newspaper print taped to the wall.

5) The Lord's Supper was served. 1 Cor.11:23ff was read. A moment of silent confession of sins. 3-4 shared what Christ meant to them and how He had saved them from a life of sin and given them a second chance and how they were now living for Jesus. As they partook of the elements we sang a love song of thanksgiving to Jesus for what He has done for us. Here one might have reason to criticize--they used Ritz crackers and grape koolaid instead of unleavened bread and wine--but nevertheless what was done was done in remembrance of Jesus.

6) An invited guest was introduced and it was quickly ascertained she was not a believer. At that point 2-3 shared with her their testimony of how they got saved. 2-3 others shared pertinent salvation verses. One person took the lead in extending an invitation. The lady did not accept the Lord, but did ask us to pray for her sick husband. Several people did so.

7) The offering was prayed over and collected with nearly everyone putting something in the basket. I was one of the last to put money in. It looked like there was less than $5 in total. All the proceeds of the offering were to go for #8 below.

8) Announcements were about next Sunday's evangelistic blitz of the whole neighborhood. This little church is dead set on winning their whole community to Christ. They went around the room making sure every single person would be able to be present to go out door-to-door witnessing next week--no excuses were accepted. The offering would help buy some tracts for the event and refreshments after the event.

9) Refreshments were served consisting of a half slice of white bread, an empanada (fried meat pie). a spoonful of tunafish, one tiny cookie, and a small glass of soda pop that was shared for all out of about eight glasses (we guests got our own glass and didn't have to share.) We sat around visiting, laughing, sharing for about a half hour. One sister went over and continued to share with the unsaved visitor while we ate, still trying to get her to accept the Lord.

10) They invited the other IMB M who accompanied me to share about her work with the Chinese. We learned a song in Chinese and prayed for the Chinese and asked questions about the Chinese who live in our city. Everyone was moved that there are so many Chinese in Guayaquil who do not know the Lord and actually are Buddhists rather than Catholics.

11) Around 9pm we broke up, everyone hugged, kissed on the cheek and we went home happy that we had been in the "house of the Lord."

Folks, these are real churches. Is there anything above that isn't Baptist? I guess I could confess the part I left out about the tongues that were spoken since that seems to be one of the issues being raised--the whole meeting was done in the Spanish tongue, the language they are all positive is spoken in Heaven!

Anonymous said...

I think mr. cross may have unveiled the phantom menace. Many charismatic congregations support women in leadership - the Holy Spirit is the great equalizer. I think the good ole boys in power might fear that charismatic congregations might consider the women issue again.

Kiki Cherry said...


Thanks for sharing that. I got chills reading it!!!

That's why I'm Southern Baptist. Because of our emphasis on missions. Because there are still so many people out there who have never heard the truth. Because I believe that God's heart is for every nation, tribe and tongue.

Man, I want to go back to Guayuaquil sometime and get to see what you are talking about firsthand. : )

Anonymous said...

Lynn - one of the pastor's at the weekend event also noted that the Apostle Paul would be excluded by the new policy on "private prayer language"

Ann - yes, you are correct that the Baptists Today article is consistent with Dr. Patterson's views and that Dr. Patterson specifically indicated that Judge Pressler's statement from "A Hill on Which to Die" (quoted in the orignal post) was not consistent with his views or past statements.

annonymous - the group was composed of pastors, church staff, and missionaries who are serving around the globe, but the vast majority are serving local churches in the Southeast. If your point is that the group may not be representative of the SBC as a whole I think that a fair assessment as almost everyone in the group has a common factor - almost everyone was a member of the host church at some point in the past - a very theologically conservative, missions focused church (39 IMB M's on the field today were members of this church at some point, and most of them were called to missions while members of the church)

Anonymous said...

And Tim, although I strongly disagree with Dr. Patterson's views (and communicated this to him personally), I share your respect for Dr. Patterson's willingness to openly and clearly state his views.

Tim Sweatman said...

Tim B.,

How does the example you gave demonstrate that charismatics are unfit for missionary service? Sure, there are charismatics who use their gifts in a way that doesn't follow the biblical teaching, and I would not be in favor of appointing them as missionaries. At the same time, however, there are preachers who use their gift of preaching/teaching in ways that don't follow the biblical teaching, so are we going to prohibit the appointment of preachers as missionaries because some preachers misuse or abuse their gifts?

Anonymous #6,

As a pastor and supporter of the IMB, I'm also not interested in investing in the planting of charismatic churches on the field. Nor am I interested in investing in the planting of non-charismatic churches or Baptist or non-Baptist churches on the field. I AM interested in investing in the planting of churches that are passionately devoted to Jesus, committed to sound biblical doctrine, and equipped to minister and to share Jesus in a way that connects with their own culture.

Anonymous said...

I wondered who was Annie Armstrong that we hear so much is what the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame biography has to say about Annie:

"With her ability to pull forces together, Miss Annie unified the mission efforts of all the Protestant denominations. She worked tirelessly for unity within the Southern Baptist community."

Most terms of this blog.

Anonymous said...

"This is one of those posts you will want to remember, and I'm sure, I will point back to it in the future. The following comment was dated Saturday, March 4, 2006."

I had copied and pasted this post to a Word document the day I read it in it's original comment. Because, I think I remember when this originally took place. Correct me if I am mistaken, but the original meeting
of individuals who got this rolling were "some" seminary presidents and others in SBC leadership that wanted to just dialogue with IMB leadership to voice some of their concerns of the IMB. I think this originated out of a paper that someone had written criticizing the IMB, the MLC training, etc... I can't remember the person's name at the moment. It was circulated by that individual to BoT and others.

As an M on the field, we never got to see that paper, but we get to see the results. I was as concerned about those 'recommendations' that came out of that meeting then as I still am now. I asked my on the field leadership about those things then. The response I got was that it was just a "pow wow" per say and that nothing would come of it. It was not an 'official' committee so not to worry about any of that. It was just a meeting to calm some hot heads, etc... I think he really believed what he was saying.

We will be coming back to these issues. This is the agenda of a certain few "in power" and they will not stop until they get all they think is right.

An M who is in a level 3 security (in case someone gets offended that I didn't sign my name)

Anonymous said...

I stumbled across this blog in my search for information about Church planting movements. It was hard to not to feel that I had entered a time warp. Here in New Zealand this sort of anti-charismatic reaction was mostly over by the end of the 1970's. A large % of Baptist Pastors in NZ would fit the description of given - "feels that glossolalia (TONGUES) is a vital, significant and public part of his or her conviction and practice"
In the area where I first pastored a Baptist church, out of the 7 pastors 6 were of a charismatic conviction.

One Southern Baptist who visited one of the churches I pastored commented on the free style of worship and said that back in his church if anyone raised their hands in worship some one else was likely to get the wrong idea and yell out "stickup"

We also have women pastors in New Zealand so I guess this fits in with some of the other comments made.

It is certainly true as was said that there is a distinct diffence between being Baptist, theological conviction with a wide range of parameters, and being Southern Baptist - choice of association.

To those charismatics in the Southern Baptists who read this I would say - hang in there if you can. Your denomination needs you far more than it realises. If you can't stay - go with grace.

To the anti-charismatics I would say open your heart to your brothers and sisters - there is much they can teach you and much they can learn from you. do all things with grace.

Getting back to my original search ... If anyone can direct me to information or contacts on people involved in a CPM in a country similar to New Zealand I would be very grateful.