Nathan Finn is calling on the older generation to encourage the younger upcoming generation that the Southern Baptist Convention is something worth keeping and fighting for. Below is an excerpt from a recent post on Between the Times.
I may be off-base in my analysis: there may be numerous other factors I have not considered. But even if I am wrong in my diagnosis, the prognosis remains: as a general rule, my generation of conservatives is not involved in the SBC. And many of them are uninterested in future involvement.
This disinterest could potentially have numerous effects on our denomination:
- It will all but guarantee that the under-20 generation will be even less involved than my generation, if they are ever involved at all. If most of the children of the “Resurgers” don’t care, what reason do we have to believe their grandchildren will?
- It will almost definitely guarantee that the shrinking number of messengers who do attend will not accurately represent the full spectrum of conservative Southern Baptists. Some commentators already complain that the churches of the SBC aren’t adequately represented by the messengers to the Convention.
- It will likely contribute to more churches pulling out of the SBC to unite with other denominations and networks. While some of this may be good, let’s not assume that everyone who leaves us is either a “moderate,” not a “real” Baptist, “ecumenical,” or whatever. We are already losing plenty of folks who we need to keep around. I suspect that trend will only increase if we cannot convince the under-40s that the SBC is worth their time.
- The Conservative Resurgence will be shown to have ultimately been in vain. What a tragedy if a generation gained control of the SBC only to watch the next generation of conservatives decide the SBC isn’t worth having control of. And lest you think I am exaggerating, trust me when I say hardly a week goes by that I don’t hear a student or pastor friend make this type of comment.