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Jonathon Woodyard

Or, it could be, that since Phoenix is a long way from a large portion of SBC churches...the hefty price tag on a flight coupled with hard economic times (and who knows what other factors) that this just was not something pastors (young or old) could afford.

But, who knows...maybe a large part of the crowd is following your lead and not pre-registering so that they can make a statement.



C'mon brother Peter, you make Presbyterians sound hierarchical, they are not. Nor, have they ever had a dress code for PCA General Assembly, if someone did try to dictate a dress code they'd get the same reaction as you're having, or worse.

In the PCA, no one has the authority to dictate one a dress code or anything else; unless it is denominational agencies to their employees. PCA General Assembly gives the marching orders to the agencies, not the other way around.

Might I suggest some other considerations for a poor turn out in Phoenix:
1. Economy, churches are cutting back, with 80 percent of SBC churches being under 100, pastors can't afford out of pocket. In fact, most I know have to have a part/full time job.
2. Location, it's too far away from "Southern" roots.
3. Too much hot air! (both literal and figurative...it's a dry heat though...at least the literal heat is dry; not sure about the other.)

Sad About My SBC

I have gone to the convention almost every year since the 1980s. Not this year, dear Brother Peter, and not because of finances. Why go and be made to feel not welcome among today's leaders just because I believe in democracy in the church, because I abstain from alcohol, and because I think Calvin was in error?


All these attendance figures demonstrate is that attendance at the Annual Meeting of the SOUTHERN Baptist Convention is always higher when it is located in the SOUTH.

Ed Goodman

It's not necessary to attend the SBC meeting. Period. I enjoy attending, but I don't get all worked up about Driscoll, alcohol, IMB policies, and Calvinism. I'm quite content preaching Scripture and pursuing sinners without having to go to the desert this year.

peter lumpkins

Everybody take a deep breath...in...out...in...out. This piece, while statistically factual, intends a bit of facetiousness...

With that, I am...

boB Cleveland

Good article and if I am catching any real vibes here, it's that attendance is going to tell more than the SBC "Leadership" may want to know (not that the economy won't be a handy excuse..).

And keep in mind that the number of churches continues to increase, even though membership is down a tad.



PETER, the fascinating part of the ACTS 29 / DRISCOLL crowd is that they want a 'place'...then when they get it they don't show up. They're notorious for being 'anti-meeting' yet disrupt an organization like the SBC that we need to be at their beck and call.
BTW, Jim Wells Reg Secy will not be at the SBC. He is in the hospital with a serious infection from the lowering of his immune system due to chemo-therapy. Please pray for him and the family.


As a former Arizonan Southern Baptist, I'm excited to see the convention return to my home state. the only time I've ever had the opportunity to go was in 2003, so obviously, I feel for all the Southern Baptist leaders who are challenged by the price of travel (or were perhaps discouraged by the desert climate).
Anyway, I think this statistic is mostly indicative of the fact the Southern Baptist Convention remains the SOUTHERN Baptist Convention- and those of us from the rest of America, who are Southern Baptist by conviction but not culturally Southern, can often struggle with our place in the convention.

Anyway considering that all 4 of America's fastest growing states last year (Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Idaho) are in the West, it seems to me a good place for SBs to concentrate.

Is being Southern Baptist about cultural affinity, or biblical conviction? If the latter, shouldn't we concentrate on planting churches in these places? Or should we leave that to the P-R-E-S-B-Y-T-E-R-I-A-N-S ?

Johnathan Pritchett

Well...I am a young non-reformed Southern Baptist looking to pastor a church and can't find work. Go figure...though a lot of Calvinists pastors my age are situated in growing SBC churches. Go figure...if you are a young, restless, and reformed looking for a church, you are likely to find one. If not, you have to wait for the old non-reformed preachers in old womanish churches to retire or die to find a church. It seems to me from my ancedotal viewpoint that the option for young pastors who are not reformed is as follows:

1. Go by a copy of Institutes and sell out your convictions.

2. Be a youth pastor until you are well into your forties...

3. Leave the SBC.

Option 3 is why there is few young pastors by the way...despite my knowing a bunch of young pastors in he SBC who are Reformed. Seems to me there are lots of young pastors after all...they just happen to be Calvinists and in the SBC. Also, they are picked by search committees and voted on by congregations.

So all this "top-down" talk is a bit misplaced. Maybe Peter should start ranting at Joe and Jane pew for a while...they get what they wanted at the end of the day.

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