The following statement was presented by Dr. John Sullivan, executive director-treasurer to the State Board of Missions, the governing body of the Florida Baptist Convention during its May 29 meeting in Miami and is reprinted in its entirety. For the news story, see “State Board creates task force to study convention.”
There has been a great deal of discussion surrounding the Declaration of a Great Commission Resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention being advanced by our convention president, Dr. Johnny Hunt. Let me make some remarks about it and offer a suggestion.
1. I do
believe in the principles addressed in the Declaration and have communicated
this to both Dr. Hunt and Dr. Danny Aiken, President of Southeastern Baptist
Theological Seminary and one of the architects of the document.
2. I have a
meeting scheduled with Dr. Hunt and others to address concerns and to affirm
how we can best serve him in strengthening the Declaration and assisting in the
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3. I have
not, at this time, signed the document and will not do so until I have had an
opportunity to address my concerns.
4. My daily
prayer is that we will not make the signing of the document a test of
fellowship. I assure you it is not with me and it has not been with Dr. Hunt.
5. It is in
my heart to be the very best, most efficient, deliberately dynamic and
missional state convention affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. We
must be good stewards of all resources entrusted to us. This is a daily part
of my life. The administrative staff (all division leaders) reviews staff effectiveness
and efficiency on a regular basis.
6. I will not be
defensive of the work of the Florida Baptist Convention, but to review for more
effective missions, evangelism and strengthening churches is not a problem. We
need to set the pace.
I would like to suggest to the State Board that we ask the
sitting president and all former presidents of the Florida Baptist State
Convention for the last 20 years who are still serving in Florida, to become a
Task Force to review every facet of the convention and bring recommendations
back to the State Board of Missions for further discussion and recommendation
to the Florida Baptist State Convention.