Rethinking SBC Membership Policies—Part Two Four Types of PARTNERS Receiving MEMBER Benefits in the Southern Baptist Convention
Dr. Rick Patrick, Senior Pastor
First Baptist Church, Sylacauga, AL
Executive Director, Connect 316
In Part One I expressed the concern that Southern Baptists have a very lenient policy for admitting new churches into our convention. All one must do is (a) basically affirm our beliefs, (b) state somewhere, even semi-privately, that you will cooperate with us, and (c) donate an undesignated gift—optionally undisclosed—of any amount at all to any Southern Baptist entity. Frankly, this policy does not properly guard our interests as Southern Baptists. I called it the Southern Baptist equivalent of the North American Free Trade Agreement. It leaves us open to abuse by certain outside partners willing to be Southern Baptist enough to receive our benefits but not Southern Baptist enough to shoulder our responsibilities.