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FLOYD: My last 100 days as SBC president

Ronnie Floyd is president of the Southern Baptist Convention and senior pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas.

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (BP) — This week I am entering my last 100 days as president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Someone told me it would be a two-year sprint and, unquestionably, it has been. Honestly, it seems like it was just yesterday this journey began, though my team may feel otherwise.

I am very committed to finishing strong. Please understand, I do not know how presidents before me led during this season relating to the topics below, or how the ones who follow me will. But I want to let you in on some of the inside “secrets” of my experiences over the last year and what I will do in my last 100 days.

In these last 100 days, what is left to do?

There are seasons that are busier than others. Some seasons are more extensive with travel while others are heavier with preparations and convention responsibilities. I also have my own church to care for, writing assignments in leadership, and sermon preparations for both my church and Southern Baptist engagements.

I want to bring you along on a few of these tasks, even though what I will share is not exhaustive. This will help you have an inside look at things, but also build anticipation as we move toward the beginning of our SBC annual meeting on Tuesday, June 14, in St. Louis.

Preparing and finalizing preparations for #SBC16

Within days of the conclusion of the 2015 Southern Baptist Convention in Columbus, Ohio, I began working with the leadership and communications teams regarding our theme for the 2016 Southern Baptist Convention in St. Louis. Those were all determined within the 30 days following last year’s convention. It was exciting to see the vision come together so quickly.

This prepared us to go forward in some general details regarding what we wanted this year’s convention to look like in program and appearance. Email exchanges and conference calls began with our Committee on Order of Business, moving us forward to prepare for our September meeting of the committee.

This entire time, we have been preparing and moving toward final details for the upcoming convention. I have prayed daily 1 Chronicles 28:19, the words of David: “By the Lord’s hand on me, He enabled me to understand everything in writing, all the details of the plan.”

How strongly I desire for God to do this with our preparations. While we have to plan ahead generally, we want the Lord to give us insight along the way, projecting what will be most relevant for Southern Baptists in June of 2016.

Last year, in the month before the convention, I spent no less than 60 hours preparing my 2015 Presidential Address. This is still before me for our 2016 meeting, so please pray for me.

Baptists need to know the president’s team is not only in his own church, but way beyond in our convention. Highly gifted persons on our Committee on Order of Business and leaders on our Executive Committee walk with me through this process, giving input and helping us chart the vision together. I am thankful for all of these dear people who love our Lord and want to forward our work together in agreement, unity and prayer.

Appointment of the Committee on Committees

Beginning last September, we started working on our Committee on Committees for 2016. The president appoints 68 people to serve on this committee, which in turn appoints our Committee on Nominations. The Committee on Nominations will eventually nominate the trustees of our 11 national entities and our Executive Committee.

This process begins with receiving nominations. Then we move to determining the members, appointing the chairman, and the most difficult step, recruiting the members. Since the first of the year, we have been securing the members for this committee, and we will finish this week. It takes a tremendous amount of time to correspond with each potential member and secure a firm commitment. Next Monday, I will release the members of our 2016 Committee on Committees to the convention via my weekly blog.

Appointment of the Committee on Resolutions

At the first of this year, I began to work through the persons I would appoint to the Committee on Resolutions. This 10-member committee is critical in Baptist life because their work goes beyond the convention itself. As well, there are various restrictions and guidelines that are imperative to put the pieces of this puzzle together. Before the end of March, I will release the names of our 2016 Committee on Resolutions via this weekly article.

Appointment of parliamentarians, Credentials Committee and Tellers Committee

In these last 100 days, I will spend much time on appointments of parliamentarians, the Credentials Committee and the Tellers Committee. Before the convention, these appointments will be completed and released via this weekly blog. Both the Credentials Committee and Tellers Committee will have an estimated 20 persons each. This year, besides appointing our chief parliamentarian, Barry McCarty, who has served Southern Baptists for 30 consecutive years this June, I will also appoint up to four assistant parliamentarians.

Media requests and correspondence

Last Sunday, Monday and Tuesday up until the final few hours of Super Tuesday, I did nine different radio interviews and an in-studio television interview with the Dallas-Fort Worth NBC affiliate prior to preaching in Texas on Tuesday night. As well, I gave several statements for print media. I am honored to be able to represent Southern Baptists in the media during a time when evangelicals may not be presented in the best light.

Daily, we receive emails and other correspondence. Some are related to basic questions about our convention, while others are sharing concerns. Regardless, I am firmly committed to responding. We have made every effort to answer each one and never take anyone for granted.

Weekly SBC article released each Monday

Each president of the Southern Baptist Convention has to fulfill their vision as God leads them, but I have chosen to write articles related to our convention weekly. These are published on my blog each Monday.

My team informed me that by the time I finish my term at the conclusion of our 2016 convention in St. Louis, I will have written no less than 110 articles related to the Southern Baptist Convention. Yes, I have written a lot about our work together as Southern Baptists.

I have done this because I believe in the power of Habakkuk 2:2: “The Lord answered me: Write down this vision; clearly inscribe it on tablets so one may easily read it.”

God has used many of these weekly articles to forward the vision not only within our convention, but way beyond. Therefore, in these last 100 days, I will continue to write. God uses the written word.

How will this get done in the last 100 days?

Only by the grace of God and the prayers of God’s people will all of this be accomplished by June 14. I am often asked if I am looking forward to this being over. I can honestly say, not at all. I have enjoyed it thoroughly and will miss it greatly. God has sustained me because He called me to do this in this season of my life. My vision is clear, my passion is alive, and my focus is forward to St. Louis. Pray for me and with me about #SBC16.

    About the Author

  • Ronnie Floyd