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Greear: ‘Gospel Above All’ SBC theme worth repeating

ORLANDO, Fla. (BP) — The Gospel stands in 2020 as the focus of the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting June 9-10 in Orlando, Fla., with the theme, “Gospel Above All. Always.”

SBC President J.D. Greear announced the 2020 theme and unveiled an accompanying logo Aug. 21 during a planning meeting in Orlando with Florida pastors and SBC Executive Committee President Ronnie Floyd. “Gospel Above All” was the 2019 theme as well.

“I know it is unusual for us to have the same theme two years in a row,” Greear told Baptist Press after the meeting, “but I believe this is what the Spirit of God is saying to this generation of Southern Baptists. With regards to our identity, our mission, and our priorities, the Gospel must be above all.”

Repetition can be beneficial, said Greear, pastor of The Summit Church, a multisite congregation in the Raleigh-Durham, N.C., area.

“Most pastors know that when we are sick of saying something,” Greear said, “our leaders have ‘just heard’ it, and when they are sick of hearing it, the congregation usually is ‘hearing it’ for the first time!”

The annual meeting Scripture, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, also remains from 2019. The Scripture and theme will hopefully influence Southern Baptist culture, Greear said, echoing a principle Floyd has also promoted.

“We also need a ‘Gospel above all’ culture,” Greear told BP, “a disposition that allows us to have strong, differing opinions on secondary and tertiary concepts while maintaining enthusiastic unity on the essentials. We need to let the Gospel shape our interactions with each other, loving each other as He has loved us.”

Floyd has promoted a Gospel culture among Southern Baptists since his election as SBC EC president in April.

As Floyd told a group of Southern Baptist pastors and leaders in Atlanta Aug. 1-2, “I believe one of the greatest issues we’ve had in the last decade of Southern Baptist life is our culture; the way we talk with one another, the way we treat one another, the way we respect one another…. Quite honestly, we need to develop a deep, spiritual culture.”

The 2020 annual meeting will mark the 175th anniversary of the Southern Baptist Convention.