NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–When Southern Baptists convene for their annual meeting June 10-11 in Indianapolis, they are expected to have a remarkable six presidential candidates from which to choose.
To help messengers to the annual meeting evaluate the candidates, Baptist Press posed a series of questions to each candidate.
Three general questions were asked of all the candidates:
1) What has God done in your life and ministry to prepare you to be president of the Southern Baptist Convention?
2) If you are elected, what would be your priority message for Southern Baptists?
3) What do you believe is needed to see churches more effectively bringing people to Christ and making disciples?
In addition, five issue-focused questions were posed:
1) Decline/plateau in membership, baptisms: What do you think the future holds for the SBC?
2) Regenerate church membership: To what extent do you see regenerate church membership as a significant concern in the Southern Baptist Convention?
3) Calvinism: Do you see any reason for non-Calvinist Southern Baptists to be concerned about a renewed emphasis on Calvinism in some Southern Baptist churches and seminaries?
4) The IMB trustee guidelines governing baptism and private prayer language in appointing missionaries: Do you think their action was needed and appropriate?
5) The role of the Baptist Faith and Message: What do you see as the proper role of the Baptist Faith and Message when it comes to governing SBC entities and employees?
Baptist Press also asked candidates one question related to their specific situations:
Frank Cox and Johnny Hunt: Your ministry is known for bringing large numbers of people to faith in Jesus Christ. What does your church do to deepen new believers in the faith and help them become fruitful Christians themselves? How would you bring this experience in your ministry to bear on an evangelism and discipleship strategy for the SBC?
Wiley Drake: While you served as SBC second vice president, controversy arose over what some alleged was your use of the title to push your personal issues. Should Southern Baptists be concerned you will use the office of president to promote activism rather than lead the SBC?
Les Puryear: You wrote on your blog that you felt like you were somewhere between Baptist and Presbyterian. What did you mean by that?
Bill Wagner and Avery Willis: We hear reports that God’s spirit is moving in astounding ways in many parts of the world, with people being saved and churches being started so fast no one can keep track of the numbers. Based on your missionary experience, what do you think keeps God from moving in such remarkable ways in America?
Mark Kelly is an assistant editor with Baptist Press.