FRANKLIN, Tenn. (BP)–David W. Atchison, recording secretary for the Southern Baptist Convention the past seven years, will resign that post following the June SBC annual meeting in Dallas.
In a letter of resignation to the SBC Executive Committee, dated Feb. 10, Atchison said he senses the “Lord’s leadership to focus more of my energies on the primary ministry to which He has called me.”
Atchison, a layman, is beginning a new ministry, Disciple’s Call, which will assist churches in equipping men and women “to discover their unique calling and develop a disciplemaking lifestyle.”
Atchison said, as recording secretary, “it was a much larger task than I had expected. However, after moving to a desktop publishing system for the (SBC) Book of Reports and Annual, and assigning staff to take on more of the production duties, the time-issues and workload (became) more manageable for a person busy with other responsibilities.”
His years as recording secretary have left him with some concerns.
“The convention surveys indicate that the age of those attending our annual conventions does not include many younger messengers,” Atchison said. “We must find ways to draw in younger leadership without ignoring the wisdom and maturity of our senior leadership. Both are desperately needed. It has also become obvious that the fewer the controversies, the fewer the number in attendance. What does this say about our convention format, or our motivation for participating in annual conventions?”
Atchison said his prayer and personal call is a “renewed priority to train men and women to develop a disciplemaking lifestyle outside the church walls rather than merely coaxing the lost to come inside the church walls. This type of discipleship is not a method or a program, but a mind-set.”
Atchison won election in 1990 by defeating Martin Bradley of Nashville, Tenn., who had held the post 12 years. People seeking the position may be nominated from the floor at the SBC annual meeting, June 17-19, in Dallas at the time of the election of officers. Recording secretary is one of the six elected officers of the SBC.