Illinois Baptist 05 09 2016 E Edition Page A-3 A-3 May09,2016 THE TICKER Follow the latest Illinois Baptist news NEWS address issues at the spiritual heart of Amer- ica, in particular the need for evangelism and spiritual awakening, and renewed efforts at racial reconciliation. (See more on B-1.) By the time of the prayer gathering, mes- sengers will already have selected a new presidentand perhaps a new direction. At this crossroads, signs point to missions fund- ing, evangelism and theology, and the age of denominational leaders. The most obvious turn could be genera- tional. Only recently has the greatest gener- ation of Southern Baptists handed off lead- ership to their children, the Baby Boomers born after World War II. The possible elec- tion of 43-year-old J.D. Greear over Steve Gaines , 58, or David Crosby , 63, would confirm the handoff to Generation X, or the Baby Busters. These younger leaders, born after 1964, have already assumed leadership of the Conventions two missions boards. Leaders have reported that the demo- fraphics of convention attenders have shift- ed younger over the past decade. The meet- ing isnt as gray as it used to be, and thats food news observers say. These younger Southern Baptists are making their pres- ence known through Baptist 21, SEND con- ferences, and other venues aimed at Busters and their quickly advancing successors, the Millennials. Electing one of their own could hasten the transition. One of the things God has put on my heart is that my generation needs to take personal responsibility for the agencies and the mission boards of the SBC and not just think of them as the SBCs, but think of them as ours, said Greear in his nomination an- nouncement. A second turning point for the Convention is the future of the Cooperative Program. Implicit in the election of a president is en- dorsement of his view of CP funding for mis- sions and Southern Baptist work, whether it is whole-hearted and longstanding, recently renewed as part of the Great Commission Resurgence, or newly embraced as one of many ways of funding missions. The three candidates for president all speak highly of the Cooperative Program, but their churches have notable differences in their historic sup- port of CP and their current giving levels. Crosbys response to a question from the Illinois Baptist is enlightening: As SBC president, I will not talk or act as if a return to the society method of supporting our coop- erative work is progress. (See more on page B-3.)Atitsfoundation,thisiswhatachurch's record of CP support demonstrates: Is mis- sions giving through Cooperative Program the main way Southern Baptist churches fund missions, or rather one of many ways? And third, simmering under the surface in this election is the role of election in salva- tion and the future commitment to evange- lism in the SBC. Listen very carefully: We have criticized evangelism right out of the Southern Baptist Convention, Floyd told the SBC Executive Committee in February. Years ago, some- thing happened where pastors and churches that reached and baptized people effectively came under the microscope of other Baptists who oftentimes did not have a heart for evan- felism themselves. A culture of skepticism about evangelism began to creep into our Convention. Evangelism began to die. This culture shift was framed by some as evangelism versus discipleship. Evangelism was criticized as easy believe-ism while discipleship was elevated. Discussion of the sinners prayer at the 2012 Pastors Confer- ence was followed by Executive Committee CEO Frank Pages appointment of an ad hoc panel to address the rise of Reform Theology and whether Calvinists and Traditionalists as they were called at that time could peace- fully coexist in the SBC tent. Gaines was an outspoken supporter of the sinners prayer style of personal commit- ment at the time, while International Mis- sion Board President David Platt, then pas- tor of Birmingham megachurch The Church at Brook Hills was critical of evangelism that emphasized acts of conversion, such as walking the aisle at church, over disciple- ship of new believers that emphasizes per- sonal recognition of Gods call and sover- eignty in their salvation. This election brings up that question again. Gaines and Crosby have traditional views on evangelism and conversion, while Greears theology is Reform. The church Greear pas- tors is evangelistic, baptizing 928 in 2014, but it is also active in the Acts 29 Network of church planting, which expects its mem- bers to hold Reform views. And of the three candidates, Greear has the greatest support among the rising group of younger, Re- formed pastors in the SBC. These three issuesand the candidates holding different views on themstand be- fore Southern Baptists at the crossroads. O'Fallon Doug Munton, pastor of First Baptist Church, OFallon, announced April 26 he will be nominated for First Vice President of the Southern Baptist Convention. In a news release about his nomination, Munton fave several reasons for allowing his name to be sub- mitted for the VP post. I want to see a continued move in our Convention to- wards racial diversity and unity, he said. I want to encourage our churches to par- ticipate in missions through support of the Cooperative Pro- fram. I hope to en- courage prayer for a spiritual awakening in our convention and nation. The nomination will be made by John Marshall, pastor of Second Baptist Church, Springfield, Mo., during the convention in St. Louis June 14-15. The St. Louis Metroplex is a tough place to do the Lord's work, but Doug has led his congregation there effectively, Marshall said. He has been a longtime role model for those of us who serve in the Midwest. Munton, 56, has pastored FBC OFallon for more than 20 years, during which time the church has frown from 550 to over 1,600 people in average at- tendance and has baptized about 2,000 people. In the 2014-15 reporting year, the church gave just over 8% of budget receipts through the Cooperative Pro- gram-Southern Baptists' unified method of sup- porting missions and ministry. He served as IBSA President for two years, and is currently on the SBCs Committee on Commit- tees. His wife, Vickie , is president of the Ministers Wives Luncheon this year at the SBC in St. Louis. The Muntons have four adult children and will soon have their seventh grandchild. I am excited to hear that Doug will be nominated for this national role, after experiencing his strong leadership here in Illinois as our state convention president and as longtime pastor of one of our lead- ing churches, said IBSA Executive Director Nate Adams . Doug has all the qualities I would hope for in SBC leadership. He is a conservative, coopera- tive, humble, thoughtful, missions-hearted pastor who will lead both as statesman and by personal ex- ample. The 2016 Southern Baptist Convention will be held at the Americas Center in St. Louis June 14-15. The election for First Vice President is slated for the Tuesday afternoon business session. From the front: how SBC election could signal changes Continued from page A-1 Munton to be nominee for SBC's First VP

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