We Don't Really Believe it. Apparently.
Once again, we are focusing on symptoms, not on causes. If you would not accept that from your doctor, why are we, as respects SBC matters?
I'll tell you why. If the real problem is one of discipleship and not one of evangelism, that would likely mean that the pastors of the local churches are the most responsible parties. And since most of the delegates to the Annual Meeting are pastors, I think it unlikely they are going to want to deal with that. With their own responsibilities for the current conditions as respects conversions, baptisms, and other numbers we use to diagnose church and denominational health.
What we don't really believe is 1 Corinthians 3:7&8, and the logical outcome of ignoring it.
Quoting: "I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow."
Did you catch that, God makes things grow. I suspect that includes the church itself.
The diagnosis is really simple, to me: The Great Commission is to make disciples. To teach everything Jesus commanded. And with attendance that hovers around 33% of membership ... attendance including visitors, children, and other non-members ... I do not see any way we can claim that we are making disciples of the people God has already sent us.
You may think that those who visit our churches, later to join our churches, are there because our programs have drawn them in. Me, I don't believe I'd say that, in view of the plain statements in 1 Corinthians 3!
The SBC had a hard time passing a call for churches to affirm for themselves that they had a regenerate membership, a few years ago. Again, that would call for pastors to act on the idea that they might have unregenerate members in their local church.
So ... Drs. Hemphill and Greear, please please PLEASE make your focus discipleship ... not evangelism.
The future of a lot of churches, and of the SBC itself, may just be at stake.