14 Jun Pastor’s Response to SBC Amendment
The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) messengers passed an amendment which specifies that an SBC church “does not affirm, appoint, or employ a woman as a pastor of any kind.” This amendment must gain 2/3 approval at next year’s convention to become part of the SBC Constitution.
It puts churches at risk of being voted out if they employ ANY women on their ministerial or pastoral staff (not just Senior Pastor). A report floating around the SBC (which prompted the amendment) estimates 2,000 women are still currently serving in pastoral roles in 1,255 churches. These include positions relating to music, youth, education, children, or any other capacity in which a woman is given a ministerial or pastoral role. This amendment also signals that African American and other churches of color who historically affirm women in ministry are no longer welcome.
This latest action by the SBC is especially painful for women who have learned today that their contributions are no longer valued by a denomination they have faithfully served in their whole lives. It makes me especially grateful of those in decades past who led our church to be one where service is based on gifts and calling rather than gender. Our church is fortunate to have capable, faithful, God-called women serving on ministerial staff. I’m reminded of what Dr. Chuck Poole said: “We ordain women because we baptize girls.”
It’s a natural question to ask how the SBC’s actions will impact our church. We are partners with the SBC on national, state, and associational levels. Each of them functions individually and on an autonomous level. I’m aware of these relationships and believe our best response is to wait until the SBC meets in June 2024. We will then learn whether or not this amendment passes a second time and becomes part of the SBC Constitution.
Regardless of what happens on a denominational level, our church will continue serving the Lord as we have always done here in beautiful East Tennessee–DC