Thomas S. Kidd and Barry Hankins, professors of history at Baylor University, write that the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is in decline because its members have, for the most part, lost their commitment to evangelism. SBC parents have also struggled to retain their children, while allowing their doctrine to become diluted by a kind of American deism and political involvement in the Republican party.
Why this story matters to church leaders:
Whether or not you agree with Kidd and Hankins, are there ways the three points of their critique can help your church focus its ministry?
- Do politics get in the way? Political parties have become synonymous with certain denominations, but there is a vocal movement in the SBC arguing against aligning with a specific party.
- Retaining youth: To what degree have churches either alienated or isolated younger members who are crucial for their futures?
- American theology? Kidd and Hankins note that some churches have mixed American values with their theology. Where have you seen this happen?
How can your church keep politics from impacting the gospel message?
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