Frustrated in San Antonio

That’s it. One picture, taken across the street while hurriedly walking from my hotel to the convention Tuesday morning. Hardly proper honor rendered. After all, unlike Hank Hill, I am a natural-born Texican.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, Colossians 3:17, 23 (ESV)

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.
Ecclesiastes 9:10 (ESV)

I think there is a word here for us concerning Southern Baptist Convention mechanics. Are we giving it our best shot? As it is currently set up, with music, videos, and speeches interspersed between brief blocks of business, business isn’t being done properly. Not a few convention goers have expressed this same concern. Any time messengers are left standing at the microphone when “time expires” something is amiss.

In his lengthy San Antonio Wrap up… Ben Cole, at one point bemoans the low voter turnout, and rightly points the cause at the chopped up schedule. He suggests some modifications to convention business to alieviate the problem:

If I was scheduling the convention, I think I would set up the election of officers for back to back votes. I would continue to allow multiple times to introduce new motions, but I would schedule the bulk of the Tuesday evening session for one block of time for debate on the motions presented during the morning. All of the previously scheduled business times would be rolled into one giant block of time for debate and votes. If we got through the time early, I would let everybody go home early that night. Resolutions would still be on Wednesday morning, followed by all the seminary reports back to back with a time for questions for all the seminaries in one block.

And then I would make sure that all votes were announced 15 minutes before they were to occur via a loudspeaker and an alarm in the exhibit hall. If messengers were given a heads-up about votes over a loudspeaker, I think many of them would make their way into the convention hall with ballots in hand. As it is now, the only thing you hear over loudspeakers in the exhibit halls are the blue light specials at the Lifeway store. I would also think about having “balloting kiosks” throughout the convention hall to enable messengers to vote at those places on all votes requiring a ballot.

I agree with the first paragraph, but not the second. Here’s my modified Cole plan: If you knock off all of the music, videos, and other extraneous stuff – translate “political speeches” – and make a special block for all that on both Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, then those who came to do business can do so both mornings and early afternoons. No need for alarms, anouncements, or voting kiosks, because the exhibit halls wouldn’t be open except during the 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. lunch break, and after all business is done in the late afternoon, say five-ish. This way, when all of the business is finished, everyone is free to peruse the book stalls at LifeWay, sit in on one big Christian film and music festival, or have a decent block of time in the early evening with family and/or friends to see the sites of the city. Can you guess which option I would choose?

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