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What’s in a Title?

This week, the Southern Baptist Convention convenes for its annual meeting, There will be much discussion, perhaps another amendment or two,  and then a vote on the issue of churches who have female staff members who carry the title of “pastor.”  My feelings on the issue are forged by two experiences.  The first goes back to my teenage years.  During my sophomore year of High School, I was in an accident in which the second vertebra of my neck was broken.  I spent the next nine months, homebound, out of school, off the athletic teams, away from many friends, recovering.  My only real connection to my outside world was through the Youth Pastor at the church where my dad was Senior Pastor.  Had it not been for this God called and deeply committed Youth Pastor, I might not have made it through the experience, much less felt God’s call to ministry.  The second experience was in one of the twenty-nine churches where I have served as Interim Pastor.  The Children’s Pastor at this church was an absolute joy with whom to serve. Hardly a month went by that children weren’t baptized – most of whom were personally led to the Lord by this Children’s Pastor then adequately discipled by the same.  I thank God for both of these pastors.  Unfortunately, the Youth Pastor was named Robbie and the Children’s Pastor was named Candy. To think that these two churches could be voted out of the Southern Baptist Convention for having a female staff member with the title of “pastor” is beyond my ability to reason. We are a diverse convention – “many members in one body” (Romans 12:4), always have been, always will be.  We will not all agree with the final vote, whatever it is.  I just pray that wise heads prevail.

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