The exasperation from a simple tweet from Oct. 20 was undeniable and quickly received more than 200 affirmations — “Hey SBC: Can we ever have a day off with the crazy? Ever?”
I’m guessing it’s a common sentiment about now. All that’s happening and the constant breaking news stories — it’s a lot to absorb.
Our team joked as we went to press with this issue how it would likely miss out on the opportunity to report at least three more updates before it even goes in the mail.
Of course, we’ve got you covered online for all the in-between items and we’ll definitely catch you up in the next issue, but we wanted you to know we understand the heaviness of all that is happening in Southern Baptist Convention life and throughout the world in general.
Trying to grasp it all
About the time we think we grasp the latest news or situation happening, something changes.
More chaos breaks out, a new piece of information surfaces or a different expert reports his or her opinion.
What was happening with a small group of people behind closed doors slowly leaks out to the public and all accounts are not the same.
Before we know it, countless voices are sharing their opinions. Even determining who to trust brings a level of discouragement.
And how exhausting it must be for anyone who has worked through a situation, processed all the data and made a decision only to come in the next day with lots of new information or different information that has surfaced overnight. Or within the hour.
Along with the lack of clarity available in many of the current situations is a fear of how those listening will respond.
Pressure is intense for those in leadership to clearly (and quickly) articulate an answer to whatever crisis has occurred.
At the same time, repercussions are swift from those who disagree with the answer provided.
Thinking through and weighing all the what ifs while trying to fully understand an unfamiliar area by absorbing the massive amount of content swirling around would be a lot on its own, but even more so on top of already existing family, church and work responsibilities.
Encourage your pastor
During this chaotic time, a generous gift we can give our pastors and other ministry leaders for Pastor Appreciation Month is a genuine word of encouragement, a kind smile and extra prayers.
While they all aren’t focused on the same concerns or issues, they most likely all are carrying a heavy load and wanting desperately to provide clarity for all of us as they lead.
And like Chris Crain describes, pastors are people too. They need grace and love and an opportunity to explain if something seems off or becomes confusing.
Deciding not to vent to the pastor about minor frustrations around the church or people in the church could be the precise action allowing him to sleep well tonight.
‘Loving our neighbors, one neighbor at a time’
What if we, the ones of us connected here through The Baptist Paper, decided to be the model for loving our neighbors, one neighbor at a time?
It might entail giving each other the benefit of the doubt or seeking to understand the other person while also finding a way to calmly and clearly share our concerns.
It could mean taking intentional breaks from Twitter and other social media platforms.
We all can make poor decisions in the heat of the moment, especially when exhausted, and we sometimes say things harshly to another person when in all reality we are merely frustrated at a situation.
And while we have serious and important work to do within our denomination at multiple levels, it doesn’t mean we have to destroy each other in the process.
God is good, all the time. And all the time, God is good.
We have the message of Hope and we know the Author personally. Help us tell His story and in turn let’s become a light so bright, the world can’t help but stare at His beauty.
“ Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” — Colossians 4:6 —