Monday was the day of anticipated stress. 2 very critical items were on the agenda: firstly, the future structure of the BU, and secondly, the proposal to appoint a youth developer. These items, among the other usual toughies, like finances, made for a very interesting assembly.
- In short, the BU executive have initiated an indaba of people representative of the union, to look at some of the core unhappinesses that exist in the union. It was noted that there are many 'happinesses' but that certain 'elephants in the room' existed that have to be identified and addressed. The details of the initial bosberaad are in the assembly handbook, and include questions such as "Does the BU need to be reinvented?", and the relationship between and roles of the central office and regional associations. As a first step, a statement of unity was proposed by the executive, who encouraged all to sign it as a pledge, which affirmed that we will "seek the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" despite differences in race, culture, and (Baptist) theology. Unfortunately, amid someone raising the question of "hermeneutic" as a safeguard against 'unity with false doctrine', the assembly became confused with procedures for admitting and contesting proposals and voting. It seemed that the executive present, were not well versed in the procedure. And so a couple of men from the floor were directing the chairman and general secretary on what was allowed and what wasn't. This also effected a general confusion in the assembly about what people were voting for. It was a terribly messy situation, and almost irrecoverable. And worst of all, it was evident that a large contingent were hurting because beyond the procedural confusion, they felt robbed of proper representation or recourse. No doubt, this will leave a bruise for a while, and I believe it needs to be addressed in the final sessions.
- As for the youth developer proposal, we have agreed to submit this issue under the greater investigation of the indaba – as one of the critical issues of the BU to be addressed. The think tank of the BYSA will get to work immediately in conjunction with the Indaba.Youth Developer or none, it is agreed that urgent action is needed to encourage youth ministry development in the union of Baptist churches.
After a long and arduous day, we skipped the assembly dinner and met as friends at Bradley Trout's (assoc. pastor, Mountain View Baptist) place for dinner and more fellowship. A refreshing time indeed.