PHOENIX—The 2017 Southern Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference in Phoenix is expected to highlight the contributions of the convention’s smaller churches and celebrate the diverse landscape that makes up the SBC. To that end, Pastors’ Conference officers are seeking nominations for event speakers who represent these churches.
To help fill the slate of preachers for the conference, the leadership team is inviting Southern Baptists to recommend expository preachers for the event. The online nomination process opened Sept. 12 at www.sbcpc2017.com. Nominations can be made through Sept. 30.
Dave Miller, an Iowa pastor and president of the 2017 Pastors’ Conference, made the announcement on the SBC Voices blog Sept. 7.
“We are operating from two strong convictions,” Miller, who also is editor of SBC Voices, said in written comments to Baptist Press. “First, we believe that the Bible is enough. Accurately and powerfully preached, a Pastors’ Conference focused on the word of God will be a rich blessing to all who attend.”
“And second, we believe that there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of qualified preachers in average Southern Baptist churches who can encourage and challenge us from the inerrant, vibrant word of God,” Miller said. “Our task now is to find the right 12 men.”
Nominees should be the pastor of a Southern Baptist church with about “500 or less in average attendance” who has not preached at the annual meeting in the past five years. Miller noted on his blog, “We may stray a little higher if we decide to—these are guidelines, not rules. But we are coming from the belief that there are a lot of very good preachers out there, worth listening to, in average SBC churches.”
The leadership team encourages nominations representing the ethnic and geographic diversity of the SBC. To aid in the selection process, nominators should include links where sermons may be viewed online. If online sermons are not available, sermons may be submitted via email through Google Docs.
The selected preachers will also participate in a preaching colloquium held at a Southern Baptist seminary early in 2017 to focus on expository preaching of Philippians. The theme for the 2017 Conference is “Above Every Name” (Philippians 2:9). Through the four Pastors’ Conference sessions, pastors will preach through the book of Philippians in 12 expository messages.
“We want to work together as a team this year, not just 12 individual speakers,” Miller, pastor of Southern Hills Baptist Church in Sioux City, Iowa, said. (BP)