Yes, it is summer. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, children are happy, and pastors are moving! At least six ministers of my acquaintance are in the process of leaving Tennessee to serve churches in other states. The interesting thing is that four of these folks are leaving churches that have little or no affiliation with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship to work in churches that are clearly identified with both CBF and their state CBF organizations.
Now, these are not “bait and switch” situations. These ministers are moderates. Even those who served churches that would not openly espouse the CBF cause have been friendly with me and a couple have even participated in TCBF activities while working with churches that had no interest in CBF.
So what’s going on here? Are we just grooming leaders for greater kingdom service in greener pastures? Would these people have stayed in place if their churches had been more open to moderate Baptist life? I don’t have answers, but I am a little sad to see these friends leave. At the same time, I am excited about the new opportunities available to them.