BALTIMORE, Md. – Ronnie Floyd, one of three Southern Baptist Convention presidential nominees and pastor of an Arkansas church, on Sunday blamed the denomination’s declining number of baptisms on “cool” pastors who are more concerned with keeping up with popular culture than having a singular focus on glorifying God.
“Some of us have a heart to be so real with people that we just think if we’re cool enough, we’re going to get [the numbers],” said Floyd, senior pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas. “We’re never going to be cool enough to win our towns, our rural settings, to win our cities, to win the nation, to win the world, to win the nations. We’re never going to be cool enough; the only thing that’s going to bring that is a binding movement of the spirit of God that comes only when we are going up to be with God.”
Speaking on the first night of the 2014 SBC Pastors’ Conference, Floyd urged Southern Baptist pastors to re-adjust their motives in ministry and revealed several statistics showing a number of churches are struggling to evangelize the next generation’s unchurched.
“Do we need to experience the single eye for the glory of God when we have 60 percent of our churches who did not baptize anyone from ages 12 to 17? Do we need a single eye for the glory of God when we have 80 percent of our 46,125 churches that did not baptize or did baptize from zero, which is none to 1, of people who are ages 18 to 29? Do we not have a great need for the glory of God to come upon us in a fresh way when over 25 percent of our churches did not report one single person reached and baptized for the glory of God? And do we not need a fresh touch of the Holy Spirit when we know that a year ago, we have experienced as a division of churches the worst drought in baptisms in 62 years and now, just reported a few days ago, we’re down another 1.46 from the other negative stat a year ago?”