John Avant and Ed Stetzer @ Catalyst

I am at the Catalyst Conference in Atlanta. Today I had the chance to hang out with Kevin Bussey and enjoy an amazing conference. I also attended a lunch at the Georgia Baptist Convention Building given by the North American Mission Board. John Avant and Ed Stetzer spoke. If the old gatekeepers of the SBC will just leave those guys alone we may be OK.

Avant and Stetzer spoke with authentic passion and humility. They stated that the role of the denomination was to support the mission of local congregations in the advance of the kingdom. Avant said, "The age of denominationalism is over." Stetzer added, "There is more biblical justification for you having a concubine than for us having a denomination." In my life and short ministry I can't remember denominational workers speaking this way. It was great! I left the meeting truly believing that NAMB could become a partner in ministry. I was also thankful for a free lunch (I have another baby on the way).

I think these guys have a good handle on the fruitful role denominations can play. What biblical role do you think denominations play?


Bro. Rob said...

Just a quick word on Ed Stetzer. I was at a Church planting conference in Nashville (actually Franklin, TN) and he was there. He's the real deal. I now have a new boyhood hero: Ed!


Cally said...


You might have more interest in denominations if the viewpoint about concubines were more widely known. Denominations may have the money to keep the machinery going but I question their relevance, particularly when they attempt to dictate to local churches who they choose as ministry partners. See the Missouri Baptist Convention situation.

Glad to stumble upon your blog.
Keep it real.

Matt Snowden said...


Good to hear from you. I appreciate your comments about Stetzer. I loved, "Breaking the Missional Code" and am working through, "Planting New Churches in a Postmodern World." They both are great.

I saw someone mention your post on a comment thread on Wade Burleson's blog. I plan on checking it out. Stay in touch.

Mark said...

I recently met and worshipped with Ed:

He does seem the real deal and he was certainly great guy. I would love to talk to him some more.


Matt Snowden said...

I don't know if there is a snowball's chance of Stetzer heading NAMB but it would be a dream come true.

Anonymous said...

When I read comments about how important it is to maintain the integrity of being Southern Baptist (defending the critical import of the BFM), I ask myself this question even more. Thanks for the report.

Matt Snowden said...


Thanks for the comments. I am getting discouraged about the future of the SBC. I just don't know how it will all shake out.

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