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‘On the Business’: McLaurin Reflects on Interim EC Post Ahead of 2022 SBC

Serving his immediate family well empowers him to serve Southern Baptists, he said, taking time to praise his wife Antonia and daughters Sierra and SiChanna.

“I could not do what I’m doing without having an amazing wife. Antonia, she has walked with me throughout my entire ministry journey. But especially in these first 100 days, she’s been the person that I could talk to,” he said. “She listens to me, laughs with me, challenges me, she pushes me, and really, she manages some of the larger aspects of my life.

“When the opportunity came for me to be the interim, she said this: ‘If you don’t manage our home and our family well, then you don’t deserve the right to lead Southern Baptists.’ Every day, I’ve just really tried to love my wife and make sure she feels loved and not lonely, and to make sure that my children feel like rewards and not rentals.

“I learned this from home. When I serve my wife and serve my daughters, they empower me, and they empower me because they like it when I serve them. … And what I’ve tried to do, and what I want to continue to do, is I want to serve Southern Baptists. I want to serve our team well, then my team will continue to empower me. Why? Because they like it when I serve them.”

Southern Baptists are weeks away from the 2022 SBC Annual Meeting and its subsidiary events June 12-15 in Anaheim, Calif.

McLaurin expressed joy inspired by the numerous volunteers and generous Southern Baptists working to make the annual meeting a success, including committees, local churches and the EC staff.

“I’m anticipating that we come out of the meeting in Anaheim having approved the budget for sending the largest missions force to the world,” he said. “And then, I’m looking forward and anticipating a new slate of volunteers that will serve Southern Baptists on a number of boards and committees, hundreds of people who are serving on boards and committees.”

Uplifting and promoting the Cooperative Program around which Southern Baptists have united for nearly a century, churches from around the U.S. renewing friendships and fellowshipping onsite, and new relationships that will last a lifetime are among exciting things he describes as awaiting Southern Baptists in Anaheim.

Also in Anaheim, messengers are expected to respond to the Sexual Abuse Task Force report delving into the past 20 years of the Executive Committee’s handling of any complaints of sexual abuse that might have come before the EC. McLaurin has prayed for task force leaders and pastors Bruce Frank and Marshall Blalock, and SBC President Ed Litton, offering the EC’s support in making their work in leading the investigation as efficient and effective as possible.

McLaurin plans on reading the report as soon as it is publicly released, making sure he understands all that is contained in the report, and laying the groundwork to ensure that the EC staff is on the right path toward implementing any recommendations approved.

“If I can model strong, competent, courageous leadership and just reassure our larger convention that we’re here to serve, and we’re here to keep a laser-sharp focus on the Great Commission,” he said, “and provide what I call a non-anxious presence, then I really think that’s what our convention needs right now. … I need to be able to focus on the issues and separate how others may feel, and even separate how I may feel, particularly from an emotional perspective, and then be very objective and just really try to help move us forward in a path that is Christ-honoring.”

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Diana Chandler is senior writer for Baptist Press.