At the 2021 annual meeting of the SBC in Nashville, messenger Shad Tibbs of Louisiana motioned for the denomination to “break fellowship with Saddleback Church.”
“At the very least, I am asking that the validity of this matter be looked into and report given at the 2022 Convention,” the motion went on to say.
In response, the Credentials Committee has said, “It is the unanimous opinion of the Credentials Committee that the majority of Southern Baptists hold to the belief that the function of lead pastor, elder, bishop, or overseer is limited to men as qualified by Scripture and that this was the intended definition of ‘office of pastor.’”
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However, the Credentials Committee “has found little information evidencing the Convention’s beliefs regarding the use of the ‘title of pastor’ for staff positions with different responsibility and authority than that of the lead pastor.”
In light of this ambiguity, the Credentials Committee determined that Saddleback will not be disfellowshipped from the denomination “until clarity is provided regarding the use of the title ‘pastor’ for staff positions with different responsibility and authority than that of the lead pastor.”
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To that end, the Committee recommended the SBC form a study committee, appointed by the SBC president, to look into the matter further and report their “recommendation providing clarity” regarding the distinction between the “office of pastor” and “title of pastor,” if any such distinction exists according to Southern Baptist convictions.
That report is recommended to be given at the 2023 meeting of the SBC in New Orleans, Louisiana.