If a casual observer spent any time at all on social media last week, they would be keenly aware that our SBC family is facing great difficulty as it relates to how we serve survivors of sexual abuse.
Last Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 20-21, the Executive Committee and its officers, along with the Sexual Abuse Task Force, met in Nashville to conduct numerous items of business, including a contract with Guidepost Solutions for investigating the Executive Committee’s handling of sexual abuse allegations that were brought to its attention. The meeting ended without resolution on the contract with Guidepost Solutions, and a request for an additional seven days to work out important matters detailing how they will work together. Those seven days will expire Tuesday, Sept. 28.
In the meantime, we, members of SBC churches, have been asked to pray. Would you consider praying for these three items both now and as we continue through this investigation:
- Pray for survivors of sexual abuse: For a child, or an adult for that matter, to experience sexual abuse is one of the more traumatic experiences imaginable in our fallen world. Recovery from abuse requires a great measure of the grace of God, along with help and understanding from others. For that same abuse to happen at the hands of a church leader only serves to multiply and magnify the pain and suffering that a survivor will be forced to endure. Pray for abuse survivors that they will receive the care they need and deserve through this process.
- Pray for the Executive Committee officers and the Sexual Abuse Task Force: Their work is important to help us move forward in this investigation. Pray that God will give them great wisdom and unity in working to develop their contract. Pray that they will arrive at a solution that honors survivors and the messengers of the 2021 Convention in Nashville and allows a thorough investigation to proceed.
- Pray for Executive Committee members: The men and women who serve voluntarily on the Executive Committee do so out of a commitment to Jesus and a desire to aid in the work of our convention. These church leaders from across the nation are striving to understand matters about which they have been asked to make decisions. While I cannot speak for all the committee members, I can say with confidence that the four of them from the Commonwealth of Kentucky are godly leaders who are concerned only to honor survivors and the will of the messengers. They will be led by the Word of God in their decisions, and they need our prayers.
Please join me in praying for a contract, and an investigation, that honors survivors and the will of the messengers of the 2021 Southern Baptist Convention.
Thank you for praying for the SBC.
Todd Gray is executive director-treasurer of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.