Today at the SBC annual meeting in Greensboro, Tom Ascol of Founders Ministries attempted to bring to the floor a resolution on integrity in reporting church membership statistice. The truth is, this resolution is about far more than statistical reporting. It also has a great deal to do with how churches ought to view members who don't attend and have no intention of doing so. In other words, it's about the gospel.
Ascol had to work through a parliamentary procedure that required a supermajority because the resolutions committee chose not to present this resolution to the convention. Other resolutions about U.S. Constitutional amendments, Darfur, and alcohol were more important than the witness churches give that uninterested members are believers in good standing and fellowship with the church.
The motion to bring the resolution before the convention failed to achieve the supermajority required, and it died. Stunningly, the chairman of the resolutions committee spoke against Ascol's resolution, saying that churches that remove non-attending members from church rolls would be "throwing away a prospect list" for evangelism.
You can read more on this story in Ascol's summary and in the comments to his earlier post on the convention.
Ironically, the next item on the agenda after Ascol's proposal was Al Mohler's report on SBTS, in which he said a number of right and true and helpful things. He did say one thing that is apparently not true: "Southern Baptists are the people who believe in regenerate church membership."
You can watch the video of this morning's session in the archives here.
So here's a question: What does your church do with members who never attend?