J.D. Greear is pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC and author of such great books as Gaining By Losing: Why The Future Belongs To Churches That Send. Approximately 10,000 people attend The Summit Church’s weekend services.
But this past Wednesday afternoon, few if any were talking about the size and scope of Greear’s ministry. They were talking about the size and scope of his class, honor, generosity and selflessness. Don’t believe me? Check out this tweet from my dear friend Mark Marshall:
The move just made by @jdgreear to concede is the classiest I’ve seen in 20+ SBC conventions I’ve attended!
— Mark Marshall (@mxmarsh) June 15, 2016
J.D. and Senior Pastor Steve Gaines of Bellevue Baptist Church were candidates for the Southern Baptist Convention presidency. Heading into a too-close-to-call run-off vote, Greear unexpectedly removed his name and conceded the election to Gaines.
Below are comments from Greear’s concession speech. As I read his thoughts, I gleaned the following 10 Leadership Lessons From J.D. Greear’s Concession Speech At The Southern Baptist Convention:
- Great Leaders Lead From Their Knees. They Are Men Of Prayer. – “I spent a good amount of time last night praying”
- Great Leaders Place The Mission Of The Organization Above Their Personal Aspirations – “(I) believe that for the sake of our convention and our mission”
- Great Leaders Fight For Unity – “we need to leave St. Louis united”
- Great Leaders Are Willing To Wrestle With Differences – “In this room, we have various minor points of difference between us”
- Great Leaders Keep The Main Thing The Main Thing. For Christian Leaders The Main Thing Is The Gospel. – “we are united by a gospel too great and a mission too urgent to let any lesser thing stand in our way.”
- Great Leaders Properly Evaluate Reality – “one of the candidates leaving the convention with a 51 to 49 victory on a third ballot is just not going to serve our mission well.”
- Great Leaders Willingly Make Great Sacrifices For The Good Of Others – “So I am respectfully withdrawing my candidacy as president.”
- Leaders Who Put Others First Are Worthy Of Honor – At the conclusion of Greear’s announcement, the audience showed their appreciation with a standing ovation. His speech was also the defining moment of the convention.
- Great Leaders Show Great Wisdom – Representing INJOY Stewardship Solutions, I attended the convention as an exhibitor. A denominational leader walked up to me afterwards and said, “Wow! Well played.” Oftentimes, all people talk about at mainline denominational events are things that have brought a certain level of embarrassment. Greear’s act was an example of everything that is right about Christian leadership.
- Leaders Who Are Committed To The Success Of Others Will Be Greatly Rewarded – Greear is now a lock to be the SBC president at the conclusion of Gaines’s tenure. As he should be.
If you were in attendance at this week’s Southern Baptist Convention, what were your takeaways from Greear’s announcement?
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