A group of evangelical pastors and leaders plan to serve as an advisory council to the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention as part of the organization's Leadership Network, officials announced Wednesday.
"The ERLC Leadership Network is about ministering in the midst of a devil-haunted universe," ERLC President Russell D. Moore said. "As we come alongside one another, we'll talk about crucial ethical issues confronting churches and how we can engage the culture with a Gospel-focus. We'll think through issues that aren't yet confronting churches, but will, and how we can best go through the difficulties of life and local church ministry with a joyful warrior kingdom expectancy-marching toward Zion on the triumphant side of history."
The ERLC Leadership Network is a movement of men and women - leaders, pastors and lay people - who desire to join the ERLC's efforts to apply the Gospel of the kingdom to the major cultural issues of our day, states the group.
The ERLC Leadership Network Council is comprised of 31 pastors across the United States who will serve an annual term, including Matt Chandler, pastor of the Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas; David Platt, pastor at The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala.; and J.D. Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in Durham, N.C.
"It is a blessing to be a part of the ERLC Leadership Network," Chandler said. "When I need help navigating the challenging ethical issues that exist in today's culture, the ERLC is a great resource for me."
Members of the Leadership Council will be equipped by the ERLC throughout the year through conference calls and events, while providing direction for the network and occasional content for erlc.com, officials said. All Leadership Council members are either currently serving or have previously served in pastoral ministry.
"The ERLC helps me think biblically and in Gospel-responsible ways about the issues confronting our people every single day," said Greear. "To not speak and think about these issues would be doing our people a great disservice. Russell Moore has assembled an excellent team to both represent us well, and help us lead our people well. The ERLC is a gift to our church and to the larger body of Christ."
Network member John Powell, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Hamlin, Texas, who previously served as director of admissions at Southern Seminary, said he was privileged to represent the Christian community through the network.
"The ERLC is representing a new generation of denominational leadership and evangelical engagement in culture. As a young SBC pastor, I am proud to be a Southern Baptist as Dr. Moore and his courageous team represent us to the culture at large, and pour the Gospel into our churches."
On the Web: http://erlc.com/.