NASHVILLE – Engaging sexual ethics from a gospel perspective will be the theme of the inaugural leadership summit sponsored by the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.
Titled “The Gospel and Human Sexuality,” the first ERLC Leadership Summit will be held April 21-23 in Nashville, it was announced Tuesday (Jan. 21). The event – which is intended to equip pastors, church leaders and other Christians – will be held at the SBC building.
The summit will seek to explain “how the gospel shapes our sexual identities, redeems sexual desire and sets free those who are held captive to sin’s bondage,” according to the ERLC. The event will include plenary addresses, panel discussions and breakout sessions.
“So many of the questions that pastors grapple with today deal with situations that would not even have been possible a generation ago,” Russell D. Moore, the ERLC’s president, said.
“As technology advances and the culture changes, the questions that we have to grapple with are often increasingly complex,” he said. “At the ERLC Leadership Summit, we’ll talk about these questions, and how we can be faithful in ministry, gospel-focused in engagement and Christ-shaped spiritual warriors in the ways we seek to wrestle with the principalities and powers of this age.”
The summit will address such issues as marital sexuality, moral purity, discussions with teenagers on sex, pastoral care for sexual immorality, pornography, homosexuality, sex trafficking, and biblical manhood and womanhood.
Among the speakers will be Moore; J.D. Greear, lead pastor of The Summit Church in the Raleigh/Durham (N.C.) area; Trillia Newbell, the ERLC’s consultant for women’s initiatives; and Mark Regnerus, author and associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas-Austin.
Registration and more information are available online at http://erlc.com/summit. The plenary sessions will be live-streamed at erlc.com.
Announcement of the summit came two weeks after the ethics entity unveiled its ERLC Leadership Network. The network is open to men and women who seek to identify with the ERLC’s gospel-focused approach to cultural issues in their roles as pastors, leaders or lay people. The entity also introduced at that time the ERLC Leadership Network Council, which consists of 31 Southern Baptist pastors or leaders who will provide guidance to the network and receive training from the ERLC staff.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Tom Strode is Baptist Press’ Washington bureau chief.)