Southern Baptist Motions & Amendments Process Receives Digital Upgrade

Southern Baptist messengers vote on one of 20 proposed motions during last year’s SBC annual meeting in Dallas. Photo by Matt Miller

A new digital opportunity will be available to Southern Baptist messengers at this year’s SBC annual meeting in Birmingham, Ala., according to a release by recording secretary John Yeats.

Messengers will be able to “pre-file” the text of their motion or amendment and contact information with the recording secretary prior to the time of introducing new business or debatable recommendations, or resolutions, Yeats told Baptist Press.

Yeats noted for the past three years, he and the Executive Committee staff have been studying ways to “improve the efficiencies of motions and amendments moving from the microphone on the floor of the convention to the platform using digital devices.”

The standard process, he noted, for moving the motion from the microphone to the platform involves the messenger stating the motion, passing the text and contact information to a microphone page, and then the page walks the information to the platform.

The same is true of an amendment, he said in the release to BP. The messenger proposing an amendment, he said, must be recognized at a microphone and state their amendment and then pass the text of the amendment to the page who sends the text to the platform.

Using the digital process, the messenger sends the text of the motion or amendment to [email protected], Yeats said.

“If the messenger has received a receipt, his/her text is considered pre-filed,” Yeats, executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention, said. “Consequently, at the microphone, the messenger states on the paper form given to them by the microphone page that the text was pre-filed. Once the motion/amendment is stated at the microphone, the recording secretary can then quickly access the text and give it to the president or the Committee on Order of Business for easy reference.”

He added, “Instead of waiting on the page to walk the motion or the amendment from the microphone to the platform, the new pre-file process enables the recording secretary to more speedily give the information to the president and the parliamentarians.

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Source: Baptist Press