Great Commission Resurgence Preliminary Report
The Report is out from the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force of the Southern Baptist Convention. If you are not familiar with what this is let me update you. Last year at the Southern Baptist Convention a motion was passed to formulate a task force to discover ways that Southern Baptists’ can have a Great Commission Resurgence in America and around the world. They are to give their final report at the Southern Baptist Convention in Orlando this June. This heart cry comes out of the lack of baptisms and the amount of churches plateauing or declining in our convention. On February 22nd they gave their interim report.
If you would like to either see the 70 minute video presentation or read the report then go to www.pray4GCR.com.
Here are a few impressions…
1. I really appreciated the time and effort the Task Force has placed into this report. It is a good amount of change without totally blowing away people where the SBC this summer in Orlando falls into a shout fest.
2. The recommendations seem to alter some of the ways we have done business and the spreading of the gospel for the past 50 years. This is probably a good thing. As a young youth pastor in this denomination I do not know all the ways things have been done but their seems to be an overall idea in the SBC that it is time to change some things. This report seems to offer some changes.
3. I think the idea of getting some of the Western states and Northeastern states to have more funding for church planting and for denominational work is a good move. We have become spoiled here in the South. We also have gotten used to spending money on ourselves through our programs and buildings.
4. I think it is a brilliant move to incorporate the IMB to use missionaries in the United States. The world is in a global situation and there are as many of these unreached people groups here in the states as in other parts of the world. We may have a better shot of reaching their homeland if we can reach them here in the US where we do not have to fear persecution or expulsion from the country.
Here is my problem. It is not with the GCR report, it is with the run of the mill Southern Baptist. The report actually deals with this. Until we repent and change our ways, get on our knees, and actively reach the lost we will not see a Resurgence of salvation in the US. This cannot be an effort of 5,000 NAMB missionaries and the entities that run them. This cannot be an effort of just the pastors who the report calls to encourage Cooperative Program giving and help the church to see their missional responsibility. This must be what Ronnie Floyd who is the chairman calls a “grassroots effort to spread the gospel.” This has to come from the pew. Pastors and leaders should equip the people of the church to do these actions. If the 45,000-50,000 Southern Baptist Churches stopped fighting about what songs should be played on Sunday or what programs need to be started but rather focused outward on the lost of our communities then we will see a Great Commission Resurgence. The Great Commission was not written just to pastors, leaders, and missionaries. It was written to everyone. The challenge should be given out to every church to baptize and disciple. If every church would do this type of work then the arguments would cease and the power of God would reign.
I do not want to be negative about the GCR. They are doing a good work, but it must be followed up by participation of every Southern Baptist in the convention. Otherwise it is another document that will be nicely written, celebrated, voted on, and then will gather dust.
I look forward to the SBC in Orlando. I have never been before to the SBC and am looking forward to it. May we see a Great Commission Resurgence and Revival in the land!