The Southern Baptist Convention’s Great Commission Resurgence (GCR) task force last week released their “preliminary report” to the Executive Committee, per their request. The document, if implemented “as is,” promises sweeping changes to the way we do ministry together, especially in the areas of North American missions and cooperative (little c) giving to and through the SBC. The actual report can be downloaded by clicking here or viewed (roughly 75 minutes in length) by clicking here.
As you can imagine, there have been many reactions to it, from highly supportive to shock and bewilderment. I have chosen three links here to give you an idea of the thoughts and concerns of those who have poured over the document in analysis.
Alvin Reid is a professor of evangelism at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and formerly, a home missionary in Indiana. He has been vocally supportive of the task force and the need for change from the inception of the initiative. His initial thoughts are posted here for your review.
Glen Land is the former state missions director (and previous president) of the Minnesota/Wisconsin Baptist Convention. His article represents the concerns and challenges such a sweeping change will bring to the fledgling, newer areas of our continental missions efforts. His comments are given here.
George Bullard is a Southern Baptist and former denominational worker, who now heads up a trans-denominational church coaching and consulting organization known as The Columbia Partnership. His analysis is given in the form of 3o items “random observations” about the report. You can read his thoughts here.
These are just three of the viewpoints currently offered on the blogs or in newspapers across our convention. There are many more and they can be easily found for anyone who is interested. My primary thoughts at this point are simple. First, we must educate ourselves by reading, talking and learning what we can from those who are involved and affected by the changes proposed. Nothing can take the place of being informed and grasping the implications for all of our churches and their missions efforts. Second, we must not over-react and speculate, even as we attempt to determine the impact these changes may have on our missions efforts, in particular. And finally, we must all pray, often and earnestly, for God’s wisdom and direction to be shared and followed in the decisions our convention makes regarding this report.
More on this in coming days…