Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Great Commission Task Force Progress Report

At the 2009 annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, over 95% of messengers voted to pass the following motion:
That the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting June 23-24, 2009 in Louisville, Kentucky, authorize the President of the Southern Baptist Convention to appoint a Great Commission Task Force charged to bring a report and any recommendations to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Orlando, Florida, June 15-16, 2010, concerning how Southern Baptists can work more faithfully and effectively together in serving Christ through the Great Commission.
Tonight, the Great Commission Task Force gave a progress report in which they unveiled six recommendations for how the Southern Baptist Convention can be more faithful in working to fulfill the Great Commission:

The first recommendation is basically for a mission statement and set of core values to be adopted by the Convention.

MISSION STATEMENT:

As a convention of churches, our missional vision is to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every person in the world and to make disciples of all the nations.

CORE VALUES:

1. CHRIST-LIKENESS
We depend on the transforming power of the Holy Spirit and prayer to make us more like Jesus Christ.
2. TRUTH
We stand together in the truth of God’s inerrant Word, celebrating the faith once for all delivered to the saints.
3. UNITY
We work together in love for the sake of the Gospel.
4. RELATIONSHIPS
We consider others more important than ourselves.
5. TRUST
We tell each other the truth in love and do what we say we will do.
6. FUTURE
We value Southern Baptists of all generations and embrace our responsibility to pass this charge to a rising generation of every age, faithful until Jesus comes.
7. LOCAL CHURCH
We believe the local church is given the authority, power, and responsibility to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every person in the world.
8. KINGDOM
We join other Christ-followers for the Gospel, the Kingdom of Christ, and the glory of God.

The second recommendation involves a re-organization of the North American Mission Board to re-focus the Board on church planting and equipping churches in evangelism and discipleship.

The third recommendation involves utilizing the International Mission Board within the United States and Canada in evangelism and church planting among the 586 people groups who do not speak English.

The fourth recommendation involves returning responsibility for ministry assignments concerning promotion of the Cooperative Program and stewardship education to the various state conventions rather than the Executive Committee of the Convention.

The fifth recommendation involves calling on Southern Baptists to re-affirm and celebrate the Cooperative Program as the chief means of financial support for Great Commission ministry within the Convention, but to also recognize designated gifts given the to Southern Baptist Convention, the state conventions, or local associations.

[For any reader unfamiliar with the Cooperative Program: the Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention is "Southern Baptists’ unified plan of giving through which cooperating Southern Baptist churches give a percentile of their undesignated receipts in support of their respective state conventions and the Southern Baptist Convention missions and ministries." Under current practices, only undesignated money given through the state conventions "counts" in the sense of being recorded as a Cooperative Program gift from a specific church, and thus being taken into consideration in the formula to determine how many messengers a church may send to the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting- the Great Commission Task Force's fifth recommendation would, it seems, let other kinds of giving be considered in official Southern Baptist records.]

The sixth recommendation is that 51% of Southern Baptist funds received into the Cooperative Program budget should go to the International Mission Board (while reducing the percentage allocated to the Facilitating Ministries- the Executive Committee ministries responsible, at least in part, for ministry assignments concerning promotion of the Cooperative Program and stewardship education- by 1%): for the first time, over half of all money received into the Cooperative Program will thus go to International Missions.

[I encourage all Southern Baptists reading this to listen to the entire Great Commission Task Force Progress Report HERE, and/or to read it HERE.]

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