Archive for February, 2010

GCRTF Progress Report, Component 1: Missional Vision

February 23, 2010

“Component #1: We believe in order for us to work together more faithfully and effectively towards the fulfillment of the Great Commission, we will ask Southern Baptists to rally towards a clear and compelling missional vision and begin to conduct ourselves with core values that will create a new and healthy culture within the Southern Baptist Convention.” — Great Commission Resurgence Task Force Progress Report, p. 13

Tonight, at 9:30 PM (CST), the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force of the Southern Baptist Convention delivered their progress report to the Executive Committee of the same. Over the next few weeks, I hope (and plan…provided school doesn’t continue to get in the way!) to blog my own thoughts/reflections on this pivotal action. I surmise that my fellow Southern Baptist bloggers will do the same….

The missional vision cast by the task force is as follows:

“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.” — Great Commission Resurgence Task Force Progress Report, p. 13

This is a noble endeavor and one I think that each church member and each local church should dedicate themselves to do even now. My own church is already planning for our summer missions efforts, this year to include our first international trip (to West Africa). But this vision must also include the local as well as the global. I committed myself to not speak at the Convention (which I did) until I had witnessed to ten people or had one person be converted by that testimony. Coming down to the wire (two days before), I was privileged to have my first person accept Christ as Lord and Savior after I presented the gospel to them (Tony, I’ve prayed for you daily and will continue to do so!) I challenge myself and you to sow seed in anticipation of “the brink of this global harvest” (p. 8)

Now for a history lesson:

I has occurred to me of late that we, the SBC, are yet again in the wake of our denominational inertia, which I have called the 14-40 effect. A brief study of the history of major events in the Convention’s 164-plus years has shown that major decisions about new initiatives occur about every fourteen years (see below) and major doctrinal/policy decisions every 40 years. (If someone would like to liken that the the Matthean pattern of generations in Jesus’ lineage or the 40-year length of a generation in the OT, feel free to spiritualize away!)

14-year  cycles
1845 – SBC founded
1859 – SBTS founded
1873 – L. Moon volunteers for China, first SSB dissolved due to fin. crisis, first meeting of Southern Baptists in Texas 1874
1888 – first Christmas missions offering (WMU)
1901 – proto-SWBTS at Baylor
1917 – NOBTS founded as BBI
1929 – WMU president first reports (women speaking in Convention)
1944 – GGBTS founded
1957 – MBTS founded
1970 – Denver meeting (Broadman controversy)
1985 – CR tipping point (majority of trustees now conservative)
2000 – BFM 2000

40-year cycles

1845 – SBC founded
1888 – WMU founded
1925 – BFM 1925
1963 – BFM 1963
2000 – BFM 2000
2004 – SBC withdraws from Baptist World Alliance

As we approach the next impulse (2013-14), I suggest that we think clearly these next few Conventions about what we really want out of our denominational cooperation. As you might expect, I have some ideas that I will share…but for those, you will have to tune in again!