Wow. This turned into a much longer post than I intended. Sorry.
Last June, there was one thing that came out the noise of the Southern Baptist Convention in Louisville, Kentucky that made my ears perk up. There was a decision to create a 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.”
If there is anything that we as southern baptists (I might as well admit that I am one of them) needs is unity. We argue about everything. When we’re arguing and when we’re not corporately aligned on a clear mission, there is no way to be effective.
Anyway, I started monitoring the discussion in the twitter world. Several of the folks that I followed on Twitter began talking about it. I began to pray for the group, because I knew that they would be facing some long days ahead, and I began to see this as an opportunity for unity to return between southern baptists. Ultimately their task was to answer a question. It is a big question. What do southern baptists need to do to embrace the Great Commission?
You probably won’t spend the time to watch the 70+ minute video below, but here are a few things that stuck out and stung me as I watched it.
- The boasting, ego, and pride that goes on in our lives, our churches, and our denomination is unacceptable to God. The disunity in our churches and in our denomination is so wrong and sinful.
- We need to embrace the reality of Lostness, but we must also grasp it in a global context… and must do whatever necessary to penetrate it.
- Concerning lostness, it seems we have developed theologicalamnesia or theological Alzheimer’s disease.
- In order for this Great Commission Resurgence to occur, each church has to own the responsibility of fulfilling the Great Commission. Each church has to own Matthew 28:19-20 and Acts 1:8. Each church has to own the responsibility of reaching their village or community or town or city with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Each church has to own the responsibility of reaching their region, America, and the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Andy Comment Here: And Should Partner with other Churches around us, not compete.)
- …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.
- 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. (Andy comment Here: This one is going to be difficult. The rising generation has to be a part of the mission now. If not, they will drift towards a mission that they CAN be a part of. Fight it or Fund it.)
- The North American Mission Board needs to be reinvented and released (Andy Comment Here: Amen)
- ..We will ask Southern Baptists to entrust to the International Mission Board the ministry to reach the unreached and under-served people groups without regard to any geographic limitations (Andy Comment Here: AMEN!)
- This means we are unleashing the International Mission Board upon American soil to reach the unreached and under-served people groups without regard to any geographical limitation.
- JD Greear quoted Seth Godin’s Book Tribes that Globalization has flattened the world. (Andy Comment Here: I love the book ‘Tribes’ gotta read it again.)
- We need to lay before this convention a compelling vision and give a prophetic warning that we have two choices: Die a painful death, or live a painful change . . . What our convention chooses to do will determine what God does with this denomination . . . Wilderness wanderings or Canaan conquests. (Andy Comment Here: Ouch)
- Therefore, Jesus was saying that if we are not willing, flexible vessels of God, available to respond and conform to what Jesus does in His work of grace by the Holy Spirit’s power, we will miss the moment of this great outpouring of grace and the Holy Spirit. Jesus said if we are like old wineskins, we will be brittle and inflexible, lacking elasticity. Therefore, if He gave us fresh wine, a work of grace by His Holy Spirit’s power, it would burst the wineskins. May our systems and ways not be like old wineskins.
Here’s a link to a PDF of the full progress report. Or you can watch the video below. But I’m betting you won’t do that. I’m the only nerd who will spend my evenings doing things like this. 🙂
By The Way… While I’m off twitter and Facebook for the next month during lent, can I get a few of you to click the little ‘tweet’ button at the top of the post.