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FIRST-PERSON: Lord, unify us in a cooperative mission task

TAYLORS, S.C. (BP)–For the last several weeks and months, I have called on Southern Baptists to seek the Lord to “send His reviving Holy Spirit”. There are many areas in which we need the Holy Spirit’s help. One of those areas is church transformation. Another is personal repentance and confession. Yet another area is our call for God to help energize our evangelistic efforts.

But I also believe that we need to call upon our Lord to unify us in a cooperative mission task. As I have traveled around our country in the last few months, I have become increasingly aware of deepening factions within our convention. Some differences are based on age, while others are based on theology. There are factions among us regarding methodology and philosophy. There are groups that have developed because of common interests. I believe that varying differences are understandable and even acceptable. However, when the groups become so closed that they fail to recognize our common bond, then we begin to see deep trouble.

Is there not a common bond that should pull us powerfully together in a common direction? I believe the answer to that question lies in the cooperative mission task God has set forth for us. Can we not agree that this mission task is the common denominator for Southern Baptists?

Much has been said recently about the Cooperative Program. Can we not agree that the Cooperative Program has been the common funding source that has called us to set aside regional differences and personal agendas? Again, I believe the answer is yes!

I am calling for Southern Baptists to renew a passion for a worldwide evangelistic and mission thrust. I believe that God’s Holy Spirit can empower a unified mission movement which truly shares the relevant message of Christ with a lost and dying world and continent. It will not be done as long as Southern Baptists “fuss and fight” among themselves. It will not be done if we seek to promote personal agendas and political initiatives. It will be done only when we — even though we are in varying interest groups — decide that the common unified mission task is our prime agenda!
Frank Page is president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of First Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C. Visit his website at www.sbc.net/PresidentsPage.

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  • Frank Page