NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Ronnie Floyd, chairman of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Great Commission Resurgence Task Force, responded March 25 to a column written by Marty King, editor of the Illinois Baptist, that posed three questions regarding the task force’s Feb. 22 “progress report.”
The column, which Baptist Press published March 31 as a viewpoint article titled “Three questions for the GCR task force,” posed these questions: 1) What can we do to revive our membership? 2) How can we retain productive partnerships between the North American Mission Board, state conventions and associations? 3) What will happen to current North American Mission Board ministry assignments that are not prioritized in the GCR report?
Floyd’s full response to King’s column follows:
Thanks for your friendship, support, article, and most of all prayer for us. We are in a process and tried to make that more than clear in the progress report. We have pointed people to the final report and there is more to come. Let me speak to the three concerns of the article. Before I do that, please let me say to you that your questions are appropriate and deserve response. Our final report will bring much greater clarity on the issues:
1) Relating to helping the church understand our great need to return to God and see a mighty move of God, prayerfully our final report will speak to this more effectively. While much was in the progress report about the church, I think it will be referred to more providing some challenges to them about the matters related. One editor shared with me that 10 pages of our progress report dealt with spiritual matters and if that is so, that is pretty well one-third of the report. To be fair and transparent with the SBC, we felt we needed to get some things out there related to our organization. Trust me, we know a true Great Commission Resurgence is in the hands of believers and the church, not the structure, however when God moves among His people, at times structures or systems change.
2) The final report will be more than clear about the value of partnerships and how those may look in the future. Our meetings with the state executives have been valuable. I think I have talked in person or on the phone with 35 states and their leaders, not conventions, but the representatives of these states themselves. I would like to talk with each of them, however I am pastoring a church. Hopefully in time, I can converse with all of them. Overall, I am encouraged. We are listening, learning and so grateful for people’s response, both good and not so good. It will make our report better in the end. I believe we will have a very favorable report released on May 3.
3) We painted in broad strokes the NAMB graphic, but obviously, the trustees will have to work those matters out. I think they will continue to do those things, but they will have to decide those matters in the relationship of the entire organization, rather than determined by us. While we have prioritized matters for the board, by no means do we envision matters like disaster relief or chaplaincy be minimized because we are big proponents in them. I believe disaster relief ministries is one of the greatest highlights of NAMB’s work with our state conventions and can be used to be a tremendous Gospel witness.
Compiled by Baptist Press assistant editor Mark Kelly. Updates on the work of the task force are posted at pray4gcr.com. A comprehensive collection of Baptist Press news and opinion items on the Great Commission Resurgence movement has been created on www.bpnews.net at http://bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=32555.