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GCR chairman speaks to myths about work

DALLAS (BP)–Following an Oct. 27 dialogue with 22 executive directors of Southern Baptist state conventions, Great Commission Resurgence Task Force chairman Ronnie Floyd addressed several issues on which he felt the record needed to be “set straight.”

Floyd, pastor of First Baptist Church in Springdale, Ark., listed those issues in a statement released after the task force meeting adjourned:

1) The Great Commission Task Force is not considering any abandonment of the Cooperative Program. “We are asking questions about how the Cooperative Program can remain our central system of missions funding, not whether it will remain so,” Floyd said in the statement. “We were charged to ask the hard and most strategic questions about how Southern Baptists can more faithfully fulfill the Great Commission together — and together means together. We want to encourage churches to give even more enthusiastically and to see and celebrate a great increase in stewardship at every level.”

2) The task force is not considering any recommendation that Southern Baptists partner with any para-church or non-Southern Baptist ministry such as the Acts 29 church planting network. “We are thankful for what every Great Commission church, denomination, and ministry is doing for Christ,” Floyd said, “but we are assigned the task of looking at how Southern Baptists — very specifically — can work together more faithfully.”

3) The task force is not trying to determine the work of search committees and trustees currently seeking new leadership for the North American Mission Board, International Mission Board and the SBC Executive Committee. “Given our assignment, we can’t ignore the obvious,” Floyd said. “This is an historic moment for Southern Baptists. We have an assignment focused on the SBC in Orlando. These boards have their own ongoing assignment, leadership, and stewardship. We will do our own work, and pray for others as they do theirs. Will our work as a task force have any effect on these entities? Our determined goal is to do more, not less, for the Great Commission in every area. I am sure each of these boards shares that very same goal.”

4) The task force is not seeking to diminish the work of either state conventions or local Baptist associations. “To the contrary, we want to forge a future that maximizes Southern Baptist work at every level — and change is happening at every level,” Floyd said. “Our concern is to see every Southern Baptist work encouraged and even more fully engaged for the Great Commission.”

5) The task force is not devoting its time or energies to a discussion about specific theological issues discussed within the Southern Baptist Convention. “This is not about Calvinism, anti-Calvinism or any other ‘ism,'” Floyd said. “This is about faithfulness to the Great Commission — period. That is our theological agenda.”

6) The task force is not planning to wait until Orlando to release its report and recommendations. “Our avowed intention is to bring as much as we can to the February meeting of the SBC Executive Committee,” Floyd said. “This is a huge challenge, but we are pushing ourselves hard. Orlando is our ultimate deadline, but only for the final form of our report.”

The next meeting of the task force will be Nov. 30-Dec. 1 at the Renaissance Hotel in Atlanta.
Compiled by Baptist Press assistant editor Mark Kelly.

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