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GCR Evaluation Task Force recommendations approved

The GCR Evaluation Task Force delivers its report to messengers June 11 at the 2024 SBC Annual Meeting in Indianapolis. Chairman Jay Adkins is at the podium. Photo by Robin Cornetet

INDIANAPOLIS (BP) — Messengers adopted the six recommendations proposed by the Great Commission Resurgence Evaluation Task Force with one slight amendment during the SBC Annual Meeting’s Tuesday evening session June 11.

Recommendation 2, which called for simplifying the Annual Church Profile (ACP), added another point clarifying the request for a church to provide its total amount of Cooperative Program giving.

One messenger brought forward an amendment regarding two questions on the ACP profile asking churches about screening and training processes for staff and volunteers regarding sexual abuse prevention. The proposed amendment to strike those two questions was ultimately struck down by messengers and thus remained in the recommendation.

“Our task force understood our purpose was to examine all pertinent material regarding the original GCR report and to conduct an analysis of their implementation and impact on our cooperative efforts,” said chairman Jay Adkins to messengers.

In speaking with reporters after the report, Adkins said that “there were some really good intentions with the GCR” and Southern Baptists’ struggles to increase baptisms and other areas is not unique.

A postmodern – even post-Christian – world makes that more of a challenge. “Culturally, there is a natural dip,” he said. “Scripture speaks to these sorts of issues as they relate to the church.”

Stating that the GCR clearly did not reverse the decline in baptisms, Adkins shared with messengers that “there is more than enough blame to go around for this continued trend” even as there are “some very encouraging trends as of late.”

Adkins concluded his report with comments from Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) Executive Director-Treasurer Sandy Wisdom-Martin that called Southern Baptists’ reluctance to engage in personal evangelism “the greatest tragedy of our generation.”

Other members joining Adkins, pastor of First Baptist Church in Westwego, La., were Robin Foster, associational missionary for Trinity Baptist Association in Trumann, Ark.; Adam Groza, president of Gateway Seminary; Luke Holmes, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Duncan, Okla.; Chris Shaffer, chief of staff and associate vice president for Institutional Strategy at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary; and Jeremy Westbrook, executive director for the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio.