BARTLETT, Tenn. (BP)–The Southern Baptist Convention is talking about the Great Commission with a renewed sense of energy and expectancy. This is a good thing. Our Great Commission Resurgence Task Force has worked faithfully and prayerfully to bring a proposal to our annual meeting that will capture a compelling vision for our churches, state conventions, and our agencies to embrace. This is a positive moment in the life of our convention that God can use to unify us around a common cause and a clear sense of mission.
The message of the Gospel is the only solution for the lostness in our land and around the world. One of the most stirring aspects of the GCR proposal has been the haunting and daunting reminder that we have a long way to go in fulfilling Christ’s command to make disciples among every people group on the planet. This is a challenge that must remain constantly in our focus as God’s people. We are easily distracted and we often forget our reason for existence. This is an opportunity for Southern Baptists to reengage and reunite around this worthy cause of sharing the Gospel and investing in the lives of believers with a brand new sense of urgency.
It is my hope that we will actually capture the context of the Great Commission as we gather in Orlando. I always encourage people to not overlook verses 16 and 17 in Matthew 28 when discussing the Great Commission passage. The backdrop of this great moment in the life of the early church was set in the context of renewal and relationship with the Lord Jesus. First, the disciples were commanded to go back to Galilee. Why did Jesus ask His followers to leave Jerusalem after the resurrection and meet Him there? Perhaps it is because that is where it all began for them. They went back to the place where they first fell in love with Jesus. Maybe that is what we need to do as individual pastors and leaders — to fall fresh in love with Jesus.
The passage then says, “When they saw Him, they worshipped Him” (v. 17a). That is my hope and prayer as we gather as a convention in a few days — that we may see Jesus and worship Him like never before. This is the motivation behind our mission. Before we ever get the Great Commission right, we must get the Great Commandments right. Let us make a renewed connection with God, loving Him with all of our heart, soul, and mind. May we renew our commitment to love people like never before. Let us get on our hearts what God has on His heart.
As we come to the convention, please come with humility and gratitude that God is giving us this moment to embrace His mission. I am praying that my motivation will be a renewed love for Jesus and the people that He gave His life to save. Let us never compromise the message. Let us always focus on the mission. But first, let us renew our motivation to love Him with all of our being.
A proper motivation must always precede our mission.
Danny Sinquefield is pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Bartlett, Tenn., and the immediate past president of the Tennessee Baptist Convention.