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SBTC committee affirms GCRTF report

GRAPEVINE, Texas (BP)–In three resolutions released May 17, the executive committee of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention’s executive board affirmed the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force’s final report, urging its adoption by Southern Baptists.

In the first of the resolutions, the committee affirmed the GCRTF report as “thoroughly compatible with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention’s mission statement and core values” and urged messengers to the SBC’s June 15-16 annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., to “prayerfully consider supporting the report in its entirety.”

The task force released its final report on May 2 after nine months of collaboration among its 22 members.

The SBTC committee’s other two resolutions cited support for the report’s third and fourth components, dealing, respectively, with “Great Commission Giving” to SBC causes and the end of cooperative funding agreements between state conventions and the SBC’s North American Mission Board.

Regarding the Great Commission Giving component, the committee affirmed the GCRTF’s language describing the Cooperative Program “as the central and preferred conduit of Great Commission funding” while recognizing other “monies channeled through the causes of the Southern Baptist Convention.”

The resolution calls on churches “affiliated with our convention to aspire to greater support for Great Commission causes primarily through the Cooperative Program but also through designated gifts to Southern Baptist causes.”

The third resolution, dealing with the SBC’s North American Mission Board, would result in the SBTC losing approximately $600,000 in allocations that essentially bounce back to Texas after being sent through the Cooperative Program to NAMB. The GCRTF recommends ending such funding agreements, arguing such resources should be redirected to new-work areas of North America.

[BP NOTE: The task force recommendation would end NAMB’s cooperative agreements with all 41 state and regional conventions and with Canada totaling $51 million direct support and about $62 million overall. About $48 million of the overall amount would be taken from 36 pioneer states and Canada. Some of these areas have large populations and top 10 global urban centers but are considered “new works” because there are few SBC churches. The recouped funds will be reprioritized by NAMB “to penetrate lostness in partnership with state conventions located in the lost unreached and underserved populations in North America.”]

Additionally, the committee resolution encourages the SBTC board “to begin the process of budgeting changes intended to make more missions money available for ministry in the most underserved and unreached areas of North America.”

The committee’s action followed a motion approved during the SBTC executive board’s spring meeting in April to make a positive statement, “if appropriate,” regarding the GCRTF’s final report.

The task force, an ad hoc committee, is chaired by Ronnie Floyd, pastor of First Baptist Church in Springdale, Ark., and The Church at Pinnacle Hills in Rogers, Ark. It includes two Texans: Jim Richards, executive director of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, and Ruben Hernandez, associate Spanish pastor at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano.
Jerry Pierce is managing editor is the Southern Baptist TEXAN (www.texanonline.net), newsjournal of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. The full text of the resolutions adopted by the executive committee of the SBTC executive board can be read at http://www.texanonline.net/default.asp?action=article&aid=6811&issue=5/18/2010.

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  • Jerry Pierce