Yesterday I read a blog post by a brother who is part of the Southern Baptist Convention. In his post he wrote rather pointedly and honestly about his enthusiasm and his disappointment as he contemplated a new emphasis in that Fellowship called “Great Commission Resurgence.” Some of the specifics in his post are clearly culturalistically SBC. The point which he makes, however, has a cross-cultural application in the Church, the Body of Christ in this country. Read carefully and you will discover what I mean. Take a moment to leave a comment and let me know what you think! My thanks to Marcus Pittman, who graciously granted permission for me to share this here. The link at the end of this article will take you to Marcus’ suggested solution. – T
Why The GCR Will Fail!
As someone who was pretty much born and raised Southern Baptist and is passionate about evangelism I was really excited about the Southern Baptist Conventions “Great Commission Resurgence.” Upon first hearing about this I became a huge cheerleader for it. I watched the streams of the convention, followed #sbc2009 tag and was extremely proud of my denomination to see it pass. However recently as I have been researching it and following what the GCR plans to do in terms of church planting and missions, I have become incredibly disappointed. You see it’s not that the plans to reshuffle the IMB and NAMB are a bad idea, it’s not. In fact I am a huge fan of placing missions back into the hands of the local church and disassembling the mission boards are part of that.
However if you think reshuffling and rearranging the current structure is going to make the Southern Baptist Convention transform the world for the Gospel…your out of your mind.
The primary problem is not the mission boards. The primary problem in the Southern Baptist Convention are people who believe that they can come to church once a week, place their money in offering plate and perform their weekly act of evangelism by telling the waitress at Shoneys that they “just got back from church.”
The root of the problem is not the structure of the current system.The root of the problem is people who don’t care about the Gospel.
The problem is we are trying to get Church planting into the hand of people who could care less about other churches besides their own. We are trying to place missions into the hands of people who really believe as long as their local church meets their Lottie Moon goal every year…they can mark “Great Commission” off of their list of Christian things to do.
The problem with the Great Commission Resurgence is that for to long the Southern Baptist Convention has done little to nothing to raise up soldiers for the Gospel. Our altar calls and fast food evangelism at the end of a sermon has made entire generations have no clue how to share the Gospel with their own families or neighbors.
You can prove this quite easily.
Stand up in front of your Church next Sunday and announce that the entire Church will be going to the local mall to share the Gospel after service. Tell them were going to swarm the halls of holiday shoppers with the true meaning of Christmas. Let them know all they have to do is pass out tracts to strangers, they don’t have to say a word to anyone…
Then simply count how many people show up and that number will be the reason the GCR will fail.
Its quite simple, if you go into a SBC church and ask the people to step outside and share the Gospel they will stare at you as if you are a pregnant teenager.
Unless the Southern Baptist Convention addresses the root issue the Convention will never be a Church planting convention. And let me be clear. This is not about seeing every church member on a soapbox on the corner. This is not about street preaching. The problem is far more serious then that, this is about getting people to talk about the Gospel with people they know and getting the boldness to talk to people they don’t know.
So please Albert Mohler, Danny Akin, Johnny Hunt and the rest of the GCR committee include some ways to get the back row baptist on the front lines or else you are seriously wasting your time.
In the next blog, I’ll give you some ideas on how to accomplish this.