Chapman: GCR report could harm cooperation
Lonnie Wilkey, Baptist and Reflector
June 15, 2010

Chapman: GCR report could harm cooperation

Chapman: GCR report could harm cooperation
Lonnie Wilkey, Baptist and Reflector
June 15, 2010

ORLANDO, Fla.—Adopting the

report of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force could have negative

repercussions, Morris Chapman warned Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)

messengers during their annual meeting June 15.

In his final report as

president and chief executive officer of the SBC Executive Committee, Chapman

extolled the virtues of the Cooperative Program, Southern Baptists’ unified

giving plan.

While acknowledging the

Cooperative Program has never given every entity all it wanted or needed, he

insisted it has given every entity some funds to do the work God called them to


“The Cooperative Program has

survived many years of tough times. It has brought us through every time,” said

Chapman, who will retire from his position Sept. 30.

If the report of the Great

Commission Resurgence Task Force is approved, he warned, the Cooperative

Program will not retain the unique place it has held.

“It will be one of

several offerings, not one of a kind.”

Chapman, who served as

president of the convention two years before being elected president of the

Executive Committee in 1992, recalled the “conservative resurgence” of the

1970s and 1980s as a “return to Southern Baptists’ roots theologically.”

Chapman said that he fears

that the Great Commission Resurgence task force report, if approved, would lead

Southern Baptists’ from its funding methodology.

“If we abandon our

methodology of cooperation, we will become independent Baptists, not

autonomous, cooperating Baptists,” he warned. “If you want to be independent

tomorrow, you can declare it so. … You can walk away as an independent Baptist

body of people.”

“Failure to fulfill the

Great Commission is not a structural problem and that it cannot be accomplished

with a structural solution,” he stressed.

Failure to fulfill the Great

Commission is a “heart problem, a spiritual problem, a stewardship problem,”

Chapman said.

He also told messengers: “We

can’t manufacture a resurgence of God’s power because someone declares it to be


In referencing the task

force report, Chapman spoke specifically against the last five recommendations

of the report:

  • Request the Executive

    Committee of the SBC to consider recommending to the SBC the adoption of the

    language and structure of Great Commission Giving as described in this report

    in order to enhance and celebrate the Cooperative Program and the generous

    support of Southern Baptists channeled through their churches …

  • Request the Executive

    Committee to consider any revision to the ministry of the North American

    Mission Board that may be necessary in order to accomplish the redirection of

    NAMB as outlined in this report …

  • Request that the Executive

    Committee and the International Mission Board of the SBC consider a revised

    ministry assignment for the IMB that would remove any geographical limitation

    on its mission to reach unreached and underserved people groups wherever they

    are found.

  • Request the Executive

    Committee to consider working with the leadership of state conventions in

    developing a comprehensive program of Cooperative Program promotion and

    stewardship education in alignment with this report.

  • Request the Executive

    Committee to consider recommending an SBC Cooperative Program Allocation Budget

    that will increase the percentage allocated to the IMB to 51 percent by

    decreasing the Executive Committee’s percentage of the SBC Allocation Budget by

    1 percent.

“The last five

recommendations will never bring resurgence to the Southern Baptist Convention,”

Chapman told messengers. Instead, he continued, those recommendations “will

bring more confusion and chaos” to the convention. They need more thought,

study and prayer, he asserted.

However, he did not dismiss

the entire report. There is great truth in the “urgency” pointed out by the

task force, Chapman said. “We must be urgent in penetrating the darkness.”

Chapman also called for the

adoption of the challenges listed at the end of the task force report.

“The challenges will inspire

us to a higher calling, a greater vision,” he said. “These two sections can

form the foundation of where God wants us to go together.”