SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Great
Commission Resurgence Task Force members have wrapped up three days of
deliberations in advance of making a preliminary report on their findings in
At the meeting’s adjournment on Jan. 28, task force chairman Ronnie Floyd said
the 23-member group will make a “progress report” to the SBC Executive
Committee when it meets in Nashville Feb. 22-23, with the entire document to be
released May 3.
Floyd, pastor of First Baptist Church in Springdale, Ark., said the task force “still
has a lot of work to do between now and June but we want to take this
opportunity to bring Southern Baptists along in our work.”
Floyd said the update will contain “several items, such as where we are at this
point, how we see the final document shaping up, how our vision is coming
together.” He declined to be more specific.
There will be another meeting or two of the work group as it coalesces around a
definitive statement on the spiritual condition of Southern Baptists and
suggestions for how the convention can be more effective, Floyd said.
The San Antonio meeting occurred three days before Southern Baptists were to
set aside Jan. 31 as a day of prayer for the future of the convention and its
missions outreach. SBC President Johnny Hunt, pastor of First Baptist Church in
Woodstock, Ga., issued the call to prayer after input from Richard Harris,
interim president of the North American Mission Board, and Frank Page, NAMB’s
vice president for evangelism.
Floyd, as spokesman for the group appointed by Hunt at last year’s SBC annual
meeting, underscored the considerable amount of work yet to be done and the
limited amount of time in which to accomplish its goals.
“Our task is very large and we all have full-time ministries and other normal
demands on our time. We continue to be in the process of developing that vision
and will continue to meet until we have finished the task,” he said. “We still
have a document to write.”
Floyd did not specify how many other times the group may meet, but did say an
unofficial timetable is to have the final document released by May 3 on its
“Southern Baptists will be able to go online and see for themselves what we
believe” the future holds for the convention, Floyd said. “We will spend the
month of May tweaking the document, if any tweaking is needed, before it is
formally presented to messengers to the annual meeting in Orlando on June
All 6,000 individuals who have registered at the site also will receive an
e-mail copy of the document as soon as it is released, Floyd said.
The task force was the initiative of Hunt, who made the call for a Great
Commission resurgence the hallmark of his presidency. He will complete his
second term as SBC president at the Orlando meeting. With only five months to
go, no one has yet been announced as a candidate for the open position.
The San Antonio meeting was the first public appearance by Hunt since his
successful prostate surgery Jan. 7.
The task force has met on five occasions: twice in Atlanta and once in
Springdale, Ark., at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and San
Hunt’s seminal document, called A Great Commission Declaration, was first
posted to the website www.greatcommissionresurgence.com on April 27 of last
year. That site has since become pray4gcr.com.
“The purpose of this is so that we may be a more effective people to carry the
good news of the gospel to the ends of the earth,” Hunt said at that time.
10-point declaration calls for:
- A Commitment to Christ’s Lordship
- A Commitment to Gospel-Centeredness
- A Commitment to the Great Commandments
- A Commitment to Biblical Inerrancy and Sufficiency
- A Commitment to a Healthy Confessional Center
- A Commitment to Biblically Healthy Churches
- A Commitment to Sound Biblical Preaching
- A Commitment to a Methodological Diversity that is Biblically Informed
- A Commitment to a More Effective Convention Structure
- A Commitment to Distinctively Christian Families
(EDITOR’S NOTE — Westbury is managing editor of The Christian Index,
newsjournal of the Georgia Baptist Convention.)