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GCRTF issues ‘draft’ final report
Baptist Press
May 04, 2010
10 MIN READ TIME

GCRTF issues ‘draft’ final report

GCRTF issues ‘draft’ final report
Baptist Press
May 04, 2010

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — With

the substance of changes varying for each respective component of its February

progress report, the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force issued a “draft”

final report, posted May 3 at www.pray4gcr.com, containing seven

recommendations it plans to present to messengers at the SBC annual meeting in

Orlando, June 15-16.

  • Stating that “our churches need a new missional vision,” the task force calls

    for the Southern Baptist Convention “to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to

    every person in the world and to make disciples of all the nations,” identical

    to its progress report.

Likewise, the GCRTF outlined the same values from before (Christ-likeness,

truth, unity, relationships, trust, future, local church and kingdom). However,

they developed them as a separate component instead of an element of the vision.

Both the mission and values are presented as separate recommendations (#1 and

#2).

  • The GCRTF final report also calls for “a new level of sacrificial giving”

    among Southern Baptists” and to “celebrate all giving to our common work” by

    calling “all monies channeled through the causes of the Southern Baptist

    Convention, the state conventions, and associations as Great Commission Giving.”

    This recommendation repeats the emphasis of the task force’s progress report of

    Feb. 22 to create new nomenclature that would apply equally to contributions

    whether given through the Cooperative Program for the whole of SBC work or by

    designated donations to individual ministries.

A new element added to the concept of “Great Commission Giving” is that the

task force asks Southern Baptists to “adopt goals of giving no less than

$200-million annually though the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for

International Missions and $100-million annually through the Annie Armstrong

Easter Offering for North American Missions by 2015.”

As a frame of reference, the latest reports available for both mission boards

showed: IMB received $141 million of a stated 2008 goal of $170 million — a

$175 million goal was set for 2009 (no report yet) and the 2010 goal has not

been announced; NAMB received $56.5 million of a stated 2009 goal of $65

million and has set a 2010 goal of $70 million.

The task force did not set a Cooperative Program giving goal.

The task force’s recommendation “3” asks for “the adoption of the language and

structure of Great Commission Giving” and that the trustees of the respective

mission boards adopt the offering goals “outlined in this report.”

  • The task force repeats a call for phasing out cooperative agreements between

    the North American Mission Board and state Baptist conventions. However,

    departing from its progress report, the GCRTF extends its recommended timeline

    for making the change from four years to seven years.

NAMB has stated the agreements would affect directly $51 million, but about $62

million total in all that NAMB contributes to state work, and that more than

three-fourths of all the money involved (about $48 million) would be taken from

Canada and 36 “pioneer states” — some have large populations and even contain

several top 10 global urban centers, but all are referred to as “pioneer”

because of the relatively few SBC churches in each.

The GRCTF expressed an expectation that NAMB more directly control this

retained money for “reaching the United States and Canada with the Gospel and

planting Gospel churches.”

The report calls for “liberating” and “reinvention” of NAMB, but does not

repeat an earlier recommendation that NAMB create seven regional centers “responsible

for the three main emphases of the board” (which in effect would have displaced

operations at Alpharetta).

However, recommendation “4” requests the “Executive

Committee of the Southern Baptist Committee” to consider “any revision” to NAMB’s

ministry assignment “that may be necessary in order to accomplish the

redirection of NAMB” and that NAMB’s trustees consider the report in “all

matters under their purview.”

  • Stating that the U.S. has as many as “586 unreached and underserved people

    groups,” the task force generally followed its earlier view that the

    International Mission Board should be unleashed “upon American soil” to reach

    these non-English speaking people. The GCRTF affirmed that NAMB “retains the

    leadership mission of reaching North America with the Gospel,” but asks in

    recommendation “5” for the removal of “any geographical limitation” on the IMB’s

    mission “to reach unreached and underserved people groups wherever they are

    found.”

  • The task force asks in recommendation “6” that the SBC’s Executive Committee “consider

    working with the leadership of the state conventions in developing a

    comprehensive program of Cooperative Program promotion and stewardship

    education” — an assignment the SBC EC already performs. The Executive Committee

    received the assignment for Cooperative Program promotion in 1995 and in 2006

    messengers transferred stewardship education from LifeWay to the SBC Executive

    Committee.

The recommendation includes the wording that the move is to happen “in

alignment with this report” which apparently points back to a statement in the

report that “state conventions must take the lead in both CP promotion and

stewardship education.”

In its earlier rendition, the GCRTF said this move was needed because “the

Great Commission Resurgence needs Great Commission partners” and pushed for

taking $2 million from the SBC Executive Committee and adding it to the IMB’s

budget as a “symbolic and substantial” act. This amount represents about a

third of the Executive Committee’s CP allocation.

  • Recommendation “7” does not mention CP promotion or stewardship education,

    but asks messengers to the 2010 annual meeting to request the Executive

    Committee to “increase the percentage allocated to the International Mission

    Board to 51 percent by decreasing the Executive Committee’s percentage of the

    SBC Allocation Budget by 1 percent” — meaning 1 percentage point of the 3.4

    percentage points allocated to the SBC Operating Budget/Facilitating

    Ministries. This move essentially removes funding for the Executive Committee

    to complete the assignment stated in recommendation “6.”

This recommendation is framed around the idea of breaking what has been

described as a 50 percent barrier for CP giving to the International Mission

Board. Currently IMB receives half of all Cooperative Program receipts for

national causes. The task force said “While this is a matter of genuine and

understandable denominational pride, it has become too comfortable. It is time

to increase that percentage above 50 percent.”

The SBC Allocation Budget distributes Cooperative Program gifts according to

the following percentages:

  • 50 percent to IMB
  • 22.79 to NAMB
  • 22.16 for theological education (21.92 percent is divided among the six

    seminaries according to full time enrollment, and 0.24 percent supports the

    Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives)

  • 3.4 percent for the SBC Operating Budget/Facilitating Ministries
  • 1.65 percent to the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Both the progress report (updated with corrected NAMB data) and the final

report may be viewed at www.pray4gcr.com.

Seven recommendations

Seven recommendations

to the Southern Baptist Convention are specified by the Great Commission

Resurgence Task Force in the final report released May 3.

The recommendations, for example, include a call for “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.”

The recommendations as stated in the GCRTF report are:

“1. That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in Orlando,

Florida, June 15-16, 2010, adopt the following as the mission statement of the

Southern Baptist Convention:

As a convention of churches, our missional vision is to present the Gospel of

Jesus Christ to every person in the world and to make disciples of all the

nations.

“2. That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in Orlando,

Florida, June 15-16, 2010, adopt the following as Core Values for our work

together:

  • CHRIST-LIKENESS

We depend on the transforming power of the Holy Spirit and prayer to make us

more like Jesus Christ.

  • TRUTH

We stand together in the truth of God’s inerrant Word, celebrating the faith

once for all delivered to the saints.

  • UNITY

We work together in love for the sake of the gospel.

  • RELATIONSHIPS

We consider others more important than ourselves.

  • TRUST

We tell each other the truth in love and do what we say we will do.

  • FUTURE

We value Southern Baptists of all generations and embrace our responsibility to

pass this charge to a rising generation in every age, faithful until Jesus

comes.

  • LOCAL CHURCH

We believe the local church is given the authority, power, and responsibility

to present the gospel of Jesus Christ to every person in the world.

  • KINGDOM

We join other Christ-followers for the gospel, the Kingdom of Christ, and the

glory of God.

“3. That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in Orlando,

Florida, June 15-16, 2010, request the Executive Committee of the Southern

Baptist Convention to consider recommending to the Southern Baptist Convention

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. We further request that the boards of trustees of the International

Mission Board and North American Mission Board consider the adoption of the

Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong offering goals as outlined in this report.

“4. That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting June 15-16,

2010, request the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention to

consider any revision to the ministry assignment of the North American Mission

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

outlined in this report; and that the Board of Trustees of the North American

Mission Board be asked to consider the encouragements found within this report

in all matters under their purview.

“5. That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting June 15-16,

2010, request that the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention

and the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention consider

a revised ministry assignment for the International Mission Board that would

remove any geographical limitation on its mission to reach unreached and

underserved people groups wherever they are found.

“6. That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting June 15-16,

2010, request the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention to

consider working with the leadership of the state conventions in developing a

comprehensive program of Cooperative Program promotion and stewardship

education in alignment with this report.

“7. That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting June 15-16,

2010 in Orlando, Florida, request the Executive Committee of the Southern

Baptist Convention to consider recommending an SBC Cooperative Program

Allocation Budget that will increase the percentage allocated to the

International Mission Board to 51 percent by decreasing the Executive Committee’s

percentage of the SBC Allocation Budget by 1 percent.”

The full Great Commission Resurgence Task Force report was posted May 3 at

www.pray4gcr.com. The recommendations will be presented on June 15 at the

Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.