The six components of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force’s preliminary report presented by chairman Ronnie Floyd to the SBC Executive Committee in February:
‘Rally toward missional vision’
Calling Southern Baptists “to rally towards a clear and compelling missional vision and begin to conduct ourselves with core values that will create a new and healthy culture within the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).”
The “missional vision” is “as a convention of churches, … to present the gospel of Jesus Christ to every person in the world and to make disciples of all the nations. Our culture represents 1 Corinthians 3 much more than 1 Corinthians 13.
“Envy, strife and division need to become unacceptable. Instead, let this world know us by the depths of our love for Jesus, the gospel and one another.”
The eight core values are Christ-likeness, Truth, Unity, Relationships, Trust, Future, Local Church and Kingdom.
NAMB ‘reinvented, released’
Recommending the North American Mission Board (NAMB) prioritize efforts to plant churches in North America to reach the nation’s cities and underserved people groups.
NAMB needs to be “reinvented and released by implementing a direct strategy for planting churches that reflects the entity’s role to lead a national strategy to reach North America with the gospel. The plan calls for Cooperative Agreements between NAMB and Baptist state conventions to be phased out over a four year period with funds redirected toward church planting.
Nurturing state conventions in new work areas would become the responsibility of mature state conventions.
NAMB would directly appoint missionaries rather than work in cooperation with other Baptists in order to have supervision of its missionaries and to ensure that funds are spent according to its national strategy.
NAMB would decentralize its employees to serve in seven regional centers across North America.
Remove geographic limits
Requesting Southern Baptists “entrust to the International Mission Board (IMB) the ministry to reach the unreached and under-served people groups without regard to any geographic limitations.”
“Globalization has flattened the world,” Floyd said. “While years ago a people group was located within a specific geographical location, this is no longer reality. Reality today is that these people groups are located all over the world, including the United States.”
“Most of the 586 people groups that do not speak English in the United States have (IMB) strategy coordinators working overseas with the same groups,” he said.
“With geographical limitations removed, a new synergy can be created in international missions.”
Floyd added: “We believe that with this bold and needed change, we are positioning our convention of churches for a major evangelistic harvest, a discipleship revolution and an unprecedented, exponential explosion in church planting.”
CP promotion passed to states
Moving the primary responsibility for Cooperative Program (CP) promotion and stewardship education ministry assignments from the Executive Committee to the state conventions.
Historically promotion of the CP was seen as the responsibility of the state conventions, Floyd said.
The task force’s plan envisions state convention leaders creating a consortium that, in cooperation with the president and CEO of the Executive Committee, would “plan and execute an annual strategy that will promote the Cooperative Program to our churches as well as challenge our churches in biblical stewardship.”
While the plan envisions state conventions reassuming the stewardship assignment, “it is the responsibility of local churches to challenge their people to walk in obedience to God by honoring Him weekly with at least the first tenth of all income as well as additional offerings to our local churches,” Floyd said.
Recognize Commission Giving
Reaffirming the CP “as our central means of supporting Great Commission ministries” and establishing a broader category of “Great Commission Giving” to celebrate all the financial support — CP giving and designated giving and direct support — local congregations provide to Southern Baptist missions work in associations, state conventions and the SBC.
“We are urging Southern Baptists to celebrate what all churches are doing for the Great Commission.” This is not seen “as being competitive with CP … but complementing it for the sake of the gospel.”
The new designation would be added to the Annual Church Profile.
“When churches give more … and state conventions keep less of it within their respective states, and a compelling unified gospel vision is cast for Southern Baptists, we will see giving … increase in a major way.”
Raise IMB’s CP percentage
Raising the percentage of CP received by the International Mission Board in the 2011–2012 budget year to 51 percent and funding the increase with monies previously allocated to the SBC Executive Committee for CP promotion and stewardship education.
The proposal would reduce the SBC Operating Budget allocation of 3.40 percent by 1 percentage point, or roughly $2 million, and add it to the IMB’s budget, currently at nearly $320 million.
Calling the proposal “both symbolic and substantial,” Floyd explained, “This means that for the first time in our history, more than one-half of all monies that come from our churches through the SBC Cooperative Program will go to the reaching of the nations.”
“We believe this is a great move forward and we need to do all we can to reach the nations,” he said.