In the Fall of 2008, voices began to surface across various places in the Southern Baptist Convention calling for renewal and revival in local congregations and in the agencies, institutions, commissions and entities found by Southern Baptists.
The phrase, “Great Commission Resurgence,” was originally coined by Lifeway Christian Resources President Thom Rainer; further defined by the Southeastern Seminary’s president, Danny Akin—in a Spring 2009 chapel address—“Axioms for a Great Commission Resurgence”—and championed by Johnny Hunt, Senior Pastor of Woodstock, Ga., First, and president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Before the formal launch of the idea now turned movement, Union University President David Dockery convened two conferences in 2004 and 2007 on the Union campus which many believe served as the catalyst and a formal codification of Baptist Identity in this decade and Southern Baptist doctrine and polity in particular.
Dockery wrote a small book distributed at the Southern Baptist Convention titled Building Bridges (2007) and later wrote the book—Southern Baptist Consensus and Renewal—a volume which has received widespread appreciation from all quadrants of the SBC. His newest volume—Southern Baptist Identity: An Evangelical Denomination Faces the Future—is a compilation of the talks given across the span of the two Baptist Identity Conferences held on Union’s campus.
For this special edition of the Messenger Insight, Dockery answers questions about the initial progress report of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force first presented on Feb. 22 to the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Louie Devotie Newton— What is a Baptist?; Baptists before Southern Baptists?; The Baptist Association—its past and future; From associations to state conventions; The Triennial Convention of 1814—Adoniram Judson and Luther Rice; William B. Johnson—Two Plans Considered: One Convention or Missionary Society?; Disagreement from the start—Was the SBC a replacement for state conventions?; The SBC Foreign Mission Board and Domestic Mission Board in 1845—their means of support and development; “Agents” among the churches—fundraising among Southern Baptists in the 19th Century; The 75 Million Campaign and the 1920 SBC Conservation Committee; The Origin of the Cooperative Program; E.Y. Mullins and the Business and Efficiency Plan of 1928; Constant Changes in the Cooperative Program—Who does what?; Albert McClellan—state conventions always the CP promotional partner?; The SBC Executive Committee, state conventions, and the Cooperative Program; GCRTF—Return the CP to the states —a change?; A merger of the two mission boards in 1914?; Competition between entities and agencies of the SBC?; GCRTF—authority over national/state convention?; GCRTF Demographic changes demand change to impact lostness; GCRTF— Implementation over many years; A 50/50 split between the state and national convention?; State by state CP allocations—one size fits all?; GCRTF—Funds to the nations; The Cultural Mandate, The Great Commandment, and the Great Commission; Great Commission Partners.
State conventions and preferred items for CP promotion; state conventions —closer to the churches; GCRTF—an attempt to weaken state conventions?; What are cooperative agreements between NAMB and state conventions?; Albert Mohler and Glen Land on cooperative agreements—channeled and untraceable?; Too much or too little accountability in cooperative agreements?; NAMB’s funding matrix; state conventions are to “budget accordingly?”; The GCRTF—casting an overarching vision; GCRTF —Future conversations are imperative; The final GCRTF Report—Details to be worked out by state conventions, agencies, and entities; GCR —Re-prioritizing a missional culture for the SBC; Has the SBC moved away “from the primacy and centrality of the local church?”; Nashville is not Rome—Bottom up not top down; GCRTF—Baptists not bishops; 70 percent of SBC churches are plateaued or declining; Stewardship education remains imperative; GCRTF—Recommendation #2: From whom should the NAMB “released” and to whom should the NAMB be “released”?; NAMB priorities —have they changed?; NAMB research error in reporting to the GCRTF—Will this change the final report?; Personal change in GCRTF members; The IMB—international missionaries on U.S. soil?; GCRTF—Movement toward one global mission board?; Great Commission Giving—the demise of the Cooperative Program?; GCRTF—CP designated/non-designated giving; CP not a priority for younger pastors—why?; Draper, Chapman, Henry —heroes of the CP; Union University, Baptist Identity Conferences, and the GCR; Johnny Hunt—Southern Baptist Consensus and Renewal; Balkanization of the SBC?; Why remain a Southern Baptist and be committed to a GCR?; The Gospel to the nations.