The first day of the Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL has come and gone. As of now, there are over 11,000 messengers registered for the convention meeting and I was pleased to see so many young faces in attendance. I, of course, have been writing about the final report of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force for many months, so let me give a brief account of what happened during the motion.
First, all the team members of the task force were on stage with Dr. Ronnie Floyd, chair of the task force, providing most of the commentary. Team members came up to the podium in groups of three to announce the 7 components and recommendations of their report. As I suspected, the task force was making one motion to include all seven components. A brief video was shown highlighting the decline in baptisms in the SBC and the number of lost people world wide.
After a few more encouraging words from Ronnie Floyd, the floor was open for discussion. As usual, the comments ranged from well-spoken, thoughtful responses to off-topic, irrelevant remarks. By far the most compelling and well-crafted recommendation came from Dr. John Waters, pastor of First Baptist Church Marietta, GA. He suggested to amend the recommendation in component three to strengthen the necessity of the Cooperative Program while still retaining the Great Commission Giving language. I personally felt like his request was an innocuous one – the priority of the Cooperative Program is clearly stated in component 3, yet Waters’ recommendation certainly did not hurt or add anything major to the report. After some brief discussion and a moment of confusing “point of order” complaints, the task force wisely decided to accept the additions of Waters’ and brought him on the platform to “sign off” on the accepted additions. This was a victory for the task force because it gave some of the opponents of the final report a feeling like they got a “word in” on the motion, while in reality not a single thing was changed.
Another motion to hold off on the report for another year until the various committee’s could provide a cost-analysis and report in 2011 was briefly considered and then defeated, in part because Al Mohler’s biting response that the final report is worded in such a way as to trust the agencies and committees that have been elected to use their judgment when implementing the report’s conclusions.
So, when the vote was finally cast, the messengers of the 2010 Annual Meeting overwhelmingly voted in favor of the GCRTF final report. Now we will see how the report’s components are implemented at the various organizational levels. There is much work to be done.