A few days ago I posted a brief article on my initial thoughts concerning the Great Commission Resurgence Progress Report. I expressed what I thought were some great strengths of the report, primarily found in the introductory remarks, and some areas that I thought were on the weak side.
Today I received an email sent to all prayer partners from Ronnie Floyd, chair of the task force, providing a bit of additional insight into the progress report. I can only imagine the number of questions that have been raised since its release. Floyd says, “Since so much information needed to be shared initially through our
report, it is now essential that we bring greater clarity to certain
areas.” The focus of the email was on the relationship between the cooperative program and Great Commission giving. And it is truly baffling. At least to me to it is.
Floyd’s entire email is a three part “defense” of the task force’s commitment to the Cooperative Program. It says that:
1. The Cooperative Program is the SBC’s primary and most treasured means of fulfilling the Great Commission.
2. When churches support other offerings, like Lottie Moon or Annie Armstrong, that does not weaken the support of the Cooperative Program.
3. When the GCR celebrates with our churches their work toward the Great Commission, there will be an ongoing enthusiasm for the Cooperative Program.
In my initial response to the progress report, I thought the actual principles laid out by the task force were somewhat underwhelming. Not bad, just nothing really new. This new email by Floyd and his 3-part defense of the Cooperative Program, which is as rudimentary and traditional SBC (not in a bad way) as you can get, shows me that this task force could have a difficult road come June if they really do want to make some lasting changes for the good of the Great Commission. Absolutely nothing in the initial progress report demonstrated the task force were making huge steps in the way of change. And yet apparently the team was bombarded with emails and phone calls about how the changes will impact the SBC’s overall commitment to the Cooperative Program.
So, whereas I was looking for a bit more of a punch to the progress report for some “change we can believe in,” perhaps the team is wise in moving slowly through the waters of change for the good of the Great Commission. Perhaps releasing too many ideas at once would cause such a panic that the members of the SBC would pull their collective head under its shell and the GCR would be crippled and the task force a failure.
I just hope by June we get to hear some new and exciting ideas about our churches reaching the lost beyond what we already know – that the CP is the greatest missions tool in the history of the church and that we should give enthusiastically. I don’t need a task force to tell me that.