SBC leaders disagree on whether new GCR vision is really new
Apr 13, 2010
By DAVID ROACH
WITNESS Correspondent

NASHVILLE (FBW)—The first “Component” of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force’s interim “progress report“ calls Southern Baptists to rally around a missional vision focused on the Great Commission and to “create a new and healthy culture within the Southern Baptist Convention.”

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However, a vice president at the SBC Executive Committee says the task force is wrong to suggest that convention leaders and meetings have failed to champion such a vision in the recent past.

The report, released Feb. 22, proposes a “missional vision” to “present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every person in the world and to make disciples of all the nations.”

To that end, the “progress report” lists eight core values the GCRTF says will help create a changed culture: Christ-likeness, truth, unity, relationships, trust, future, local church and Kingdom. It argues that the present SBC culture is very different from the ideal.

“Our present culture represents 1 Corinthians 3 much more than 1 Corinthians 13,” the report reads.

GCR Task Force chairman Ronnie Floyd went further in comments to Florida Baptist Witness, suggesting the Convention’s website and many of its meetings fail to emphasize the Great Commission and the eight core values it has determined to be essential to Southern Baptists.

“The core values we want our Convention to embrace can help us create a new culture in the way we talk to and relate to one another personally and in the way we conduct our business together,” Floyd said. “When one cannot find easily the content of a component of this nature on the Convention’s website and never hear our missional vision referred to in our meetings together, it is evident that it does not exist to a point that it is important enough to have visibility in our Convention.”

The SBC lacks clarity on this issue and the GCRTF wants “to see this changed radically,” he said.

Floyd said response to Component #1 of the report has been overwhelmingly positive with only one change suggested. The GCRTF is not considering any changes to this component at present, he said.

But Roger S. Oldham, Executive Committee vice president for convention relations, said the Empowering Kingdom Growth (EKG) initiative, adopted by the SBC in 2002, sets forth a vision that is very similar to that of the GCR Task Force. Denominational leaders have referenced EKG repeatedly since its adoption and gave it a prominent position on the SBC website (www.sbc.net), he said.

Oldham categorized Floyd’s criticism of the SBC website as misguided and ironic.

“In order to make room for the Pray4GCR.com banner that is now in the place of prominence on the front page of sbc.net, the EKG banner was moved to the bottom of the column,” Oldham told the Witness.

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