ORLANDO (SBT)—After nearly a year of formulation and discussion among Southern Baptists and the pleas of proponents to “penetrate lostness,” messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting June 15 adopted, after lengthy discussion, a list of strategic and organizational recommendations aimed at fueling a resurgence of global Gospel advancement.
The seven recommendations offered by the 22-member Great Commission Resurgence Task Force, appointed in June 2009 by SBC President Johnny Hunt at the direction of last year's messengers, included a 30-word convention vision statement, a list of core values, and five “requests” referred to the SBC Executive Committee and other specified entities that might affect changes in the convention missions enterprise.
Prior to the floor debate, GCR Task Force chairman Ronnie Floyd of Arkansas referenced the words of 19th-century abolitionist William Wilberforce in urging messengers to action.
“There are literally billions of people who are enslaved in their sin and who will perish without the Savior named Jesus Christ … but after today you can’t say that you did not know,” Floyd said.
Floyd closed his part of the task force report by pointing to previous watershed convention meetings in 1925, the year the Cooperative Program was adopted, and 1979, the year the conservative theological resurgence began.
An estimated 75-80 percent of the messengers voting on the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force report’s recommendations at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Orlando June 15 voted in favor after 90 minutes of debate.
“And today in 2010, what are we going to do? This is our moment. This is our time. The future is now,” Floyd said.
The raised-ballot vote was called at the podium following more than 90 minutes of debate. Floyd told reporters at a press conference after vote that parliamentarians estimated the report was adopted by 75-80 percent of voting messengers. Messenger registration at the Orange County Convention Center at the time of the vote was announced at 10,994.
The debate was spirited but polite. Objections to adopting the recommendations ranged from a desire for another year of study to concern that language recognizing non-CP missions giving would hurt missionaries on the field.
David Tolliver, Missouri Baptist Convention’s executive director, and a messenger from Concord Baptist Church in Jefferson City, Mo., made a motion asking the task force to refer the entire report the SBC Executive Committee for “study and evaluation.”
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