Connecting the Dots in an Unconnected World

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What's Wrong with this Picture?



The above picture is a part of the aftermath of the presentation of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force progress report. It identifies the desired division of work and resources (money) for the re-invented North American Mission Board. The graphic represents that 50% of the resources of the re-invented North American Mission Board will go to Church planting, 25% to training current pastoral Leadership and the remaining 25% to go to Evangelism and Discipleship.

With the re-invention of the North American Mission Board there will be 6 regional offices. Where will this administrative expense come from? Presumably from somewhere in the 100% previously allocated. Given the stated priorities of church planting and leadership training this would mean that possibly this would come from the 25% allocated to evangelism and discipleship.

Allow me some thoughts:

1. Baptists have been, are and should always be a people of the Book. The Biblical plan is always the best plan.

2. It is in the Bible that we find the Great Commission which is, and rightfully should be, our orders for reaching the world. It is in the text of the Great Commission that we find our purpose statement to “Go” – Win the lost to Christ – Baptize those that are won to Christ – Disciple those that are won to Christ and baptized. This is not optional it is God’s clear instruction for His people.

3. While I recognize the importance of church planting and leadership training, I do not find them included in the mandate of the Great Commission. However, it would seem that the recommendation of the GCR Task Force places both as higher priorities than evangelism and discipleship.

4. Presumably, the belief is that starting more congregations will cause us to experience more evangelism. The statistics presented by the task force indicating our baptisms to be on a plateau across the past 58 years also tell us that during this time we have increased the number of SBC churches by 61.3%. It would seem to me that the solution to increasing our evangelistic and baptismal results will not be the result of more church starts.

5. I agree the Book of Acts presents us a model of missional behavior for the people of God. The disciples at the Diaspora and Paul on his missionary journeys did plant churches. But these churches were planted as a result of evangelism and discipleship that had already taken place.

6. The purpose of the disciples was to win others to Christ and from that zeal and success they planted churches. They did not plant churches to begin the process of winning the community Christ but rather as a result of beginning the process of winning the community to Christ.

Southern Baptists have suffered for at least the past 15 years because we have had no clear direction in the areas of personal and corporate evangelism. This work has consistently been relegated to a back seat in our strategizing to reach the world. I fear we are, once again, developing a strategy that will relegate evangelism to a back seat when we are allocating only 25% of the resources (possibly less) of the North American Mission Board to evangelism and discipleship.

Again, let me make myself clear. I am not opposed to church starting and leadership training. However, I am for the Great Commission which commands evangelism and discipleship both locally and around the world. Congregationalizing should be driven by evangelism not the other way around. Churches should be born out of a hot heart for lost souls or they should not be born at all.

Attempting to connect the dots…

Wayne
Romans 1:16

Quotable:
“Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell; I wish to run a rescue mission within a yard of hell.”
~~ C.T. Studd

1 Comments:

Blogger Tom Bryant said...

Great Post!! This needs to be widely passed out!

March 15, 2010 at 10:56 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

website hit counter
website hit counters