GCR–Next Steps?

Posted: June 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

The Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting for 2010 is now in the history books.  It was, according to many, the most significant annual meeting that has been held in the past couple of decades.  Whether this is true or not will only be seen as the years go by and historians reflect upon the impact that this meeting had on the SBC.  

It was definitely a fun meeting to attend.  I thoroughly enjoyed getting to see friends, hearing gifted speakers at the Pastors Conference (thanks to tremendous leadership from Dr. Kevin Ezell), and receive a ton of free books (9 Marks Rocks!).  The debate on the floor over various motions added to the excitement as well.  This annual meeting may or may not turn out to be historic, but there is no denying that it was fun! 

The whole issue of whether or not the GCRTF recommendations would pass is also behind us.  The recommendations passed with little change to their original wording.  The vote on passing these recommendations was not a close one as they passed with ease; although there was a good bit of debate leading up the actual vote. 

Was the 2010 SBC historic?  That is yet to be seen.  Was it fun?  Absolutely!  But where do we go from here?  That is a popular question.  I heard one guy ask that particular question during 9Marks at 9 with Dr.’s Dever, Akin, Mohler, and Platt.  I asked that question to Dr. Greg Wills while sitting at his table during the SBTS Luncheon.  I think this is a good question to be asking.  If we don’t ask this question and continue to spur each other on down this road we have started walking then we will (1) wander off the path because the way became foggy, or (2) we will grow tired of walking the path because there is no clear destination. 

I think the answers given by the panelists during 9Marks at 9 and what Dr. Greg Wills shared with me are helpful.  I will attempt to put the answers succinctly.  First, we must encourage each other to point our people in our churches down this road.  The proponents of the GCR have continually called for revival at the local church level.  They (this includes myself) have said that unless we see God move in our churches none of our structural changes will fix our problems.  So, we must call our people to a renewed sense of commitment to the glory of God.  Second, we must be involved in our local associations and state conventions.  The recommendations have passed.  But they are only recommendations.  They are meaningless if not acted upon.  The state conventions and local associations are autonomous entities and are not required to act on the GCR recommendations.  They can, unless I am missing something, ignore them.  That is why pastors must attend associational meetings and state convention meetings.  The GCR recommendations must be acted upon at every SBC level.  Third, our new president Bryant Wright, must continue the push for the GCR.  Dr. Johnny Hunt has been a tremendous leader over the past two years.  Dr. Bryant Wright has big shoes to fill as he leads the SBC.  I pray he fills them well.  Fourthly, our national entities must meet and implement these recommendations.  Again, if they do not, they are meaningless.  Fifthly, and finally, we must not back away from the SBC thinking that all is well.  We must continue to be involved.  All of us must continue to talk about church membership, discipline, preaching, the gospel, and the nations.  We must continue to call for faithful and effective stewardship of our CP dollars. We cannot stop now. 

If we take these next steps as outlined above we will make sure that we do not wander because of a foggy path.  The path will remain clear.  We will not grow tired because we will be able to keep our eyes fixed on a specific destination.  I pray that we see the momentum created by the GCR Ideals (see my previous post: GCR—A Momentum Builder) continue in the days, months, and years ahead.  I pray we keep going.  I pray we show up at our associational meetings, our state convention meetings, and 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona!  I pray we do this because those are the next steps down this road we have begun to travel.  May it be a grand journey together


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