Friday, March 12, 2010

Cooperative Program Promotion, Stewardship Education and the SBC

On February 22, 2010, the Great Commission Task Force issued a “Progress Report” on ways it hopes to assist Southern Baptists to “work more faithfully and effectively together in serving Christ through the Great Commission.” The 32-page report contains a brief sermon outline, eight core values, and six principal “components.” This brief essay will evaluate its Component #4 in light of the 85-year history of promotion of the Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Component #4 of the Progress Report states,

We believe in order for us to work together more faithfully and effectively towards the fulfillment of the Great Commission, we will ask Southern Baptists to move the ministry assignments of Cooperative Program promotion and stewardship education from the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention and return them to being the work of each state convention since they are located closer to our churches. Our call is for the state conventions to reassume their primary role in the promotion of the Cooperative Program and stewardship education, while asking the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention to support these efforts with enthusiasm and a convention-wide perspective. (pp. 24-25, emphasis supplied)

In the paragraph following this challenge, the report states,

While the Executive Committee has held the Cooperative Program assignment since 1997, and later received the Stewardship Education assignment, history shows us that we have struggled with where to place both of these assignments in order to serve our churches most effectively. (p. 25, emphasis supplied)

Three phrases in this report are potentially misleading. One could infer that (read complete article HERE)

1 comment:

Jim Turnbo said...

While this point is not my major concern with the GCRTF progress report, it seems to me that the recommendation is totally out of order. How can the SBC assign a significant function to independent, autonomous state conventions? The Convention may request the state conventions consider an action. But the convention may only assign responsibilities to those entities it actually controls. Convention messengers may vote as often as they like, but none of those votes will be binding upon the state conventions unless they in turn vote to make them so.