What question(s) would you like to ask the GCRTF (Great Commission Resurgence Task Force) and WHY?
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7 months ago
Question: How does the GCRTF see the recommended changes impacting the State Conventions and the staff currently funded at 85% from NAMB? Will funds be cut and will staff be lost? Let’s not forget or ignore how some states are dependent on those resources to achieve staffing.
Question: Who does the GCRTF see deciding where monies will be channeled for missions’ causes throughout our states?
Question: Who does the GCRTF see establishing the criteria for those decisions? Will there be representation from the Pioneer states involved in that process?
Comment: In reviewing the names and locations of GCRTF participants it seems to me Northern states were POORLY represented… one, two maybe three individuals not from the heart of the South. WHY? Why was there not a broader representation of the SBC involved in this process? Will there be in subsequent efforts implementing the coming changes?
I have read the recent report and we have also discussed part of it at our church. We were so excited to see that the committee sees that our no.1 priorty is to get right with the Lord. The Scripture in Joel was awesome and deeply convicting. Our church knows that we have to repent before God will begin to use us again. My question to you is this, why after stating that our greatest need is individual and coporate repentance, why did you then just talk about the 6 components and not call us to repentance?
You said that repentance is urgent (according to Joel). Why haven't you called us to solemn assemblies on a national, state, church and individual level (according to Joel). We need our leaders , from the top down, to lead us to repentance and seek the Lord. I agree witht the 6 components but you have to lead us to repentance. Fruit, evengelism, comes from abiding in Christ. We as a SBC are not abiding in Him. Restructuring is needed but lead us back to being close to Christ. Our church is going to plan a sloemn assembly (like in Joel). I wish our Association, State Convention and National leaders would do the same. According to Joel the Lord WILL NOT bless us again until we get right with Him. When will we truly see how luke-warm we are? Our church is beginning to see this. May the Lord grant us Godly sorrow that will lead to repentance or there will be no hope for us. Restucture us, but lead us back to the Throne of God first.
What do they see happening to the DOM's who are currently subsidized with NAMB dollars. While their funding be eliminated?
Define your understanding of the differences between the mega church culture and abilities and those of the overwhelming majority of SBC churches?
Dr Mohler noted much of this is warmed over Covenant for a New Century. That failed because leadership was placed in the hands of a mega church pastor instead of missionary strategist. Why do you think it will work this time?
What research did you do on other denominations that tried the regional approach and went back to a centralized office?
Define briefly the advantages of the cooperative agreements with state conventions and the research you did in determining they are no longer needed.
Please respond to the common perception that the committee membership was slanted toward mega church pastors with limited understanding of SBC polity and processes?
Historically Baptists understood that local connectivity was primarily important, thus creating the association as our first and most important denominational entity. Even you acknowledge briefly the local church has primary importance in SBC polity. Defend why your approach is top down rather than bottom up?
The need to focus our funds is correct. You also note the 15 year struggle of NAMB for relevancy. Wouldnt it be most efficient to delete NAMB entirely so those funds can be channeled through States and Associations who are closer to the churches and more capable of understanding and responding to laocal needs? The states and associations are in much better position to place and support direct missionaries in our areas and in our partnerships.
Money is the issue. The stated goal of GCRTF members is to get more resources to international missions and US population centers. "Resources" equals money. The single greatest, most effective leadership action is example. Will the GCRTF members commit to moving their churches toward leadership CP giving as a direct encouragement for SBC churches to do likewise?
1. What do you see as the primary approach to local church planting in North America with this new plan?
2. If all missionary personnel are direct reports to NAMB how will day to day supervision continue? Through Associations? Local Churches? Some regional individual?
3. Do you plan to work with the churches and associations in the local field at all or is your plan to send missionaries completely unconnected to the local field from the central command center?
4. What about evangelism personnel? Will Ministry evangelism missionaries be supported? Will they need to be affiliated with a particular local church or association or will they be freelance?
5. Have you polled the state conventions as to their willingness to release more funds to the Executive Committee? If so what has been the response?
6. Have you considered the fact that each state convention in annual session will still need to make a decision on funding to the Executive Committee and if so what is your plan?
7. Will the IMB be free to work with people groups without any local partnerships and how do you see that working?
8. How does this new approach deal with state conventions in new work states?
9. How do you see this affecting currently appointed missionaries?
10. Are we going to begin to count all funds spent on the mission efforts regardless of targets, partnerships, or real effect as Cooperative Program expenditures?
11. If churches choose to send funding directly to the Executive Committee rather than through the State Conventions will that money now count as Cooperative Program Giving? Explain.
12. How do you see Southern Baptists increasing funding to the mission field into the future?
How does the GCRTF view the role of the local Association in this new structure? Why was the Association completly ignored in the discussion of "Missional Partnerships?" Has the GCRTF investigated the work of "Mission Strategist" role that the local association already fills and how it could easily become more strategic in the new plan?
Question: If all of your recommendations are accepted, how will the local church be better able to accomplish the Great Commission than it is now?
Question: In reading your progress report, I get the idea that you see justification for redirecting resources (money and personnel). But how do you propose we deal with the fact that giving is going down? Why did your report not have a component asking for greater giving through the Cooperative Program, maybe by even asking all churches to adopt a specific higher goal?
Question: The task force says that regional offices are better for NAMB. Then it says that cooperating agreements aren't. Aren't the 40+ state convention offices already acting in some ways as regional offices for NAMB on joint projects? Is it really a good idea to cancel all that?
If this recommendation passes or fails, how will you personally lead your congregations to greater commitment to the Cooperative Program and participation in the Great Commission?
When the Task Force was made up, why was there 12 of the 22 members from 3 states and 3 academics but, no representation from State
Executives, many of the larger state conventions as well as no mid to small sized churches represented and no representation from new or Pioneer work states with the exception of one mega church pastor (who was an after the fact addition)?
If this is to be a revisoning of the SBC, shouldn't a broader pool of imput have been sought?
Bobby maybe you could word my concern as a question. My concern is the leadership of the GCRTF and their involvement in the local association and the value they understand of associational work. These men are in instiutions and churches that typically don't involve themselves personally in associational work. I am concerned they see Southern Baptist Life through a lens that is far different from 90+% of SB.
I am concerned that their actions (though of good intentions)will continue an attitude of apathy among the churches I serve because the plans come from the "Big Church" people.
1. Will NAMB continue to partner with local churches, associations, state conventions? If so, how? If not, why not?
2. The report mentioned "lack of accountability". Can you give an example of what you mean here?
3. Will there still be a place for local/area strategists or will CP strategy become centralized into the six regional centers?
Let me start by saying how excited I am about both the recommendations and the spirit of the report. I am wondering if the GCRTF can speak to what it intends when it states that NAMBs work will be "project based" and how it envisions NAMB working along side indiginous missions efforts already under way by local churches and associations?
Describe the study you used to evaluate the number of church lossed (ceasing to exist) or lossed from SBC affiliation as a result of the reorganization suggested in the GCRTF recommendations? e.g., as a result of the loss in new work states of the "face" of the SBC, the DOM. How many years will it take to recoup that loss with new starts?
Why would you think that states are less accountable with missions money than the people of NAMB? Are you kidding me? NAMB wouldn't have the money in the first place if not freely given to them by the state conventions.
Can you explain how the "task force is very diverse?" when vast geographic regions of the west, northwest, and midwest are not represented on the committee? how many of the members of the Task Force are DOMs? In what way can you conclude that the makeup of this Task Force engenders your stated core values of "trust" and "unity," especially when the ramifications of this report so adversely affect regions/work not included in the makeup of the Task Force?
How can you possibly hope to inspire churches to be missional agents while maintaining supervision and accountability of the missionaries through NAMB? Such an approach signals that NAMB is the missional agent of the SBC, not the local church.
Why are you calling "decentralization" what is, in fact, the mere shifting of the centrality of NAMB's role to 7 locations? There is far more to decentralization than location. If you really want the churches/conventions to step up, NAMB needs to be out of the way, NOT controlling and/or centralizing the missionary process. And certainly not adding another layer of denominational checks and balances to Great Commission progress.
How is it that you think people at Alpharetta and/or seven regional centers would some how be better strategists for a given locale than the force of state and association and CHURCH leaders already and immediately on the field?
What was Jesus thinking when he went to "all the towns and villages" (cities AND towns) and even "wide open country" Gk word agros, viz acre and agriculture?
I heard that in a press conference after the task force report to the Executive Committee, Dr. Mohler said that the final task force report on May 3rd would not take anything away from the one it has issued, but would only go further. Is the task force still confident that the recommendations it has made are all justified and beneficial?
Question: Will the recommendations of the GCR Task Force include a clear statement underscoring that the Cooperative Program is the primary vehicle for corporate participation of churches in Southern Baptist missions work?
(The reason why I think the issues is important is that, to my knowledge, only Southern Baptists and Nazarenes employ this proven and time-tested means of funding missionaries that allows for maximal cooperation among churches and effective training, funding, and deployment of missionaries to fulfill the Great Commission. We would err greatly if we step away from this model, thereby emulating the approaches of denominations that send fewer and fewer missionaries, who are often undertrained and underfunded.)
LCDR Scott N. Callaham, CHC, USN
5th Battalion Chaplain
United States Naval Academy
Question: If approved, how would GCRTF recommendations impact local associations in the Northeast presently searching for an Associational Director of Missions? In the past we have depended on NAMB funding and benefits to compensate our ADOM.
Rev. Mal Utleye, Interim ADOM
Delaware Baptist Association
Questions: Why has the autonomy of state conventions and associations been overlooked during the Great Commission Resurgence process?
What makes you think a top-down approach to missions will win the lost better than a grass roots level approach through the local churches, associations, and state conventions?
What about all the existing NAMB missionaries who are on the field? Why are their callings being treated like cars on a factory line or numbers on a page?
Why was there not a broader representation geographically on the GCRTF, especially from the Northeast and other pioneer areas, when most of the focus is on pioneer areas and new church planting?
Dr. Ron Blankenship, ADOM/Church Multiplication Strategist
Montgomery Baptist Association
Question: Why does the GCRTF think NAMB will be more effective in dealing directly with churches and associations to implement a national evangelism strategy than the current system does?
Rev. Bob Mackey, ADOM/Director of Embrace Baltimore
Baltimore Baptist Association
Question: With little or no mention of Baptist seminaries in your February report, what are the expectations of our seminaries toward being engaged with the Great Commission Resurgence?
In Maryland/Delaware, all eleven Association Directors of Missions are funded in part by the North American Mission Board. What can you say to those men (in MD/DE and in other smaller state conventions) who will be facing additional financial challenges if your recommendations pass in June?
John B. Brittain, Ph.D., ADOM
Arundel Baptist Association
State/NAMB Cooperative agreements will cease in 4 years. How will they be phased out? Will it be accross the board or on a state by state basis?
The new strategy for reaching our areas for Christ, are they a top down strategy or a bottom up? the IMB normally oversees but gets its strategies from the field and not from Richmond. Will the strategies come from Georgia?
Will the new strategy have a place for field personnel? Will all personnel be from the regional offices? Where do you invision theose office being generally? At State convention offices? Church locations? Purchase new buildings?
Gentlemen, thank you for your time and heart for our Convention. My question is this: As I read the Report, it seems the IMB will remain “personnel driven” and the NAMB will become “project driven”. Is this correct?
Gentlemen, I assume the heart of your report is to help Southern Baptists become more “relevant” and “effective”—with completion of the Great Commission being the ultimate objective. I am concerned how that would affect my state (Nevada) which depends heavily on NAMB funds and keeping a large percentage of CP funds to further our ministry in a pioneer state. With this background information given, how do you see the “phase down” affective our state both in funds and missionary personnel. Do you know what that will look like? What do we, in leadership in our State (NV), need to know? Any insights as to how decisions are made or will be made would be helpful. Again, thank you for your time and efforts in this matter.
Joe K. Taylor, D.Min, Senior Pastor at South Reno Baptist Church and Executive Committee Member for the Nevada Baptist Convention.
One question that I would like to raise is in regard to mission work on college campuses. I find it interesting that IMB strategy includes reaching college students in other counties but we have no clear strategy in North America to do the same. Most of us have read the reports bemoaning the fact the we are losing the 18-25 year olds (college age young adults). SBC college ministries have a unique opportunity to reengage and involve young adults in the Kingdom. Not to mention the fact that the World comes to our University campuses.
Currently, leadership for campus ministry is assigned to Lifeway. The last two NAMB administrations have talked about the need to have a strategy to reach college and international students. But, as far as I know nothing has been done to align campus ministry with NAMB. Has this issue been discussed by GCRTF?
This issue is of particular interest in pioneer conventions where limited resources are focused on church planting efforts, leaving little to no resources for ongoing mission opportunities like college campuses.
Moderator for Greater Detroit Baptist Association
Pastor Merriman Road Baptist Church, Garden City, MI
As a former pastor in Montana my concern is for the pioneer states.The state conventions are as much as 80% dependent on NAMB for their support. If those who serve on staff are moved to NAMB how will or will an office be maintained? In ‘82 when I left Montana there were 54 churches and missions and I am sure there are not that many more now.There is no way these small churches can support a state convention alone. Some of our larger state conventions have literally millions in reserve while the pioneer areas struggle to keep the lights on. Why were there no leaders from the pioneer areas on the GCRTF? There is no way you can understand the difference between Great Falls, Montana and Springdale, AR, Woodstock, GA.or the DFW metro unless you have been there. Mega churches run 200 in these pioneer areas and they and others like them make the cooperative program.
I don't think it is right or Godly to ask 90% of our churches to up their giving when most are already at 7%-17%.When all the churches that consider themselves "MEGA" up their giving to at least 7% of their undesignated giving, I will beat the drum loudly to encourage the churches in the North Texas Baptist Area to up their %.
If the states had all the money they need that would not be the cure all. They would still need GOD CALLED pastors to come and plant. The last time I checked this was not happening. Is there going to be a calling out of the called to GO for His glory to reached the unreached in these remote areas where a mega church will never be built? Will we put our money where our mouth is? Planting is tough enough without having to work a full time job and we must realize that the number one reason for new start failures is $$$$$$$.
I trust you will have a direct word from the Lord before anything is presented.This is about eternity let's not be in a hurry,let's get it right the best we can for we may not have another opportunity.
Question: if the plan is to phase out the cooperative agreements over 4 years, what plan does the GCRTF have in place to phase in the changes over the next 4 years.
Also, will the GCRTF go on record and commit that no one on the task force will seek the office of leadership for IMB, the EC and NAMB.
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