Friday, May 15, 2009

Pastors: the key to a great commission resurgence

No doubt about it, there are some exciting things going on in our Southern Baptist Convention.

I'm very pleased with the recent Great Commission Resurgence document drafted by Johnny Hunt and certain leading members of the SBC. I read through it carefully and finally signed it this morning. I believe it gives a healthy wake-up call to our convention and lays a sound philosophy of ministry for the future of our convention beyond the doctrine articulated in the Baptist Faith & Message.

I appreciate that leaders recognize a true Great Commission Resurgence will not happen merely through a top-down approach from our seminaries, the executive office, or Lifeway, but through a grassroots movement among local churches, and particularly among local pastors.

Thus, the Annual Meeting will focus this year on pastors, local church, and denominational health rather than a reaction to national politics. In a recent interview with the Florida Baptist Witness, Johnny Hunt said:

...the annual meeting focus should be on how to turn around the denomination, which he said begins with the pulpits.

“There is no evangelistic church without an evangelistic pastor. There is no mission-minded church without a mission-minded pastor. There is no generous church without a generous pastor,” he said.

Although many pastors proclaim the right truths about evangelism, they are not emulating those truths.

“I really believe it’s more of a real work of God in the life of us pastors” that is most needed in SBC life, he said, rather than focusing on denominational entities and executives.

Speaking as a pastor, Hunt said the focus “is going to be on us.”

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