Monday, November 16, 2009

Jerry Rankin on a Great Commission Resurgence

In light of new missions cutbacks, Dr. Rankin made some excellent comments last week to the IMB trustees:
“If you define the Great Commission as anything and everything we do as a denomination, an increase in baptisms, more healthy churches, greater cultural impact on our society, there’s not going to be a lot of change because we will just continue to do anything and everything the best that we can,” Rankin said. “But I am convinced that God has blessed Southern Baptists, He has raised us up in numbers and resources, not to take pride in being a great denomination and how many programs we can implement and how well we can do them but to be His instrument to reach a lost world and fulfill His mission..."

“...We must be very careful of how we speak of other entities in our denomination. I know the leadership of our state conventions, our SBC entities, how conscientious they are, how sincerely dedicated to serving the Lord ... and the wonderful job they are doing. That’s not the issue,” Rankin said. “If we are to have a Great Commission resurgence, we’ve got to be willing to ask, ‘How does it all stack up in relation to reaching the nations and getting the Gospel to the ends of the earth.’
That last statement is so critical. The real question is how it all stacks up to reaching the nations. As SBC entities, state conventions, associations begin to think about radical reform, reallocation, and restructuring, we won't be talking about good programs vs. bad programs. We'll primarily be talking about good programs vs. the best programs.

There will be some very hard decisions in the months and years ahead. We will need to ask, "What are the best and most effective ways to plant and strengthen churches, and to bring the gospel to those who have not yet heard?"

News from the IMB in the last week has been disheartening, but the very fact we are admitting there is a problem and have bold leaders in place who are addressing the issues is reason to be thankful and encouraged.

You can read more of Rankin's comments here.

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