Today is the BIG day! At the Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Florida, The Great Commission Resurgence Task Force Report [read it here] is presented and voted on. Quite historic, actually. Big Al Mohler wrote some thoughts last week on how important this document might be for the future of the Southern Baptists. I agree.
As for me, I was thrilled to read the report when it was released and I give it a tall skinny thumbs up!! I won’t be present at the Annual Meeting this year, keeping up a perfect record of absence since 1999, so obviously I cant vote in person, but I hope it goes through.
The greatest jump in my opinion is allowing the IMB (International Mission Board) to play in the USA, something that has been off limits due to an understanding that IMB does foreign missions overseas and NAMB focus on the home country. This actually is the biggest reason why we did not finalize our application with IMB back in 1999 – we felt God’s call toward a people group that spanned the globe, including USA, and that didn’t work with the geographical limits of the IMB. Not to worry, we managed to find funding in other places, most of the time, and that allowed us to partner with other groups in a way that would have impossible if we were representing IMB rather than The Boaz Project. But this report gives me hope if there will be a place for families like ours in the future, and a greater cross-pollination of IMB with NAMB and, hopefully, with other less obvious Southern Baptist ministries like ours.
What I would have liked to have seen is evidence that the IMB will also make some changes in its budget and strategy, allowing for the sweeping changes in the mission landscape which challenge it to a greater level of cooperation with other mission entities, and allow a more holistic measurement criteria in its ministries. Mohler was right to suggest that Southern Baptists not “choose business as usual” but in fact, Southern Baptists working overseas must also demonstrate an equal measure of boldness, eagerness and faithfulness.
But that’s for another moment. For today, lets hope the report gets a big thumbs up from everyone.