DALLAS (BP)--In what might be arguably the most significant meeting yet for the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force, 22 executive directors of Southern Baptist state conventions met with them Oct. 27, to offer some competing, some complementing views and vision about the Southern Baptist Convention and what is needed for a Great Commission resurgence.
Speaking on behalf of the state executives, David Hankins, executive director of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, told the joint meeting -- held in the Grand Hyatt Hotel at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport -- that pronouncements about the demise of the Southern Baptist Convention are not only premature but ignore research that indicates just the opposite.
"While none of us are satisfied with the declines in membership, baptisms and missions support," he said according to a copy of his address provided to Baptist Press, "we have had remarkable results and staying power.
"For example, our total membership in 1979 was 13,379,073," Hankins noted. "In 2008, it was 16,266,920 or plus 20 percent.
"Compare that to the track record of mainline denominations," he offered. "We may not be at the top of our game but we are very much in the game."
He also underscored that resurgent cooperation could be the key to a Great Commission resurgence.
"We ought to consider it a primary strategy to marshal all the sectors of Southern Baptist leadership (church, association, state, SBC) to work on the Great Commission Resurgence, Hankins said.
"We are grateful that Dr. Hunt's appointments to this body made room for all stakeholders," he said, adding, "All of us want success for the Kingdom and the favor of the Lord on Southern Baptist missions."
Task force chairman Ronnie Floyd, pastor of First Baptist Church in Springdale, Ark., said the dialogue with state convention executives was crucial for the committee's work.
"In a spirit of deep respect, we wanted to hear from the state executive directors and let them speak to us about their own vision for a resurgence of Great Commission passion ... Read More