As most of you know, I was privileged to go and represent our church at the Southern Baptist Convention this past week. One of the main items being considered was the report from the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force. I will be speaking about the convention and the report this coming Sunday Evening, but for this week, I would like to present to us the challenges that the GCR task force set forth at the end of their report. Following is the preamble to the section as well as the specific challenges to Individuals. Please prayerfully consider each one of them.
The section begins, “We hold to an ecclesiology that honors and affirms both autonomy and cooperation. The Great Commission Resurgence Task Force is well aware of this, and we realize that we cannot direct individual Christians, local churches, associations or state conventions to take any particular or specific action. This is as it should be. However, our doctrine of the church does not prevent us from challenging and encouraging, admonishing and advising, one another at all levels of SBC life for greater passion and effectiveness in pursuing the Great Commission. We are a convention of churches with a missional vision to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every person in the world and to make disciples of all the nations. With all of this in mind, we wish to put forth the following as challenges for the future of the SBC that we might bring greater glory to the Lord Jesus as we seek to disciple all nations in the fulfillment of Matthew 28:18-20.”
Challenges for Individual Christians:
1. Return to God in deep repentance of and brokenness over sin, denying self, and coming to God with complete humility.
2. Commit to the total and absolute Lordship of Jesus Christ in every area of your life, understanding that Christ’s lordship is inseparable from all aspects of the believer’s life, including family obligations, business and profession, and recreational or leisure pursuits. We especially call on men to respond to this challenge.
3. Devote yourself to a radical pursuit of the Great Commission in the context of obeying the Great Commandments of loving God and loving others.
4. Participate in a local church sponsored evangelism training class sometime during 2011 and make this a regular component of the discipleship process in your life.
5. Develop strategies as an individual for praying for, serving, sharing the gospel and discipling neighbors, coworkers, and others with whom you come into regular contact.
6. Bear witness to the Gospel through personal evangelism, seeing every individual as a sinner in need of the salvation that comes through Jesus Christ alone.
7. Participate in a North American or international mission trip sponsored by your church or association at least once every four years.
8. Grow in giving as a faithful financial stewardship with at least 10% of your income going to your local church. However, see 10% as a place to begin in grace giving but not the place to stop.
9. Determine to exercise a greater level of stewardship through estate planning and planned giving, leaving a percentage of your estate to your local church, the Cooperative Program, and to a faithful Baptist entity such as NAMB, IMB, a Baptist college, or our seminaries.
10. Devote yourself to a radical pursuit of the Great Commission in the context of obeying the Great Commandments of loving God and loving others.
11. Give serious consideration to adoption and orphan care as a component of Great Commission living.
12. Determine to develop a well-rounded Christian worldview that allows you to clearly articulate both what you believe and why you believe.
13. Repent of any and all sin that has prevented you from being fully used by our Lord in fulfilling the Great Commission. This includes sins of idolatry, pride, selfish ambition, hatred, racism, bigotry and other sins of the flesh that dishonor the name of Jesus.