Due to time and expense limitations I was unable to attend the SBC annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky this past week, but I monitored the proceedings from afar via the internet and press. I must say that what I’ve observed and heard from those who did attend is quite encouraging. One of the most encouraging things to come out of the meetings was the appointment of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force. This is a team that will explore how to carry out and implement the ten axioms of the Great Commission Resurgence proposed by Dr. Danny Akin (Southeastern Seminary), Dr. Johnny Hunt (President of the SBC), and Dr. Al Mohler (Southern Seminary). The ten axioms, meant to rally Southern Baptist church together toward a “Great Commission resurgence” are:
1. We call upon all Southern Baptists to submit to the absolute Lordship of Jesus Christ in all things at the personal, local church, and denominational levels (Col. 1:18; 3:16-17, 23-24).
2. We call upon all Southern Baptists to make the gospel of Jesus Christ central in our lives, our churches, and our convention ministries (Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 15:1-4; 2 Cor. 5:17-21).
3. We call upon all Southern Baptists to recommit to the priority of the Great Commandments in every aspect of our lives and every priority we embrace as a network of local Baptist churches (Matt. 22:37-40).
4. We call upon all Southern Baptists to unite around a firm conviction in the full truthfulness and complete sufficiency of Christian Scripture in all matters of faith and practice (Matt 5:17-18; John 10:35; 17:17; 2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
5. We call upon all Southern Baptists to look to the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 as a sufficient guide for building a theological consensus for partnership in the gospel, refusing to be sidetracked by theological agendas that distract us from our Lord’s Commission (1 Tim. 6:3-4).
6. We call upon all Southern Baptists to focus on building local churches that are thoroughly orthodox, distinctively Baptist, and passionately committed to the Great Commission (Matt. 16:13-20, 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-47; Rom. 6:3-5; 1 Cor. 5).
7. We call upon all Southern Baptists to affirm and expect a pastoral ministry that is characterized by faithful biblical preaching that teaches both the content of the Scriptures and the theology embedded in the Scriptures (2 Tim. 4:1-5).
8. We call upon all Southern Baptists to consider themselves and their churches to be missionaries in non-Christian cultures, each of which requires unique strategies and emphases if the gospel is to penetrate and saturate every community in North America (Phil. 2:1-5; 4:2-9).
9. We call upon all Southern Baptists, through our valued partnerships of SBC agencies, state conventions/institutions, and Baptist associations to evaluate our Convention structures and priorities so that we can maximize our energy and resources for the health of our local churches and the fulfillment of the Great Commission. This commitment recognizes the great strength of our partnership, which has been enabled by the Cooperative Program and enhanced by a belief that we can do more together than we can separately.
10. We call upon all Southern Baptists to build gospel-saturated homes that see children as a gift from God and as our first and primary mission field (Deut. 6:1-9; Psalm 127, 128; Eph. 6:4).