Graham, Sullivan among GCR endorsers
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Five more endorsements of the Great Commission Resurgence report -- including Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas, and John Sullivan, executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention -- have been added to the GCR Task Force site at www.pray4gcr.com.
In a June 7 statement, Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas and a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, said he supports the recommendations because he likes the missional vision and core values expressed in the document and that "celebrating and empowering Great Commission Giving rightly elevates the genius of the Cooperative Program and at the same time celebrates all financial gifts to the work Southern Baptists are engaged in." He also said that "unleashing NAMB for a new era of penetrating lostness in North America is exactly the shot in the arm we need at this particular time."
"I believe Southern Baptists are at a critical stage in our history," Graham said. "I believe we will make a crucial and significant decision when we gather in Orlando. I believe the report of the GCRTF provides a hopeful and helpful course of action for our future. I believe it provides a better way for us to work together in the ministry of the gospel. It has my full and complete support. I pray you will be led by our Lord to support it as well. The nations and our nation call out for us to bring them the good news of Jesus. We must not miss this golden opportunity."
Graham's full statement can be read at http://www.pray4gcr.com/2010/06/jack-graham-pastor-of-prestonwood-in-dallas-tx-why-i-support-the-gcrtf-report-and-recommendations-and-pray-for-its-passing-at-the-orlando-convention.
An endorsement from John Sullivan, executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention, was posted June 4.
"Southern Baptists must do a better job of proving the Great Commission. The report of the GCR Task Force is an effort to assist us in doing this. I am supportive of the recommendations," Sullivan said in his statement. "They have come as a result of prayer, dialogue, meetings, research and a desire to strengthen Southern Baptists' witness to the world.
"My greatest reason for supporting the recommendations of the task force is the primary place they have positioned the Cooperative Program. The Cooperative Program is the greatest delivery system for missions and education that God has ever placed in the heart of a people," Sullivan added. "The Father gives us a lifetime to achieve and advance. My prayer is that the recommendations of the task force, when adopted, will further the achievement of the Great Commission and advance the significance of the Cooperative Program in the life of our denomination."
Sullivan's full statement can be read at http://www.pray4gcr.com/2010/06/dr-john-sullivan-executive-director-treasurer-of-the-florida-baptist-convention-i-am-supportive-of-the-recommendations.
Jeremy Roberts, senior pastor of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Lenoir City, Tenn., said June 4 he believes other pastors of smaller-membership churches should be "100% supportive" of the task force recommendations because the proposal "assists small attendance congregations to be released as missionaries" and sends more money to unreached and underserved peoples while sending less to "big denominational government."
"I want to encourage my colleagues to look at the big picture of the GCR Task Force's final report," Roberts said. "The report will assist small attendance churches in more effectively being released as missionaries, and more of the money we sacrifice to our beloved denomination will directly hit the mission field."
Roberts' full statement can be read at http://www.pray4gcr.com/2010/06/dr-jeremy-roberts-why-i-believe-all-small-attendance-churches-should-be-100-supportive-of-the-gcr.
Stan Lewis, pastor of First Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., in a June 3 statement, offered four reasons for supporting the GCR recommendations:
-- "In a church, when a committee brings a recommendation, we trust them because we believe they are Godly people who have walked through an extensive examination of God's will. I believe we should trust this group of Godly committed Southern Baptists in their recommendation."
-- "Organizations must adapt to changing environments.... If we are unwilling to make the necessary and even painful corrections that will bring about growth then we will blithely go where so many denominations have gone before."
-- "Giving the state conventions a greater role in promoting CP wisely moves the emphasis closer to the churches. State conventions have greater connectivity to the individual churches which helps to foster encouragement of our churches and accountability to the Cooperative Program."
-- The North American Mission Board "needs a clean slate and fresh vision to reach the masses of unreached people on this continent and if we are going to continue to invest in it as an organization I want to give it the best chance possible to help us reach our lost neighbors."
Lewis' full statement can be read at http://www.pray4gcr.com/2010/06/stan-lewis-pastor-fbc-birmingham-alabama-i-am-the-pastor-of-a-small-church-and-only-one-voice-but-my-voice-will-be-heard-in-favor-of-the-report.
Walter Price, pastor of Fellowship in the Pass Church in Beaumont, Calif., said June 3 that one reason he supports the task force recommendations is that "the greatest need in our churches and in our nation and world is a mighty move of the Spirit of God in bringing true revival and spiritual awakening to our planet."
Price, who also is president of the California Baptist State Convention and chairman of the trustee board at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, added that, in a state with more than 30 million lost people, "we can see the need to focus our energies in North America in the most populous areas with the least Gospel penetration." He also said he believes Southern Baptists' global witness "is diminishing even while there are still so many who have never heard the Gospel" and "we simply must do what is necessary to increase our involvement to the ends of the earth." He also added that "the generation coming behind us is not enthused about the status quo of the SBC" but is "interested in the most efficient and effective ways to accomplish the task of being real followers of Christ in a global generation."
Price's full statement can be read at http://www.pray4gcr.com/2010/06/supporting-the-gcr-out-west-by-walter-price-pastor-of-fellowship-in-the-pass-church-beaumont-ca-president-of-the-ca-state-convention-and-chairman-of-the-sbts-board-of-trustees.
Compiled by Baptist Press assistant editor Mark Kelly.