Aim Low, Boys, They're Ridin' Shetland Ponies
Some last thoughts about the GCRTF Report .. preliminary .. which leads me to believe they may change some things before the "Final Report" is published.
PLAIN FACT: God is the source of supply in the SBC. People and money. I can't speak about all the money .. although I've seen enough excesses in the SBC already to give me an opinion about that long before the GCRTF Report came out .. but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to count the numbers and discern we've completely booted it with half (or more) of the people God's sent us.
I didn't see one word about that problem, in the report. Not ONE word! And any report which purports to address the problems of the SBC and its declining numbers, and doesn't start by reporting the lousy job SBC Churches have done, collectively, in discipleship, isn't apt to hold my attention too long.
Secondly, any such report which includes any recommendations, where the recommendations do not include any designed to remedy the situation with the non-discipling of millions of members, has a serious second strike against it.
Minor example: I heard an SBC pastor remark once that a couple he'd visited hadn't been in church for 17 years. But .. they were "saved and loved the Lord .. they just hadn't been in church in 17 years". How'd the church that took them in, as members, 17 years ago, do on that personal instruction, by Jesus, to "make disciples"? And what does that say for our expectancy of behavior on people who profess to "love the Lord"?
Thirdly, there is absolutely nothing in the report which is apt to produce an increase in CP giving, a better attitude among the churches toward the CP, or a more favorable ministry future for the State Conventions.
Several people whom I respect are most favorably disposed toward the Task Force Report. That's OK. I don't mind at all, seriously.
That's probably because I'm 71, and may not live long enough to see the total collapse of the SBC .. as the cooperating venture among autonomous Southern Baptist Churches .. and the formation of another body by those churches who see the handwriting on the wall, written there by a bunch of guys who seem not to want to support the Cooperative Program beyond token measures.
I have an idea. Let's adopt their attitude, only let's apply it to the local churches. Let's celebrate all the giving of our church members, both to the churches and also to their favorite charities.
How would that go over with the bulk of the SBC pastorate?