Posted tagged ‘GCR’

PLNTD – A Baptist Network for Church Planting Churches

June 9, 2010

Today, with my 10,000th tweet, I am happy to make known to you a project that has been in the works for several years–the PLNTD Network.

This is a new network that is singular in its purpose and simple in its design.  Its focus is the Great Commission, its passion is the local church, and its vision is seeing local churches owning the Great Commission to the point of reproducing themselves in new expressions of gospel-centered faithfulness.

The beta version of our resourcing website is live, and I have the privilege of beginning with a series called “Bring It Back” where, over a series of twelve articles, I lay out the call to bring church planting back to the local church and how PLNTD seeks to encourage, assist, and empower local churches and church planters for that specific task.  Over the next couple of months, we plan to stock the resource warehouse, develop relational communities, and share about the work of residency centers in local churches for training future church planters.  Together, we believe that resourcing, relationships, and residencies will help catalyze the vision of PLNTD and provide the kind of synergy we hope will inspire and encourage churches and planters alike in the call of the Great Commission.

There are several ways in which you can find out more information or get plugged into the PLNTD Network, not the least of which include:

* subscribe to the PLNTD feed
* follow PLNTD on Twitter
* join the PLNTD Facebook page
* sign up for the PLNTD e-newsletter

There is so much about PLNTD that has me really excited and hopeful about the future work of church planting in Baptist life.  I believe PLNTD has the potential to, on the one hand, reach out to the younger generation who are passionate about gospel-centeredness, missional living, and incarnational community, and on the other hand, reach out to the elder generation and provide opportunity to partner together for the renewal and revitalization of Baptist churches through a Great Commission resurgence.

We invite you to join us in the PLNTD Network to see church planting thrive in the church, by the church, and for the church!

The Alabama Baptist: A Case Study in the GCR Debate

June 3, 2010

You may not be Southern Baptist, and you may not be from the state of Alabama, but if you’ve got a moment and care about the Great Commission Resurgence, I like to offer a few thoughts.  I am one of those boys born and raised Southern Baptist, and for 20 of my 31 years of life, I was an Alabama Baptist–one saved (1987), baptized, licensed (1997), educated (University of Mobile, 1997-2001), and ordained (2001) in Alabama Baptist churches.  As a college student, I traveled and preached in numerous Alabama Baptist churches, and my childhood pastor (Fred Lackey) was two-time president of our state convention.  While many 20 year old guys were defeating the latest video game, I found myself debating old, bald-headed CBF dudes on the convention floor of our state convention annual meeting about inerrancy.  I suppose I could bore you with more stories, but I share this because, while I was born and raised Southern Baptist, I grew to become a Baptist by conviction and appreciation of our rich confessional and missional heritage.

Although I am no longer an Alabama Baptist (I pastor in sunny South Florida in a county where evangelicals comprise less than 5% of the population), I still try to keep up with all that is happening back “home.”  In recent months, I have come to see that, under the direction of its editor, Bob Terry, The Alabama Baptist has become a significant factor in opposition to the Great Commission Resurgence.  Consider the steady flow of articles, beginning from early March of this year:

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Baptist Messenger Interview with Ronnie Floyd on the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force Report

May 9, 2010

If you are like me and have not read all the GCR articles coming out, you might not be aware of all the conversation around the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force (GCRTF) of the SBC.  Doug Baker, editor of the Baptist Messenger of Oklahoma, sat down with the chairman of the GCRTF, Ronnie Floyd, to address the issues and questions that have been raised in recent months.  If you are limited in time, I would argue that it is better to listen less to the political pundits in the SBC media and focus more on what the task force is saying both in their final draft as well as other first-hand sources.  Here is a 45 minute video interview with Baker and Floyd that is worth your time.  Check it out.

Nathan Finn on Spiritual and Structural Problems in the SBC

February 24, 2010

Nathan Finn writes an excellent piece at Between the Times regarding the two natures of the problems in the SBC.  I have been told in person and elsewhere via conference calls by denominational employees that the problem is spiritual, not structural, and all that we need to do is keep doing what we do while hoping for revival.  I’m grateful that the GCR Task Force has not bought into this line of thinking and is attempting to make some significant reform.

Here’s an excerpt from Finn’s article:

The structural and the spiritual coincide. To argue otherwise is to perpetuate a false dichotomy. Structure to varying degrees reflects spiritual concerns, and at times spiritual issues are exacerbated by structural shortcomings. The SBC needs a renewal in both areas.

Be sure to read the whole thing.

The GCR Progress Report [Video]

February 23, 2010

Last night, Southern Baptist leaders from all across the country came together with the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force (GCRTF) for a progress report led by its chairman, Ronnie Floyd.  The GCRTF Report is slated to be released on May 3, 2010 with a final report in print on June 15-16, 2010.

Below is the video of Dr. Floyd’s progress report.  After watching it, let me know what you think. Let’s pray for a Great Commission Resurgence made possible through the resurgence of the local church.

Charles Finney, Cooperation, and the GCR

November 17, 2009

Over at Between the Times, Drs. Danny Akin and Bruce Ashford have continued their excellent series on “Seven Crucial Aspects of Our Mission” (which is broken down in true Puritan style of multiple sub-points and cases) with an article focusing on cooperation between Calvinists and non-Calvinists.  As you know, this issue has been with us for a very long time, and during the more heated moments in recent SBC life, I was documenting all the events, articles, and commentary that was taking place.

Having been involved in Southern Baptist discourse for the past 6-7 years (I know, I’m young), I would argue that the relations between Calvinists and non-Calvinists is the best that it has been.  The rhetoric and caricatures are rare, and the conversation between those with soteriological differences has increased, especially with the advent of Twitter.  I know it’s crazy, but Twitter as a social-networking platform has interconnected Southern Baptists in a form of internet community that would otherwise not exist in real life.  I’m not sure as to why or how this has happened, but perhaps “following” each other has allowed us to see that those with whom we disagree are not as bad as we think they are.  They love Jesus, desire to honor Him in faithfully preaching His Word, and are genuinely seeking to make a difference for the glory of God.  Having the opportunity to see glimpses into the lives of people who otherwise would be a faceless name or distant interlocutor makes you think twice before lobbing bombs at one another.  We are not enemies.  We are brothers in the trenches seeking to advance the kingdom against our common enemy, the devil.

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Acts 29, State Conventions, and Acts 1:11 Conference

November 12, 2009

This week is a rather interesting week in the life of the SBC.  Three meetings took place in the SBC world which are worth noting, especially in comparing and contrasting them.  They are:

1.  The Acts 29 Ambition Bootcamp held at Sojourn in Louisville
2.  The respective state convention meetings across the country
3.  The Acts 1:11 Conference held by Jerry Vines Ministries

I’ve penned my thoughts on the differences and similarities between the three, but I’m interested in your thoughts, especially on the various points:

* Those who attend (who, why, average age)
* Conference or Meeting Purpose
* Theological Emphasis or Meeting Theme (like, dislike, agree, disagree)
* What Each Represents within the SBC World
* Their Future in the SBC (increasing, decreasing)

Given that these all converged on the same week in the SBC calendar, I thought it would be worth thinking about their implications and what they, as a snapshot, might reveal about the SBC and its future.

As Dying Men with an Everlasting Message

September 2, 2009

About a year and a half ago, my friend Nathan Finn asked the question, “What are the most pressing issues facing the Southern Baptist Convention?” I revisited my answer yesterday and felt portions of it deserved a re-post.  Prior to the push about a Great Commission Resurgence, there wasn’t a clear narrative about what to do or where to go in the future, and still with the current GCR Task Force, I wonder to what degree or role the gospel plays in the formation of the future.  So in light of where Southern Baptists are today, I want to say it once again: our greatest problem and our greatest need is the gospel.  Here’s what I wrote.

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