Monday, May 10, 2010

Closed Door or Door of Opportunity

What do you see in this picture? Is this a closed door or a door of opportunity?

John Maxwell tells the story of two shoe salesmen who were sent to a remote Island to sell shoes. After arriving, the first salesman called the home office back in Chicago and told them that he would be returning the next day because no one on the Island even wore shoes. The second salesman arrived and immediately noticed the same thing. He too called the home office in Chicago. But instead of telling them that he was returning tomorrow he told them to send 10,000 pairs of shoes because everyone needed them.’

For over two years now, all we have heard about the need for change. (Actually, we are always hearing this in one form or another.) It was a major theme of our last presidential election. As was promised in the campaign change has come. I will let you debate the results of the change as if it has been positive or negative for our country as a whole.

In our own Southern Baptist Convention, the need for change has also been raised. At the 2009 SBC Annual Meeting is Louisville, Kentucky a Great Commission Resurgence Task Force was elected to make recommendations to the 2010 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida on changes that need to be made for us as a convention to carry out the Great Commission in a more effective way. The Final Report has now been made in preparation to its presentation in June. You can see the report at the following web site:

A short five-minute video for showing at your church is found at the following web site:

What did you see in the picture above? I saw doors of opportunity! The world inside and around your church is changing. The realities of how an Association, the State Convention, the Southern Baptist Convention, and its Agencies will function are changing. We must understand those realities if we are going to be effective in carrying out the Great Commission in this generation in which we live. Your church will make decisions today that will either embrace the changes, like the salesman that asked for 10,000 pairs of shoes, or go home because you missed seeing the opportunity. Let’s sell some shoes!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Great Commission Resurgence Task Force Report

I would like to call your attention to the preliminary report of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force. The full report both in both video and print form can be found at the web site:

Dr. Ronnie Floyd, Chairmen of the GCR Task Force, made two important statements in his introduction to this report. First, he referenced Joel 2:12-17 “Yet even now," declares the LORD, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments." Return to the LORD, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster. Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the LORD your God? Blow the trumpet in Zion; consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly; gather the people. Consecrate the congregation; assemble the elders; gather the children, even nursing infants. Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her chamber. Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep and say, "Spare your people, O LORD, and make not your heritage a reproach, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, 'Where is their God?'"

A Call to Repentance…
Then he commented, “The urgency and call from God was for His people to return to Him in total surrender, complete humility, and with a new attitude. God told them it was not good enough to simply rip your garments when something is not good. God wants our hearts broken before Him, returning to Him with praying, fasting, weeping, and mourning. The call from God was to return to Him now and they would realize that He was full of compassion and grace, willing to release them of judgment, and once again bless them. He called them to respond to Him individually and together. He called them to fast together, to worship together, and to come before Him together. He called them to do this now, with urgency, even calling newlyweds to leave their bridal chamber before they consummated their marriage so they could repent and return to God.”
“I believe with all my heart that God is calling us to return to Him now in deep repentance of our sin, in brokenness over our sin, denying our pride and selfishness and returning to God with complete humility. The boasting, ego, and pride that goes on in our lives, our churches, and our denomination is unacceptable to God. The disunity in our churches and in our denomination is so wrong and sinful. We need to repent and return to God.”

A Call to Evangelism…
Dr. Floyd also challenged us with the reality that we live in a lost world when he said, “Please understand: To the degree we grasp lostness will be the degree we are willing to do whatever is necessary to penetrate it. If we do not understand lostness intellectually and theologically, we will not change nor will we do what must be done to penetrate it. I am convinced we have not only forgotten what it is like to be lost, but we act as if lostness does not exist, there is really no hell, and many times conduct ourselves as Universalists. Concerning lostness, it seems we have developed theological amnesia or theological Alzheimer’s disease.”

The final report will be finished in May and presented to the June 2010 SBC meeting in Orlando, Florida. Be in much pray as we seek the Lord in these days!

More thoughts later...