PERSPECTIVE: Real GCR
By the time you read this article, the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force will have presented its report. The work of the task force has been engulfed in rhetoric, and from the beginning both members of the task force and outside observers have used inflammatory language regarding state conventions and others.
To the credit of Ronnie Floyd, chairman of the GCRTF, a concerted effort has been made to lower the rhetoric and find greater appreciation and affirmation of Great Commission partners at every level. I have some idea of the contents of the final report, but will wait for its release before responding to it.
In the midst of all the debate, I have constantly been reminded that the work of the Great Commission ultimately is laid at the feet of individual believers. It is right for us to seek ways to refine our cooperative work and strengthen our commitments to carry the Gospel to every point on the Great Commission continuum. But rearranging the chairs will not take us the full way. That will require a renewed commitment by believers to the individual task of displaying and proclaiming the Gospel.
Last evening, I listened to four of our workers from the Land of Lottie describe the remarkable movement of the Gospel in that country. Why are they seeing tens of thousands, yea millions, embrace Christ as their Savior and begin a new life of walking with Jesus? The answer is simple. The moment believers experience the transforming power of the Gospel, they are engaged in being trained to share the Gospel with lost family and friends.
I was deeply touched by the story of a factory worker who heard the Gospel and experienced the wonder of the new birth. The next day, she could not be found. When she returned to the factory about three weeks later, the Christian workers who had led her to faith asked her where she had been. With tears in her eyes, she stated that the joy of knowing Christ had overwhelmed her. She could not bear that she had such Good News while her family far away in a remote area of the country had never heard the Gospel. She borrowed money from friends at the factory and made the trip home to share the Good News—and more than 25 of her family embraced the Gospel.
That is the Great Commission. It is the kind of Great Commission resurgence that we deeply need. It is the only surefire way to spread the Gospel rapidly. We need the passion of that factory worker. Our family and friends remain lost, and we do nothing to share the Good News.
Cooperative missions is essential to a Great Commission resurgence. But a lost world will never be won to faith in Christ until each of us experience the heartbreak and shed the tears over our family and friends and carry the Gospel across the street and throughout the town. When we find our Gospel legs, our going, sending and giving will rise to a new dynamic level—and then we will see a Great Commission resurgence.
Anthony L. Jordan is executive director-treasurer of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.