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PERSPECTIVE: We can be better

In a recent meeting of our state convention’s board of directors, I proposed the formation of a Mission Advance Team for the BGCO. I stated to the board, “With a desire greater than ever before to be missional and cooperative in reaching our state, nation and world with the Gospel, it is time to intensely examine every part of our convention ministries and structure to ensure that we are strategic and intentional in every area for Kingdom advance.”

In 1995-96, a very significant strategic plan that addressed mission, direction and staff structure was developed for the convention. I was a part of that strategic planning committee and remember well the dynamic changes that were recommended and then approved by the convention. In fact, after I was elected executive director-treasurer of the BGCO, my team and I spent the first three years of my tenure implementing the changes set forth in the plan.

On two other occasions the convention has called groups together to address strategic issues related to our organizational life and ministry. In each case, we have become stronger and more missional. We have become more nimble and able to respond to the needs of our churches and to mission opportunities that present themselves. We have tried to develop a learning organization that thinks strategically as a regular part of our work.

Yet every organization, whether a church or a convention, needs to step back and take a more intense look at itself. When you consider that we are Great Commission driven, it is imperative that we constantly ask ourselves hard questions and seek strategic answers. We can never be satisfied with successes of the past.
I believe it is time for us to invite a broad-based group of Oklahoma Baptists to look intently at the convention’s mission, priorities, ministries and values. What needs to be affirmed and continued? What needs to change or be eliminated? What must we do to move from good to great as a missional convention? How do we better serve our churches as they embrace an ever changing world? How do we structure staff and ministries for the future? How do we become more efficient and effective so we can move dollars to reach a lost world at home and abroad?

I, like you, have a passion to reach the nations. We need to find ways to make greater impact financially and lead our churches to have greater involvement in hands-on missions. Can we find efficiencies and effectiveness that will allow us to do more?

At the heart of any plan is a focus on the local church and an unfailing commitment to cooperate. How do we better serve the local church and enhance the effectiveness of the local church in its community? It is imperative that we strengthen our ability to connect local churches in communities, states, our nation and world in evangelism and missions.

I think it is also of utmost importance that we look at our approach to funding. Churches and conventions must seek to stretch in sending more beyond their boundaries to reach the dark places. The great cities of our nation and world await a powerful witness. It will take people and dollars.

The Mission Advance Team will have broad representation from Oklahoma Baptists. With only 23 members, it will not be perfect in this regard. Those who serve will have a demanding and intense responsibility. They will need our prayer support and encouragement.

The Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma is doing a good work today. We are well organized, creative and missional. But we can be better. May the Lord show us how to move from good to great in doing Great Commission ministry cooperatively.

Anthony L. Jordan is executive director-treasurer of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.

Anthony L. Jordan

Author: Anthony L. Jordan

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  • Dr Jordan:

    Your appointment of this “Mission Advance Team” is timely. Compared to the Great Commission Task Force, which is “top down”, the MIssion Advance Team is more “bottom up”.

    Somehow, someway, over time (say ten years) I believe that Southern Baptists in Oklahoma need to gradually shift priorities so more of our total spending is directed to reaching the lost.

    I don’t know how to say this any other way so I’ll just come right out and say it: I think we in the BGCO need to invest in evangelism and discipleship rather than providing client services to people in Oklahoma.

    I guess it is OK to teach various church staff throughout Oklahoma how to use Excel and Microsoft Word. However, stuff like this is likely going to be handled by volunteers in the future. I’m pretty good at Excel myself. I’d teach this to people for free.

    Also stuff like this is available for very low cost at local schools such as Rose State.

    I was a software engineer in Silicon Valley for 40 years involved in management of microcode development groups doing firmware. Also I worked for a while as an independent consultant doing firmware on devices that implemented the SCSI data buss protocol.

    I’m working now on putting up some Excel spreadsheets on my website which is an “extension” to a study by Daniel Palmer regarding CP funding. These spreadsheets will be up on my site by Friday, Feburary 19. I believe there has been more heat than light regarding the subject of the allocation of CP funds between the states and Nashville. My spreadsheets will be an attempt to take an OBJECTIVE look at the tradeoffs to various breakouts of CP allocations at the local church, state convention, and the SBC executive committee level to see how they effect missionary giving domestically and overseas.

    My website is http:\\

    Roger — Oklahoma City OK

  • Gus Downing

    Dr. Jordan,
    I agree with you that we need to take a “fresh” look at our organizations in the SBC. I pray that the appointment of the Mission Advance Team will be the first step in what will be, no doubt, a long process. You and the staff of BGCO will have to sure that you do not let “jealousy for position” influnce your decisions. Since I am an “Old Time” Baptist, I know how difficult it is to make change. I pray that all Oklahoma Baptist will be open to the leadership of The Holy Spirit and take the path He leads us down!
    Gus Downing

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