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Great Commission Resurgence – Part 2

24 Jun

GCResurgence02

As promised, even though a few days later I am ready to speak to the next four portions of the Great Commission Resurgence (GCR)  doccument. The first three commitments provide an overarching direction to the whole of the doccuemnt. As I see it these commitments are ones that provide us more specific direction like a turn by turn map would offer us. In our Convention and in our church the overarching direction is necessary but it most certainly cannot be effective unless certain steps and directions are followed. Thus for each of these commitments I want to offer some specific applications to the life of our church.

  • Commitment IV makes clear again the central role of the Bible in the life of every Baptist. Thus a GCR cannot be a retreat from a stand for Biblical truth. From 2nd Timothy 3:16-17 it stands as certain that the Bible is sufficient for every area that pertains to faith as well as to all practice. I would emphasize practice over faith since it seems that of those who would assign the Bible an area of sufficency naturally gravitate towards the area of faith. Even so, I am convinced that if we are serious about a GCR in our convention and our church we must see the Word of God as sufficient for every aspect of our lives. Not that the Bible speaks to all aspects of  21st Century living (for instance internet blogging); however the Bible offers principles that will apply to all living! Thus, I would say this as an application to our church.
    • Whatever we are doing and whatever we might do in our ministries, we need to find and never loose sight of its biblical support.
    • Further we must be careful never to allow anything that is unbiblical to become a part of our ministry.
    • Finally, we must always place priority on those ministries and efforts that are essential to the proclaimation of the gospel such as preaching, teaching, evangelisim, and missions! If that means we must remove programs or some events; if that means we must shift the focus of existing programs and events to more gospel centered programing then we should.
  • Commitment V celebrates and illstrates the need for a central doctrinal confession. We have such a confession as Southern Baptists in the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. Dr. Albert Mohler’s article on theological triage is helpful here (found at http://www.albertmohler.com/commentary_read.php?cdate=2004-05-20). With certain amounts of theological agreement we can partner to serve Chrsit in closer and closer proximity. On some theological issues where there is no agreement there can be no cooperation. On others we can have significant disagreemnt and still join together in the same church to serve Christ together. I would encourage all to read the article above for more information. Though the doccument issues 1 Timothy 6:3-5, I think of Ephesians 4:4-5 which celebrates the unity we share in body, Spirit, hope, Lord, faith, baptism, God and Father. We may also say that all in Christ have a call, though not the same call, all have a certain calling. As an application for our church I see one call: WE MUST BE UNIFIED IN OUR THEOLOGY AND OUR VISION CONCERNING CHRIST’S MISSION FOR FBC ENOREE. I am convinced this vision is to reach out and build a family of faith. Similarly we should seek to join wherever and whenever we can with sister churches to accomplish the Great Commission.
  • Commitment VI calls each church to assess whether it is a healthy Baptist church. Acts 2:41-47 lays out at least four central parts of a New Testament Church Worship, Instruction, Fellowship, and Evangelism. This is a clear call to a certain vitality in our ministry at FBCE.
    • We should seek to be regenerate and adopt a new baptismal policy.
    • We should be redemptive both by reaching out to the lost, but also to the fallen and thus we need to begin exploring a church discipline policy.
    • We should have and encourage rapport between pastor and church.  I think this must begin with me. As your pastor I promise you that as long as I serve here, I will not send a resume out unless God sends someone to ask for it. My hope would be that this church would see me as a flawed person who loves a flawless Savior and grant me the grace to grow with you and continue to be transformed by the power of Christ.
    • We should seek to be an every member ministry. This does not mean we should seek to go with a list of jobs and try to fit people into the right holes. It means that we look at each person and seek to intergrate that person into the church ministry.
    • Finally we should seek to be a missional congregation. That simply means we see ourselves as an outpost of Christ’s kingdom intended for the equipping and sending of FBC Enoree members into local, state, and national fields of service. Furthermore it means that we would begin considering how we as a congregation can come alongside of struggling churches or plant new one.
  • Commitment VII calls on the need for biblical preaching in this generation. As 2nd Timothy 4:1-5 clarifies, this is preaching whether in season or not which calls people to repentance and trusting in Jesus. This is a preaching of God’s entire Word as he gave it verse by verse; chapter by chapter; book by book. This does not mean there will not be times for topical preaching, but even then it insists upon looking to the full measure of God’s Word to us. Such preaching is a vital and unique ministry of the church that must be a part of the local church as Romans 10:14-17. Further may I say that true gospel centered preaching does not issue forth from a pulpit unless the pulpiteer is empowered by the Holy Spirit. When I think of my task as your pastor, preaching God’s Word Sunday by Sunday, my prayer is that Mark 16:20 will be true of my ministry. When I preach I pray that the Spirit will work with me, not only to confirm my message but to give me the message you and I need to hear!
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Posted by on June 24, 2009 in Ministry of the Word

 

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