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Great Commission Resurgence gains traction

NAMB Board Chairman Tim Patterson calls for merger of IMB and his Alpharetta-based agency.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) — A declaration released by SBC President Johnny Hunt calling for a “Great Commission Resurgence” among Southern Baptists has drawn more than 1,500 signatures since it was posted April 27 at

Kent Harville/BP

First Baptist Woodstock Pastor and Southern Baptist Convention President Johnny Hunt addresses LifeWay leaders and trustees in a February meeting. Hunt recently released a statement calling for a “Great Commission Resurgence” among Southern Baptists. LifeWay President Thom Rainer, in background, is among the more than 1,500 to have signed the document, available for viewing at

Jim Law, senior associate pastor and administrator of First Baptist Church in Woodstock where Hunt is the senior pastor, told Baptist Press in an email that the declaration is “a collaborative effort of men whom Dr. Hunt respects greatly. It has been in his heart and mind for months and he has discussed it with a number of people.”

Hunt “will be presenting this to the [June 23-24] convention in Louisville and asking the messengers to consider appointing a task force to study this document and bring back appropriate recommendations on it,” Law said. “The purpose of this is so that we may be a more effective people to carry the good news of the gospel to the ends of the earth.”

The 10-point declaration calls for:

1. A Commitment to Christ’s Lordship;

2. A Commitment to Gospel-Centeredness;

3. A Commitment to the Great Commandments;

4. A Commitment to Biblical Inerrancy and Sufficiency;

5. A Commitment to a Healthy Confessional Center;

6. A Commitment to Biblically Healthy Churches;

7. A Commitment to Sound Biblical Preaching;

8. A Commitment to a Methodological Diversity that is Biblically Informed;

9. A Commitment to a More Effective Convention Structure;

10. A Commitment to Distinctively Christian Families.

The declaration resembles the 12 “axioms for a Great Commission Resurgence” set forth in an April 16 chapel address by Daniel Akin, president of Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.

Akin and Hunt were among the first to fix their signatures to the online document.

Among the key Southern Baptist leaders whose names appear as online signatories are three of 11 SBC entity heads and four of the 14 living former SBC presidents. No state executive directors had signed the declaration at press time:

· R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Seminary

· Thom Rainer, president of LifeWay Christian Resources

· O.S. Hawkins, president of GuideStone Financial Resources

· former SBC presidents Jimmy Draper, former president of LifeWay; Jim Henry, former pastor of First Baptist Church in Orlando, Fla.; Jack Graham, senior pastor of the Dallas-area Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano; and James Merritt, senior pastor of Crosspoint Church in Duluth.

· presidents of eight of the 42 state Baptist conventions – Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, California, Indiana, Tennessee, Ohio, and Kentucky.

A version of the far ranging declaration was posted on April 27 and circulated through several blogs before its official release April 28.

Law told Baptist Press in his email, “A copy of an original statement was sent on Monday to state Executive Directors, State Presidents, Seminary Presidents, Agency heads, past SBC Presidents, and current SBC officers to give them the privilege to have input on it. The Great Commission Resurgence website was released before comments could be made. Therefore, the website was updated today with the revised copy of the document.”


Related story:

 · NAMB chairman proposes IMB merger