GCR Final Report, Component 3: Great Commission Giving

This component of the report is mostly the same as it was back in the progress report, so I will point you back to my post at that time: The CP Loses Its Monopoly. I think the essence of the component has stayed the same and I stand by my comments there. In this post, I want to briefly state why I support this component. I'll also cover a few tweaks in the final report that I think are worth noting.

I support the move to Great Commission Giving because churches should have the right, without others criticizing or sneering at them, to bypass the inefficient state convention system with their missions giving. I maintain that it is irresponsible for churches in states where 2/3 of missions funds are kept in-state to make the Cooperative Program their exclusive means of supporting missions. When churches decide to take ownership of their missions giving, still supporting SBC causes, they should be celebrated and not stigmatized.

I am thankful for churches who have decided to give directly to the national level Cooperative Program so that a higher percentage of funds gets to ministries that they (and I) consider priorities. Great Commission Giving affirms these churches and makes the Southern Baptist Convention a place that is welcoming. Welcoming to those of us who will not toe the line to let state convention executives divvy out funds as they see fit.

That, in short form, is why I support the Great Commission Giving Recommendation.

Other Aspects of Component 3
There is a call for Southern Baptists to give sacrificially "as never before." This stems from research showing abysmal giving statistics for average church members. If more of our church members practiced biblical stewardship (note I didn't say tithing), a floodgate of resources would be opened for our cooperative missions work.

One aspect about which I've heard very little mention is the call to include estate planning and planned gifts (9) to undergird Great Commission work after we've departed this life. I like this inclusion and it's something we should think and hear more about.

The task force also calls us "to support the Cooperative Program as never before." It may seem counterintuitive to what I've said above, but I believe that the attitude change signified by the adoption of Great Commission Giving will make me and others more willing to support the Cooperative Program; because we feel a resonance once again with the direction of the SBC, and because state conventions will receive the message that more needs to be forwarded to the national level.

I really believe that, over the long term, this proposal will help increase the funding going to Great Commission missions work and the Cooperative Program itself.

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