GCR Final Report, Component 2: Core Values

In component 2, the task force calls us as Southern Baptists to eight core values that should exemplify our lives as we seek to represent the character of Jesus to the world. This is basically unchanged from the progress report, except this has now become a separate component, rather than the second half of the first component as it was in the progress report. The eight core values (pgs. 8-9) follow:

  • Christ-likeness (reflecting Jesus' attitude and character)
  • Truth (inerrancy)
  • Unity (secondary issues will not distract us)
  • Relationships (others more important than self)
  • Trust (honesty, transparency with one another)
  • Future (importance of coming generations)
  • Local Church (central to the Great Commission)
  • Kingdom (working with other groups where possible)

I think this component is even more important than I realized at first. There is an argument that appeals to logic for being a part of the SBC. It has to do with the great job our IMB does with reaching the nations; the great job our seminaries do with providing a high-level education at a relatively low cost; the ways many of our other ministries succeed in doing effective Great Commission work. This is a practical argument and I think in many ways it is effective to those who will listen.

But many (and more all the time) refuse to listen to that argument because they cannot get past SBC culture. In order for someone to partner with the SBC for ministry, they must first feel an affinity toward the SBC. They must feel drawn to this fellowship of churches. And if we're being honest, our culture is more likely to drive away than to attract. Until we own up to this reality we can't fix the problem. Until our culture looks more like these values, the exodus of young leaders will continue, regardless of how effective we make our giving program.

A new culture is essential to turning the tide in the SBC. The GCR task force has done us a service by placing this reminder in their report.

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