ORLANDO, Fla. (BP)—The final report of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force will highlight the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) 153rd annual meeting when the two-day event convenes June 15 in Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center.
The report, unveiled May 3 at www.pray4gcr.com, has been the centerpiece of discussion in Southern Baptist circles since messengers at the 2009 meeting in Louisville, Ky., authorized the SBC president to appoint a task force. The public conversation intensified when the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force (GCRTF) released a preliminary version of its report Feb. 22, with some hailing it as innovative and others expressing concerns that it would negatively impact cooperation with state conventions and hurt giving through the SBC’s Cooperative Program.
While the task force expects to present its report June 15, they have not announced whether its recommendations will be offered as a single motion or several. The Feb. 22 progress report was organized into six components, but task force chairman Ronnie Floyd has said the final version will be significantly different, because the task force has received substantial feedback from a wide range of Southern Baptists since the original’s release.
Another matter of major interest is the fact that three Southern Baptist entities (International Mission Board, North American Mission Board, SBC Executive Committee) have presidential search committees at work. Candidates for any or all of those positions may be announced and voted on by the respective trustee boards before the annual meeting convenes, although none of the three committees has released information that would suggest that possibility.
SBC President Johnny Hunt has selected “LoveLoud through the Great Commission” (1 John 3:18) as the theme for this year’s sessions.
Hunt, pastor of the Atlanta-area First Church in Woodstock, told Baptist Press he hopes the LoveLoud emphasis will “challenge our denomination to demonstrate to our communities, our country and around the world the difference Jesus Christ makes in our lives and in our churches.”
“We’ve got to ‘Love Loud’!” Hunt declared. “Loud Love moves beyond the four walls of the church. I hope to encourage our folks to roll up their sleeves and get after it.
“Our theme verse is clear,” Hunt said of 1 John 3:18, which states: “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”
“It is not simply enough to say; we must do!” Hunt said. “We have embraced what we believe. It is now or never to engage this generation with what we believe — the Gospel.
“Our nation is lost. We have the answer. Let’s do it!”
Churches can register their messengers online at www.sbc.net to avoid waiting at the counter upon arrival at the convention. By registering online, the SBC website gives a church a messenger reference number form to be printed out and presented by each messenger at the SBC registration booth in exchange for a name tag and a set of ballots. The appropriate church-authorized representative must complete all online registrations.
The traditional registration method also is available for those churches that are unable or may not opt to access the online registration. Registration cards are available from state convention offices.
This year’s annual meeting will include the election of a new SBC president, with Hunt now completing his second one-year term, and deliberations over the report of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force, initiated by Hunt at last year’s convention in Louisville.
Each year’s annual meeting also includes a Crossover evangelistic outreach across the local community (June 12 in Orlando); the Pastors’ Conference, Woman’s Missionary Union celebration and numerous other meetings of SBC-related organizations; childcare and age-appropriate programs for children and youth. (See details below).
For further information about online registration and hotel choices for the SBC annual meeting in Orlando, visit www.sbc.net.