Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Who's Afraid of Great Commission Giving?

Apparently, lots of folks.

Start with Morris Chapman, lame duck head of the SBC Executive Committee. Morris has a "white paper" that expresses his "grave concerns" about how the new category of giving, Great Commission Giving, will affect the Cooperative Program, to which he says the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force has given "lip service."

Norman Jameson writes a nice Baptist Press piece about the predictable results of the CP ox being gored. In BP's collection of GCRTF stories are a number of others who decry the new giving designation.

I don't think the CP will be killed off by Great Commission giving. After all, we are about a generation or more into the CP slowly declining. Fact is, churches are making their decisions on this and have for years, and the CP has been receiving less of the offering plate dollars as a result.


Good question. Someone ought to ask and listen to the answers.


foxofbama said...


Welcome to the World of Blogging. I wanted to be among the first, certainly before Bruce Gourley to, make notice here.
I do hope your parishioners or family or view your blog will insert several smilie emoticons with anything I may say here, cause for sure half of it will be with some element of irony, duplicity, parody or other evidences of not quite my true intention.
I do know you live in a fascinating pocket of the world, from the Cane Brake to other illustrious episodes of Ga and National History.
I will try to get the word out that you have established business.
Sfox from three or four states and counting.

Anonymous said...

Woohoo! Welcome to the bloggy goodness of it all!



Jon L. Estes said...

I don't know of anyone afraid of the GCG but I do know some who see it as an end to some present ministries, if followed.

But then if the CP is not going to be a Great Commission system supporter, do we really need it? Are we not supposed to be GC people in all we do?

I guess I get to run into a few BL folk who are afraid of me, here on your internationally renowned (too be) blog.

John Fariss said...

I will mark you under my "favorites," especially since I have distant kinfolks in that general neck of the woods.

Whether or not I agree with this post varies from day to day. On one hand, I agree that we must not be shackled to the past. Churches are going to make their decisions on what to give and to whom to give it regardless of what passes or fails in Orlando. The CP has been declining for quite a few years; and speaking as a more-or-less moderate still in the SBC, I suspect that while the CR had an effect on it, the times in which we live have a bigger one. My experience in churches is that people give to perceived needs moreso than to budgets, and I suspect the same is true in the SBC. Plus since the church I serve has been designating its CP funds to the IBM & NAMB for 8 or 10 years now (since before I came), it will certainly make us "look" better on those places where such statistics are recorded. On the other hand I cannot help but think that this will accelerate the demise of the CP and move us one step closer back to what amounts to societal giving. It will almost certainly prompt some mega churches (which designate big bucks but give paltry percentages to the CP) to feel better about themselves and more "equal" than the rest of us. And while the newer conventions, like the SBCV and the SBTC will no doubt be able to continue what they are doing while maintaining or reducing the percentage they retain, older conventions--especially those that support things like hospitals, colleges, and children's homes--may even increase the percentage they retain. The short term effect of that will be that funds flowing to SBC causes through the state conventions actually decrease, while the long-term effect will be to set up a battle for existance between the state and national conventions. And frankly, I see a lot more bloated bureaucracies at the EC, NAMB, and even the IMB than I have at the state conventions in any of the three states in which I have ministered, plus I have gotten a lot more help from those state conventions than I ever have from anything at the SBC level.

Best to you, William!

John Fariss (with cousins in Atlanta, Bartow County, Walker County, and Rabun County, as well as the Chattahochee Valley)