This is one of those common property preacher stories. It's a good one.
It sounds like a fable although the oldest use of it that I find after a quick search is from Toni Morrison (here). Most of us have used it, usually in a sanitized form suitable for a staid Baptist church.
Now...this matter of the Great Commission Resurgence, you remember, the vaunted task force, recommendations, and all that of just a few short years ago.
Is it alive or dead?
I'm thinking that there is abundant and repeated evidence confirming that it is dead. Please note that I'm not cyber signing the death certificate of The Great Commission, it is very much alive, but I am reading enough from around the SBC to not be hesitant to say that the SBC's program of Great Commission Resurgence is dead.
It's simple: a major, perhaps the major thrust of the GCR was in encouraging the transfer of greater Cooperative Program resources from state conventions (which keep about two-thirds of them in-state) to the Executive Committee and on to the mission boards and seminaries.
Many state conventions commendably took steps in this direction. Most did so in very small, incremental ways but the Kentucky Baptist Convention took a pretty big step by voluntarily cutting their share of CP receipts by significant percentages.
How's that working out?
Well, take a count the former KBC employees in about six months, after the completion of the KBC's early retirement incentive offer to employees.
Kentucky is not alone in this. The Georgia Baptist Convention just cut staff, again, a process that seems to be going on in all the states.
My observation is that most of these budget and staff reductions are coming from continued drops in Cooperative Program receipts from churches, not from states adjusting their budgets to keep less money. Kentucky's seems to be a double dose, combining both.
Either way, through declining CP revenues or through deliberate budget decisions to keep less, the results are the same - significant, severe cuts in staffing levels.
I don't know what the pain threshold is for state conventions but I'd guess that it has been reached and they will figure out a way to call off the move to 50/50 split. And that means the GCR as a grand programmatic thrust is dead.
Ultimately, control of the matter is in the hands of the 46,000 or so SBC churches as they decide how to spend their money. The comment was made in Kentucky that churches had cut the percentage of offering plate dollars they send to the Cooperative Program by fully one third, and that in just the past decade.
Seems to me that the evidence is that this bird is a dead bird.