Bold Mission Thrust, Empowering Kingdom Growth, Great Commission Resurgence, God's Plan for Sharing - task forces, study committees, processes. All are important because they attempt to keep the Southern Baptist Convention and her sister state conventions aware of and involved in reaching the lost and making disciples.
Emphases like these are great, but I think we must come back to the realization that what keeps Southern Baptists on track of reaching the world for Christ is the commitment of individual church members sharing the Gospel of Christ with the lost. I submit the Great Commission is not the task of an organization, but of believers in Christ Jesus. I don't think a denomination can force the Great Commission on its churches any more than Congress can legislate morality to its citizens.
If we as Southern Baptists need to reclaim the Great Commission, it must be done at the local church level. The local church and its members are the ones responsible for fulfilling Christ's greatest command. Leaders must set the example and challenge our people to actively share their faith.
Recently I preached at a church near central California's coast. Entering the worship center I observed two young ladies. I introduced myself and began a conversation. Listening to them, my heart felt heavy as they shared their struggles and concerns.
During the invitation, a woman came forward and asked for prayer for her daughter. After the service lunch was served and I sat across from these two young adults. Our conversation at first dealt with the temporal, but after a few minutes I began to talk about the spiritual needs of all of us. Very soon, one of them invited Christ to take control of her life. Her mom, the woman who had asked for prayer, joined us at the table where we all shared prayers, tears of joy and praise for a sinner saved by grace.
As I traveled back to Fresno, my heart was filled with excitement, knowing that His Word continues to penetrate lives. One soul, one minute, one fulfilled assignment. Let me encourage you to look across the table, across the room or across the street and share Jesus Christ - the only answer to the world's problems.
The Great Commission begins and ends with Christ's follower telling the Good News. You and I were selected by God to be His messengers. Won't you tell someone about Him today?