Louisiana pastor and SBC First Vice President Jay Adkins will chair a task force that will study the impact of recommendations brought about by the Great Commission Resurgence Report and adopted by Southern Baptists in 2010.
The task force was called for in a motion at the 2023 SBC Annual Meeting in New Orleans to review the effectiveness of the GCR movement as it relates to Southern Baptist evangelism efforts in North America and relationships among SBC ministry partners.
The task force “should represent all SBC partners serving from all regions of North America” and its subsequent report to include “any recommendations to enhance and unify our cooperative missions effort to penetrate darkness in North America,” according to the motion.
In addition to Adkins, pastor of First Baptist Church in Westwego, La., those serving are:
- Robin Foster – associational mission strategist, Trinity Baptist Association in Trumann, Ark.
- Adam Groza – vice president for Enrollment and Student Services, Gateway Seminary
- Luke Holmes – pastor, First Baptist Church in Tishomingo, Okla.
- Chris Shaffer – assistant professor of theology, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
- Jeremy Westbrook – executive director/treasurer, State Convention of Baptists in Ohio
“I see the purpose of the GCR Evaluation Task Force to be to examine all pertinent material regarding the Great Commission Resurgence Report and to execute an analysis of the impact of the stated goals on our cooperative effort,” Adkins said.
“We will seek to achieve this task by comparing the seven components and recommendations of the report with current statistical data available. Our goal is to present an evaluative report to the 2024 SBC Annual Meeting in Indianapolis along with a brief list of the recommendations requested.”
The task force will work to be “thorough and open-minded” in studying materials related to the GCR document and may conduct interviews for clarification, Adkins said.
Adkins made a motion in Orlando in 2010 to immediately unseal the minutes and recordings of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force meetings. That motion was defeated in a ballot vote.
Those records will be unsealed on June 16, 2025.
“I am someone who believes in transparency,” Adkins said. “However, I also understand the need for confidentiality during the deliberations of a work-group so that we are not being influenced by outside voices. Therefore, we will require confidentiality during the duration of our work. I want us to present a thorough, factual and helpful report which will be above reproach.”
The task force’s first meeting may take place by the end of the month, he added, with the intent to have monthly Zoom meetings thereafter. Individual members will contribute through assigned tasks.
“The task force … consists of representatives from state conventions, national entities, and local associations,” said SBC President Bart Barber, who formed the task force, per the motion. “It includes people from so-called ‘pioneer areas’ within the Southern Baptist Convention. The members of the task force include credentialed researchers.
“I have asked them to conduct a dispassionate and fair review of the topics mentioned in the motion. I believe that they will bring important insights to the messengers for consideration in Indianapolis.”
— Scott Barkley is national correspondent for Baptist Press.