I'm all for the GCR, and the Article 9. Definitely a must.
But I'm skeptical of the sincerity of many of the men who are supporting it. The seminary guys like Akin and Reid and Mohler, I think they are very sincere. They see what's wrong with the current SBC structure; they see young ministers leaving the SBC as they see money wasted at the national and state level with little accountability back to the churches.
But it is almost comical to see mega church pastors pontificating about the GCR, and how we need to refocus, and streamline the SBC to see how we can reach the masses.
Do most of these mega church pastors REALLY care about sending the gospel to the ends of the earth? Is that their primary focus as ministers?
Or are they more concerned about themselves, their wallets, their personal brand, and their own mini-kingdom back at their church? Oh sure, they fly up to Louisville to lecture everyone how we need to refocus on Jesus' Great Commission, and they tell us how much they care of the lost people in Africa and China. They are all for a restructuring of the SBC so that funds are better used, but are they willing to allow for an overhaul of their personal kingdom at THEIR church so funds can be better used?
No way. You see, many of these mega church pastors, who are also our leaders or good buddies with the leaders in the SBC, are more focused on other things. Things that have little or nothing to do with the "Great Commission".
- signing their next book deal and writing their next book, and getting their pastor buddies to help them market it;
- some have turned their church foyers into a market place, using Christian events as an opportunity to create "promotions packages" to charge ministries large fees to showcase their ministries to attendees;
- they use church funds to hire marketing firms to help their church branding and personal branding, and to help coach them in their sermon series selections;
- they purchase globs of local TV advertising time to make up for the failure of their people's personal evangelism, and the TV advertising ends up stealing sheep from other smaller churches who can't afford TV time;
- they take church funds to put their sermons on heretical networks like TBN and INSP, further promoting their national appeal;
- some of them even use their positions to grant well-paying positions to their family members and family members of their buddies;
- using church resources to promote cruises and trips with their wealthy church members who jump at the chance to get close to and travel with the celebrity preacher;
- preaching at their buddy's church and getting a handsome honoraria, and then returning the favor to their buddy;
- they accept huge, mammoth salaries well in excess of the average church member, and they keep the details of their compensation package from the very people who give the money;
- they live in executive homes, driving expensive cars, while beating their sheep up to give more and more money, some even mocking their church members that they didn't get a raise and they need to live more frugal lives;
- many of them accept gifts from their preacher-worshipping congregants; some of them very large gifts that an ordinary preacher or minister would never get, all because they are "God's man";
- they use church resources to construct lavish office suites and personal libraries at the church, larger even than some member's entire homes;
- they take "missions trips", but only when fully paid for by the church - while they urge church members to go on missions trips that they must pay out of their own pockets, using their vacation time at work;
And to fund it all, many still preach a legalistic tithing message, to guilt people into giving 10% of their income through "storehouse tithing" doctrine. Some won't even teach the storehouse tithing, but will just tell their church that they are obligated to "tithe". And we can't ignore that these mega church pastors live high on the hog while they expect the truly called vocational missionaries to go to foreign fields for literally a pauper's wage. How many mega church pastors would be "called" to their church if they were paid what they pay vocational SBC missionaries?
Great Commission Resurrgence? Sure. Article 9 calling for restructure of the SBC? Go for it.
But let the Article 9 restructuring start at the mega church.
How could that happen? Easier than you think. Why is there a push for this GCR in the SBC? Because smart men looked at the numbers. Membership down. Missions giving, down. Baptisms, down. If the mega church sheep would wise up and invest their Kingdom dollars elsewhere where the return on the investment is real ministry and missions, that will get the attention of the mega churches REAL FAST.
And then maybe we'll see a GCR at the mega churches.
But don't hold your breath.