Myth #3: The Great Commission Resurgence Task Force is attempting to influence and even control the search committee process at the Executive Committee, the IMB and NAMB.

Conspiracy theories are usually entertaining. And, they often contain a modicum of truth, but not much more. I believe this is the case with this myth as well. The GCRTF has watched, as have most Southern Baptists, with great interest the events that have unfolded in recent months (and days!) at NAMB, IMB and the Executive Committee. It would be dishonest to say we did not anticipate or see some of these things coming (others were a shock), but still we were surprised by their suddenness and proximity in time to one another. Since these decisions were made I, and I strongly suspect all GCRTF members, have been praying for these 3 agencies and their future leadership.

Dr. Ronnie Floyd, chairman of the GCRTF said as much on behalf of the GCRTF, but amazingly some have misread or misunderstood his words as implying that we would like to influence and even direct the decision-making of some or all of the search committees. To jump to such a conclusion based upon Dr. Floyd’s statement that the presidential search committees watch and pray for the work of the GCR is unfounded and irresponsible.

We, and again I believe I can speak for the whole Task Force, will not be calling any of the search committees asking for a meeting. We will not be writing, emailing, texting or tweeting trying to interfere with or do their job. We will pray for them and if they want to take the initiative to meet with some or all of us for whatever reason, I am sure we would do our best to serve them and try to comply with their request. However if they do not do this, then there will be no meetings. It is as simple as that. I can assure you I will be calling no one asking for a meeting! I may or may not make a recommendation. I don’t know right now.

Personally, I have no idea where these searches will go. Actually it is too soon for them to have gone very far at all. As I write this NAMB has just named a search committee (being patient and taking their time was wise in my judgment in light of recent turmoil). I learned that Ted Traylor, a GCRTF member, would chair the search committee when I read it in Baptist Press. The fact is I have had zero influence and input on any of the search committees and their makeup. I strongly suspect that is true for the rest of the GCRTF as well.

So, who will these three search committees call to fill these three crucial and critical leadership positions? Believe it or not I know the answer! They will call who they, as a particular search committee at a particular moment in time, believe to be God’s man to lead their agency for the future. Of course they will receive resumes, talk to references, have formal and informal conversations, but when all is said and done, they will do what they think best before the Lord regardless of what anyone else thinks. As has been the case in the past, their decision(s) may be a complete surprise to many of us. We may find ourselves saying “Wow! I didn’t see that coming!” That’s o.k. I can live with that. The fact is I have too. Interested and inquiring Southern Baptists minds would do well to do the same. Pray for them and entrust them to our Lord. Isn’t that where we should want them to be?

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  1. Scott A Gordon   •  

    Dr. Akin,

    How then are we to understand the statement as it is contextualized in the Florida Baptist Witness story?

    Three times in an e-mail interview with the Witness, Floyd emphasized the search committees of the respective entities should be “very prayerful and watchful of the work of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force” when asked if the GCR Task Force may be considering recommendations that could alter the structure of those entities.

    Are you saying then that the FBW has instigated and perpetuated this myth?

  2. Roger Simpson   •  

    Dr. Akin:

    Thanks for setting the record straight on this.

  3. Brent Hobbs   •  

    Scott, as Dr. Akin probably won’t visit the comments section, let me try and respond to your question.

    I don’t see anything in the FBW quote or Floyd’s statement that is cause for concern or lends itself to this ‘myth’. If you have assumed the premise of this ‘myth’, then I see how you could come away with that idea, but a fair reading of that statement is that Floyd is merely stating what should be obvious to anyone with common sense.

    When something like the GCRTF is going on, with a report to be brought in less than 9 months, and the potential for either small or large changes or restructuring… when all this is going on, the search committees would be negligent to move on as if nothing is happening.

  4. larry purcell   •  

    Keep up the good work!

  5. Scott A Gordon   •  


    I appreciate your response. It just seems to me that there is a contradiction between what I heard in Rogers, Arkansas, and what has been said in Pastor Floyd’s interview and then what has been said here. At the Rogers meeting, we were EMPHATICALLY told that no one on the TF had ever mentioned combining NAMB/IMB or any kind of such restructuring of those agencies by Pastor Hunt specifically. Then, Pastor Floyd makes the aforementioned assertion in his interview with FBW; a definite contrast to the Rogers meeting. Finally, DR. Akin states here that the trustees will and should do the job to which they were elected and the search teams as well (a sentiment with which I wholeheartedly agree). With three different TF members spinning the opinion of the TF in circles, it is little wonder why many of us are confused and have been asking for clarity. To me, this is not about ‘myths,’ it is about seeking clarity.

  6. Roger Simpson   •  


    Check out the Baptist Press website. They run a story today with extensive quotes by Dr. Floyd regarding the Great Commission Task Force vis a vis the leadership search teams that the BoTs have put in place to find new Senior Leadership at the IMB, NAMB, and EC.

    The article with this info is the one that discusses a meeting between state execs and the task force.

  7. Pingback: Who is Spreading Myths? :: SBC Today

  8. Brent Hobbs   •  

    Scott, you said:
    “At the Rogers meeting, we were EMPHATICALLY told that no one on the TF had ever mentioned combining NAMB/IMB or any kind of such restructuring of those agencies by Pastor Hunt specifically.”

    That is a serious misstatement. I was not there, but I have reviewed the news reports from that meeting. Hunt DID say that there had not been any talk of combining IMB/NAMB. But he did not rule out “any kind of restructuring.” It would be absurd, on the face of it, for him to make that kind of statement, given the role of the task force.

    You’re simply setting it up so that, if there is some restructuring, whether major or minor, one could accuse Hunt or the task force of going back on their word. I challenge you to produce a quote from ANY task force member has said there will be ‘no restructuring.’

    Furthermore, the task for will not restructure anything. They are going to bring recommendations – which the convention will be free to follow or discard as it pleases.

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