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On The Promotion Of A “cooperative Culture” In The Southern Baptist Convention For Mission Advance

WHEREAS, Jesus sends His church into the world as ambassadors of the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:20); and

WHEREAS, As ambassadors, we are called to embody gospel reconciliation in our corporate life together (Ephesians 2:11–22; 4:1–6; Philippians 1:27; 2:1–8; 4:8– 9) and in our cooperative efforts among local bodies of Christ (Acts 15:6–35; 2 Corinthians 9; Philippians 2:19–30), and by doing so, we demonstrate to the world the power of gospel reconciliation in our love and unity toward one another (John 13:34–35; 17:20–26); and

WHEREAS, The purpose of the Southern Baptist Convention is to provide cooperative structures to promote “Christian missions at home and abroad and any other objects such as Christian education, benevolent enterprises, and social services which it may deem proper and advisable for the furtherance of the Kingdom of God” (SBC Constitution, Article II); and

WHEREAS, The Baptist Faith and Message describes a biblical vision for a culture of cooperation and Christian unity as “spiritual harmony and voluntary cooperation for common ends by various groups of Christ’s people” (Article XIV); and

WHEREAS, In 2002, the messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention adopted a covenant between Southern Baptist leadership and the churches that calls us to be “seeking first the King and His kingdom” by embracing kingdom principles and practices in our cooperation with one another (SBC.net/aboutus/missionvision.asp); and

WHEREAS, In 2010, the messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention adopted a report that called for us to work together to create a “new and healthy culture within the Southern Baptist Convention” that establishes “a culture of trust, transparency, and truth among all Southern Baptists” (SBC.net/aboutus/missionvision. asp); and

WHEREAS, In recent years, we have observed a growing tension and culture of tribalism in our Convention over social, cultural, political and, at times, secondary doctrinal points of disagreement, which has resulted in divisive words and actions that grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30); and

WHEREAS, At this 2019 Southern Baptist Convention, meeting under the theme “Gospel Above All,” Southern Baptists are encouraged to assume the best in each other, give the benefit of the doubt to one another, and extend grace to those with whom we differ; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, June 11–12, 2019, consecrate ourselves to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our cooperative efforts as Southern Baptist (Colossians 3:16–17, 23–24), and pledge ourselves to a renewed cooperation that prizes the “Gospel Above All” (Romans 1:15–16; 1 Corinthians 15:3–4; 2 Corinthians 5:14–16); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we devote ourselves to obedience to the Great Commandments (Matthew 22:37–40) and the fulfillment of the Great Commission throughout our nation and to the ends of the earth (Matthew 28:16–20; Acts 1:8; Romans 1:5; 15:20); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we accept our constant need to humble ourselves and repent of pride, jealousy, contentions, selfish ambitions, and complacency, pleading with our Lord to do what only He can do in us and through us and all for His glory (Galatians 5:22–26; James 4:1–10); and be it further

RESOLVED, That in our cooperative efforts, we pursue humility, gentleness, patience, and love (Ephesians 4:2) and pray that our committee members, board members, and leaders exemplify these godly characteristics; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we pledge ourselves to resist a divisive spirit which hinders our cooperative work by seeking to narrow or broaden the confessional commitments affirmed in The Baptist Faith and Message, by imposing methodological uniformity, and by promoting a cultural or political agenda; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we commit to creating a cooperative culture that recognizes and advances the gifts of all Southern Baptists and exemplifies listening, hospitality, investment, and care for all cooperating Southern Baptists that we may flourish together as we face present and future societal and conventional challenges; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we seek to promote leaders from every demographic within the Southern Baptist Convention, recognizing that it is to the benefit of our cooperative mission and the ministry of our churches to listen to a wide range of voices and perspectives within our cooperative body and confessional commitments as we seek to proclaim the gospel together to the ends of the earth; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we work together to cultivate a culture that stewards all the talents and resources of the Southern Baptist Convention for the fulfillment of the Great Commission; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That by God’s grace and work of the Spirit, the Southern Baptist Convention would experience the cultivation of a “cooperative culture” that inspires investment in our gospel work together, develops godly and wise leaders, and leads to effective witness to the gospel in our nation and all the nations.