VISION 2025 for the Southern Baptist Convention
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8
While we are going through a series in Nehemiah called 2020 Vision, I thought I would share a little of Ronnie Floyd’s (Executive Director of the Southern Baptist Convention) vision for the SBC. Dr. Floyd shared five strategic actions related to his “VISION 2025” with the Executive Committee on Feb. 17th. The overall goal of this vision is to reach the world for Jesus Christ. I will briefly share the five strategic actions and will write more about them in the weeks to come.
Strategic Action 1: Increase our total number of full-time, fully-funded missionaries by a net gain of 500, giving us 4,200 full-time missionaries through the International Mission Board. 155,252 people die lost every day. We need many more missionaries to help us take the gospel to the nations.
Strategic Action 2: Add 6,000 new churches to our Southern Baptist family, giving us more than 50,000 churches. To reach this goal, we will need to add 1,200 churches each year to our SBC family. We will need more church planters who are called and equipped to plant churches and we need churches who will sponsor and support church plants.
Strategic Action 3: Increase our total number of workers in the field through a new emphasis on “calling out the called,” and then preparing those who are called out by the Lord. This compelling call upon our lives to reach every person for Jesus Christ in every town, every city, every state and every nation should give us absolute confidence that God is calling people to surrender their lives to full-time Christian ministry. This call may be to serve as a local church pastor or to be missionaries across this globe. Jesus tells us to pray to the Lord of the harvest and ask Him to send out workers into His harvest. Let us pray and ask God to send out workers into His harvest! As the church prays, God calls. As God calls, the church calls out those who are being called.
Strategic Action 4: Turn around our ongoing decline in reaching, baptizing, and discipling 12- to 17-year-olds in the prime of their teenage years. Baptisms of 12- to 17-year-old students are down 38 percent since the year 2000 (that is over 35,000 baptisms per year less). This is our future!
Strategic Action 5: Increase our annual giving in successive years to reach and surpass $500 million given through the Cooperative Program to achieve these Great Commission goals. The Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention provides the financial fuel for our Great Commission work. The more money our 47,500+ churches give through the Cooperative Program, the more we can extend the Gospel message around the world. If we are going to send more missionaries, plant more churches, revitalize more churches, replant more churches, equip more pastors, equip more evangelists and missionaries, then we must prioritize our giving to the CP. 2025 will be the 100th Anniversary of the Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention.
I’m thankful for Burlington Baptist’s commitment to giving to the Cooperative Program. Let’s prayerfully consider these 5 goals and decide what role we can play in helping achieve this God-sized vision. We certainly want to seek to reach, baptize and disciple more 12-17 year-olds and ask the Lord to call out more laborers who will labor to make Christ known locally and to the ends of the earth. (More info about these goals and VISION 2025 can be found at http://sbcvision2025.com/ and at the Baptist Press website.) What do you think about these goals?