NASHVILLE (BP) — Vision 2025 is not simply a slogan or rallying cry. It’s a path forward to help us reimagine a new future together of reaching the world for Jesus Christ — every person, every town, every city, every state, and every nation.
We are in one of the most defining moments in our history. For the future of America, the future around the world, and for the sake of our own future as the Southern Baptist Convention, change is imperative.
We find ourselves chasing after the winds of our preferences, our own opinions, our own issues, and our own streams of social media. These are the side streets that keep us off of Main Street, that always leads us to the final words of our Lord Jesus Christ before His grand ascension: “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
I am speaking about a unified Great Commission vision that unites us. Yes, a vision that calls us to reach every person for Jesus Christ in every town, every city, every state, and every nation. This vision, Vision 2025, is composed of five strategic actions that are clear, concise and compelling; but this vision is also specific, measurable, realistic, attainable and timely.
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, fully-funded missionaries through the International Mission Board.
We believe one day in the near future there will be a multitude from every language, people, tribe and nation knowing and worshiping our Lord Jesus Christ.
Every day, 155,252 lost people die. When we are able to increase our total number of full-time, fully-funded missionaries by a net gain of 500 by the year 2025, many of our missionaries will be training churches overseas to send their own missionaries, and God will forward His good news through His people exponentially. Listen friends, this number of 500 additional missionaries by the end of the year 2025 comes directly from the field to our leadership at the International Mission Board.
Strategic Action 2: Add 6,000 new churches to our Southern Baptist family, giving us more than 50,000 churches.
When we imagine together adding 6,000 churches to our Southern Baptist family by the end of the year 2025, we know this means that we need to add 1,200 churches each year to our family. How will we do this?
Our goal of adding 1,200 churches annually will look something like this:
— 750 new churches planted annually;
— 50 new campuses identified or added by our multi-site churches annually;
— 400 new churches affiliating with us annually.
What does all this mean? This means for us to add these new churches annually, we will need more and more church planters who are qualified, identified, and sent out to places where the Gospel has never been before. This means we need our multi-site churches to identify and notify us through our Annual Church Profile of all the campuses that each church has now and will launch in the future. This means hundreds of evangelical churches across the United States who believe like we believe and appreciate how we do missions together may want to become a part of our family called Southern Baptists. Already, more than 300 new churches affiliate with us annually. We believe the opportunity to expand this footprint is great in your region, in your state and all across our entire nation.
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.
We believe our missional vision is to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every person in the world and to make disciples of all the nations. 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 right now in every church across this globe to surrender their lives to full-time Christian ministry. This call may be to serve as a local church pastor, or serve as a scholar and teacher in a seminary or college, or perhaps God is calling masses of people to be missionaries across this globe.
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Source: Baptist Press