The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is a convention of churches. The SBC does not exist to govern churches, but it exists to serve, assist and empower churches to be on mission with God.
The SBC empowers churches to prioritize, elevate and accelerate the vision of reaching every person for Jesus Christ in every town, every city, every state and every nation. Through collaborative partnerships, cooperation and generosity, our churches advance the Good News of Jesus Christ to the whole world. This vision is unlimited when we focus on this global mission together.
We can do many things that are good; however, we must do the greatest thing assigned to us by Jesus Christ our Lord. Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” Mark 16:15.
Nothing should ever deter us from this global mission. Whatever the cost, whatever the risk, this worldwide mission thrust must be our priority.
This global mission priority
This global mission priority is why the SBC exists today. Our viability presently and in the future will be enhanced when we determine we will cooperate for this highest and greatest cause.
This priority is why the SBC empowers all churches. We are not about small membership churches or about large membership churches. We are here to empower all churches. We must stop letting the segmentation and categories of man divide us as a convention. We should never tolerate any mindset that seeks to divide our churches by size of membership.
All churches share this global mission together and each church brings greater value when we participate, cooperate and partner to accomplish our mission together.
Due to this global mission priority, the SBC empowers all generations. We are not only about the older or younger generation of Baptists, nor are we only about the children or students in our churches. We must be about all generations.
We must stop allowing ourselves to be divided into generational and research categories. Instead, we must take the opportunity to learn about the uniqueness of each and cause it to inspire us to unity around the Great Commission. We are the church of Jesus Christ, which is made of all generations! From children to students to young adults to married adults to senior adults, we need and want all generations. It will take all generations to reach the people across the globe.
Due to this global mission priority, the SBC also empowers all ethnicities. Here are facts about who we are in the SBC:
- 22.3% of our SBC congregations are non-Anglo or ethnic minority congregations.
- Our SBC non-Anglo or ethnic minority congregations have grown by 7,992 congregations since 1990, an increase of 223%.
- From 1990 to 2018, ethnic minority groups increased by more than 1 million people in our SBC.
- More than 60% of our new church plants in the past five years have been non-Anglo or multiethnic.
The strength of our Convention is increased greatly by our willingness to empower all churches, all generations, and all ethnicities.
The greatest diversity movement in the history of the world is the church of Jesus Christ.
Due to this global mission priority, the SBC is about empowering all languages. We are not simply a convention of English-speaking Christians and churches. In fact:
- Any given week, the gospel is preached in more than 100 different languages in our churches.
- At our 2019 SBC Annual Meeting, we offered closed captioning in 21 different languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese.
The more intentional and strategic we become in accomplishing this global mission, the Good News of Jesus Christ will be proclaimed and heard in a greater number of languages in the years to come.
A vision for the future
As we increase our understanding of the growing global population and tighten our mission focus on advancing the Good News to the unreached people in America and across the world, we must simultaneously increase our commitment to empowering all churches, all generations, all ethnicities and all languages.
We cannot accomplish the Great Commission alone. We need each other – all churches, all generations, all ethnicities and all languages.
I believe the SBC must have the clear vision of becoming the most multi-church, multi-generational, multi-ethnic and multi-lingual denomination in the United States, committed to reaching every person for Jesus Christ in every town, every city, every state and every nation.
In order to go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation, it will take all of us.
Now is the time to lead.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Ronnie Floyd is president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee.)