GCR Final Report, Component 1: A Mission Statement for the SBC

The Southern Baptist Convention does not currently have a recognized mission statement. When the progress report was released, the call was made for us to rally around a "clear and compelling missional vision." I think everyone agrees it would be good to rally around such a vision - but what exactly would that vision be?

We knew it was missional. We knew it should be compelling. But how clear could it be without a concise statement of this vision? The task force answered by providing the following sentence and asking the Convention to adopt as its official mission statement:

As a convention of churches, 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.

I didn't see this coming but I think it is a good addition to the progress report. It's concise, simple, and should be easy to memorize for anyone so inclined. There's a lot packed into the one sentence.

"A convention of churches" recalls the centrality of the local churches of our convention - it is not the convention's role to fulfill the Great Commission, but to assist churches in fulfilling it. "Our missional vision" calls attention to the need for us all to see our own contexts as mission fields. "To present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every person in the world" encompasses both missional living at home as well as pioneer North American missions and the farthest reaches of international missions. "To make disciples" calls us to remember the priority of discipleship, not stopping at conversion, but the need for growing and maturing believers. "Of all nations" points to the heart of Southern Baptists in making the gospel known among all peoples of the earth.

This is actually a split of Component #1 in the progress report. So what was Component #1 in the earlier series of posts has now become components 1 and 2, and therefore rearranges the entire numbering system from all my previous posts. In other words, they made it all complicated for me trying to write these blog posts! But in all seriousness, I think they were right to separate the vision statement from the core values.

I'm happy with the statement as it's presented. Could it be improved in some ways? There's no doubt many will think they should have said it a little differently here or included something there. But I think it's a good statement and worthy of our support. I hope it will help us channel our energy and resources even more as we're reminded of our priorities.

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