NASHVILLE (BP) – After two amendments, messengers to the 2021 SBC Annual Meeting adopted Vision 2025, a strategic initiative aimed at reaching every person in the world with the Gospel, by vote of acclamation, June 15.
Citing eternal lostness and the reality of hell, SBC Executive Committee President and CEO Ronnie Floyd called Southern Baptists to back the initiative “with your lives and ministries and churches,” saying, “This is not just a good thing we should do. It is the most urgent thing we should do.”
Amendments to the Vision 2025 initiative adopted by messengers included adding a strategic action on eliminating sexual abuse and racism in Southern Baptist churches, as well as amending another strategic action to reflect a commitment to turning around the “ongoing decline in reaching, baptizing, and discipling” those under the age of 18; the original proposal focused on reversing a decline in the 12-17 age bracket.
Vision 2025 outlined five specific strategic actions that Floyd asked messengers to adopt and endorse in order to reach the world with the Gospel.
“Vision 2025 is a call to reach every person for Jesus Christ in every town, every city, every state and every nation,” Floyd said. “There are 331 million Americans and 7.9 billion people in the world. Eternal lostness exists and eternal hell is waiting, so we must do all we can to reach people so their names can be written in the Lamb’s book of life. …
“We have not been providing our churches with a concise and compelling Great Commission vision that will move them to support it. We believe Vision 2025 is this vision.”
A complete list of the strategic actions of Vision 2025 as adopted by messengers, is listed below:
• Increase the total number of full-time, fully funded missionaries by a net gain of 500, giving the SBC 4,200 full-time, fully funded missionaries through the International Mission Board (IMB).
• Add 5,000 new churches to the Southern Baptist family, giving the SBC more than 50,000 churches.
• Increase the 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.
• Turn around the ongoing decline in the SBC in reaching, baptizing and discipling those under the age of 18 in the prime of their teenage years.
• Increase SBC-wide annual giving in successive years to reach and surpass $500 million given through the Cooperative Program.
• Prayerfully endeavor to eliminate all incidents of sexual abuse and racial discrimination among our churches.
(This article was written by Timothy Cockes for Baptist Press.)