Vision 2025 consists of five strategic goals, recently endorsed by the SBC Executive Committee, to be presented for consideration by the SBC annual meeting in June 2020. My hope is they will be adopted by Southern Baptists – not just voted and forgotten—as our North Star for the next five years.
The first goal is to increase our international mission force by 600, to a total of 4,200 missionaries. With inevitable retirements and resignations, we will need to appoint more than 600 new missionaries to reach 4,200. We can do it, and Gateway Seminary is committed to doing its part.
For more than 50 years, Gateway has hosted an annual missions conference with a primary goal of inspiring, training, and sending new international missionaries to the peoples of the world. We will be gathering on March 6-7, 2020 at the Ontario Campus for this year’s important meeting. The program will feature reports and strategy discussions about amazing work being done in five different cities in a variety of ministry contexts. The cost is nominal (to cover two meals) and you can register here.
While Gateway is doing its part to increase our mission force, what can you do? Here are five specific actions:
- Pray for more workers in the harvest. Jesus said to do this, so let’s get to it (Mt. 9:38).
- Consider if God is calling you to be a missionary. God needs people with all kinds of skill sets overseas. Before you decide, read through the kind of positions the International Mission Board has open right now here.
- Take some people overseas to ignite their passion for missions. Make sure your church sponsors or joins with others to sponsor at least one international trip each year.
- Host a missionary in your church. Develop a continuing relationship so members can get a glimpse of missionary life, and perhaps envision themselves (or their children) in that role.
- Give more money to missions. Most churches spend more than 90% of their income on themselves. Make some disciplined choices to increase your giving to missions—primarily through the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.
If the SBC adopts Vision 2025, Southern Baptists can overwhelmingly meet this first goal. Gateway will do its part. What will you do?