What Do Southern Baptists Do?

This week, we continue learning about the Southern Baptist Convention by asking, “What do Southern Baptists Do?” The following information was taken from www.sbc.net.

What Southern Baptists Do
 
Southern Baptists Proclaim the Gospel Through Evangelism and Missions
 
At the heart of our mission is the compelling urgency to proclaim the Gospel to everyone. The BF&M summarizes the biblical expectation this way:
 
“It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and of every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations. The new birth of man’s spirit by God’s Holy Spirit means the birth of love for others. Missionary effort on the part of all rests thus upon a spiritual necessity of the regenerate life and is expressly and repeatedly commanded in the teachings of Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ has commanded the preaching of the Gospel to all nations. It is the duty of every child of God to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by verbal witness undergirded by a Christian lifestyle, and by other methods in harmony with the Gospel of Christ.” (BF&M, Article XI, Evangelism and Missions).
 
In addition, Southern Baptists are committed to starting new churches to reach the growing populations of our country and the world. The Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board (NAMB) has set a goal to see a net gain of five thousand new congregations (churches and church-type missions) in the United States and Canada during the decade ending in 2022. This would be an increase of more than 10 percent in the number of Southern Baptist congregations cooperating together to penetrate the lostness on the North American continent.
 
The Gospel truly is Good News, and Southern Baptists are passionate in our commitment to share that Good News until the Lord returns.
 
Southern Baptists Demonstrate the Gospel through Compassion
 
Southern Baptists take seriously the Lord’s example of compassion and His command to love and care for the needy. The BF&M summarizes the biblical expectation this way:
 
“Means and methods used for the improvement of society and the establishment of righteousness among men can be truly and permanently helpful only when they are rooted in the regeneration of the individual by the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ… We should work to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick” (BF&M, Article XV, The Christian and the Social Order).
 
Southern Baptist churches across the nation demonstrate God’s compassion to the needy in their communities as part of their standard, ongoing ministry:
  • a church in rural Arkansas sponsors a food pantry and clothing closet in a small town;
  • a church in metro New Orleans actively supports the local crisis pregnancy center and provides for the needs of pregnant young girls;
  • a church in Lower Manhattan sponsors a soup kitchen on Wednesday nights and offers free lunches in the park on Saturdays for the needy;
  • a church in San Francisco ministers directly to homeless street people.
Whether it’s through free medical services, offering classes in English as a second language, or helping a local family with rent or utilities, Southern Baptist churches throughout the land actively reflect God’s love and compassion in their communities. In fact, the width and breadth of Southern Baptist ministries of compassion are as expansive as the United States itself, for Southern Baptists minister in every part of this nation, and such ministries are the norm for Southern Baptists.
 
On a national level, Southern Baptist efforts to extend that compassion are reflected in the following ministry expressions:
 
Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) teams respond to fires, ice storms, tornadoes, damaging winds, hurricanes, and flooding across the United States. SBDR is one of the three largest relief organizations in America and includes flood cleanup efforts and long-term rebuilding in the wake of flooding. Southern Baptist volunteers prepare most of the meals distributed by the American Red Cross, as well as provide additional vital disaster services. Southern Baptists have more than 1,550 mobile disaster response units on call for local, state, and national emergencies, with more than one hundred thousand trained volunteers scattered across the nation.
 
The Southern Baptist World Hunger Relief Fund recently rebranded as Global Hunger Relief, receives and disburses designated contributions from individuals in local Baptist churches during the year. All contributions to the fund are divided 80 percent to overseas hunger relief and 20 percent to domestic hunger relief. Fifty-six million dollars was contributed and disbursed during the past decade. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the SBC, working with IMB, NAMB, the SBC Executive Committee, LifeWay Christian Resources, and Woman’s Missionary Union, an auxiliary to the SBC, collaborate to promote this fund. Since Southern Baptists’ unified budget (the Cooperative Program) provides administrative costs to the entities of the Convention, every dollar raised through Global Hunger Relief goes directly to meet human hunger needs. In addition to food given and poverty issues addressed through thousands of projects in hundreds of countries, many of the world’s neediest people have also been introduced to Jesus as the Bread of Life for their impoverished souls.
 
Love,