SBCnews: What's it all about?
Published June 21, 2007
This issue of the Witness contains coverage of the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting June 12-13 in San Antonio, Texas. The Southern Baptist Convention is comprised of over 46,000 autonomous churches with a total membership of over 16.3 million people throughout the world. Southern Baptist churches cooperate together through local Baptist associations and state conventions, including the Florida Baptist State Convention, to carry out worldwide mission endeavors primarily through support of its mission boards and seminaries. The way that offerings which are typically sent from churches through state conventions—called Cooperative Program monies—are designated for these ministries is decided by messengers, sent from churches, to annual meetings each year. These annual meetings are held in various large cities in the United States. At the meetings, messengers hear reports from each of the entities or organizations that are part of this cooperative, denominational effort, and vote on an annual budget. In addition, messengers also vote to elect trustees for these various entities and vote on a budget and process to facilitate missions and training. Each one of the entities of the Southern Baptist Convention is listed below, along with its purpose:
International Mission Board (IMB)
The IMB is tasked with leading Southern Baptists to be on mission with God to bring all the peoples of the world to saving faith in Jesus Christ.
Supported through the Cooperative Program budget and by the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, and the concerted prayers of Southern Baptists world-wide, the IMB is used to evangelize the lost, disciple believers, develop churches and minister to people in need across the globe. This is accomplished by mobilizing prayer support, appointing missionaries, enlisting volunteers, channeling financial support and communicating how God is working overseas.
For more information, go to www.imb.org.
North American Mission Board (NAMB)
Supported through the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, and the Southern Baptist Cooperative Program, NAMB exists to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to start New Testament congregations, to minister to persons in the name of Christ, and to assist churches in the United States and Canada in effectively performing these functions.
For more information, go to www.namb.net
Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
Christians have a unique opportunity to tell those who wander in darkness of the unchanging love and transforming power found only in Jesus Christ. The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission is committed to helping Christians carry out their beliefs in all aspects of their lives.
When committed, informed Christians live out their beliefs in their homes, their communities, their jobs, and in the public square, they bring the truth of God to the great moral dilemmas of our day.
We must plant our feet firmly and reassert the time-tested, life-changing Christian values that made our nation great.
For more information, go to www.erlc.com.
LifeWay Christian Resources
Many people know LifeWay as a Christian bookstore. To others, it's a publishing house. Some say it's a ministry. Still others say it's an agency. But more than all these, LifeWay is a community of people—and not just the 2,000 plus employees nationwide. LifeWay is a family of people.
LifeWay is a Christian resource, and people are a valuable part of LifeWay—whether they are a pastor, Sunday School teacher, deacon or church member. When they are reading their next Bible study lesson, sharing Christ with a neighbor or giving time to discipling youth, they are part of LifeWay. It is through the Christian community that its vision and goals are realized.
For more information, go to www.lifeway.com.
GuideStone Financial Resources
GuideStone Financial Resources exists to assist the churches and other denominational entities by making available retirement plan services, life and health coverage, risk management programs and personal and institutional investment programs.
Its vision is to honor the Lord by being a Life Partner with our participants in enhancing their financial security.
For more information, go to www.guidestone.org.
Southern Baptist seminaries
The seminaries of the Southern Baptist Convention work to develop their students in a biblically-based educational environment to fulfill the Great Commission and reach the world for Christ.
Located across the country, Southern Baptist seminaries, under the lordship of Jesus Christ, are totally committed to the Bible as the Word of God and to being servants of the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention by training, educating, and preparing ministers of the Gospel for more faithful service.
Serving over 13,400 students, the six seminaries and the Seminary Extension program provide vital theological education for the current and future leaders of Southern Baptist Churches and missions.
• Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, Calif. For more information, go to www.ggbts.edu.
• Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo. For more information, go to www.mbts.edu.
• New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans, La. For more information, go to www.nobts.edu.
• Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. For more information, go to www.sebts.edu.
• Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. For more information, go to www.sbts.edu.
• Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. For more information, go to www.southwestern.edu.
Prior to the annual meeting each year, a number of Southern Baptist organizations meet for fellowship and business as well. Among them are: Southern Baptist Pastors' and Ministers' Wives Conferences and the Ministers' Wives Luncheon, Woman's Missionary Union Missions Celebration, Southern Baptist Chaplains Conference, Southern Baptist Evangelists Meeting, ethnic ministries' meetings, and Directors of Missions Meeting.
Coverage of the seminary reports and some of these meetings will be included in next week's Florida Baptist Witness.