• Pastors’ Task Force on SBC Evangelistic Impact & Declining Baptisms 

    Pastors’ Task Force on  SBC Evangelistic Impact & Declining Baptisms
    North American Mission Board church planter Patrick Coats (right) baptizes Andrew Fellas, a new member of Miami’s Kingdom Covenant Baptist Church, where Coats pastors. NAMB photo by Ted Wilcox

    A Pastors’ Task Force was enlisted to assess and respond to the decline in Southern Baptist evangelism and baptisms. 

    Al Gilbert (V. P. of Evangelism, North American Mission Board) selected pastors from a variety of geographic regions, ministry approaches and ethnic backgrounds—a few denominational leaders were asked to come alongside these pastors to assist (Task Force Members list attached). 

    Ed Stetzer (President of LifeWay Research) assisted the Task Force by providing context and perspective from research.

    The goals of the Task Force were simple–help Southern Baptists own the problems and offer suggestions on how to start addressing the problems. Here is a summary of the report.

    Comments from Pastors' Baptism Task Force members >>

    Owning the Problem and Seizing the Opportunity

    Keith Wieser, pastor of Resonate Baptist Church, Pullman, Wash., invites pastors to join in the challenge to increase evangelism and discipleship. Download 

    We pastors, members of this Task Force, encourage our fellow SBC pastors to join us in owning this problem. Together, we can lead our churches to be part of the solution.

    As we each search our own hearts, reflect on our own leadership, and evaluate our congregations, we must acknowledge these problems through repentance and prayer.

    1. We have a Spiritual Problem
       ACTION: With urgency, we must join together in fervent and effective prayer for spiritual awakening in our churches and our nation. 
    2. We have a Leadership Problem
      ACTION: As pastors we must intentionally model and prioritize personal evangelism while providing clear pathways for our congregations to follow. 
    3. We have a Disciple-Making Problem
      ACTION: As pastors we must create a disciple-making culture—focusing on multiplying disciples who know how to grow in Christ and lead others to Christ. 
    4. We have a Next Generation Problem
      ACTION: As pastors we must leverage our influence, activity and resources to reach and make disciples of the Next Generation. We must renew our focus on equipping parents and leaders—challenging them to make the claims of Christ clear to the Next Generation. 
    5. We have a Celebration Problem
      ACTION: As pastors we must celebrate new life in Christ as people publicly profess their faith through baptism. We must establish an ethos of joy that celebrates the practice of personal evangelism and its fruit.

    Task Force Members

    Andy Addis | CrossPoint Church, Hutchinson, Kan. 

    David Galvan | New Life Hispanic Baptist, Dallas, Texas

    Dennis Manpoong Kim |  Global Mission Church, Silver Spring, Md.

    Jeff Lovingood | Long Hollow Baptist Church, Tenn.

    Doug Melton | Southern Hills Baptist Church, Oklahoma City, Okla.

    Carlos Navarro | West Brownsville Hispanic Baptist, Brownsville, Texas

    Roger Spradlin | Valley Baptist Church, Bakersfield, Calif.

    Ted Traylor | Olive Baptist Church, Pensacola, Fla. 

    Keith Wieser | Resonate Church, Pullman, Wash.

    K. Marshall Williams, Sr. | Nazarene Baptist Church, Philadelphia, Pa.

    Jay Wolf | First Baptist Church, Montgomery, Ala.

    Benny Wong | First Chinese Baptist Church, Los Angeles, Calif.

    Milton Hollifield | Executive Director, Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

    Wayne Jenkins | State Director of Evangelism, Louisiana Baptist Convention

    Alvin Reid | Evangelism Professor, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary