By NAMB Staff
Historic year in disaster relief
In one of the most turbulent weather years in American history, Southern Baptists were stretched to their limits as they partnered to bring relief to those affected by massive storms. The North American Mission Board (NAMB) coordinated multi-state responses to three major hurricanes. Southern Baptist volunteers prepared over three million meals, served over 90,000 days and witnessed over 700 people profess faith in Christ in ministering to hurricane survivors.
NAMB partnered with the International Mission Board to conduct three Send Conferences in 2017. The conferences were located in Frisco, Texas, north of Dallas, in Long Beach, Calif., and in Orlando, Fla. The theme, “Redefine,” encouraged attendees to redefine their lives so that they centered their focus on God’s mission and God’s glory. Men and women were spurred to live their lives “on mission” throughout North America and around the world.
Annie Armstrong Easter Offering® all-time high
The 2017 Annie Armstrong Easter Offering hit a record high: $59,648,377. NAMB president, Kevin Ezell, celebrated with NAMB staff during a meeting in October and thanked Southern Baptists who sacrificially gave so that the mission can go forward in North America.
SBC Crossover adds evangelism crusade
NAMB’s Crossover Arizona partnered with Greg Laurie’s Harvest America to host a three-day evangelistic outreach event that included: training, street evangelism, service projects and a Sunday night crusade. Harvest reported 2,904 salvation decisions during the event with another 494 decisions reported from those streaming the event online. NAMB is planning a similar partnership with Harvest America in conjunction with the SBC annual meeting in Dallas.
Pray for Planters initiative launched
With a desire to involve more churches in church planting, NAMB launched the “Pray for Planters” initiative. While every church may not feel they’re ready to send a church planter, every church can pray. NAMB hopes to eventually see 10,000 SBC churches praying for church planters.
Ezell issues Gospel Conversation (GC) Challenge
With Southern Baptist baptism numbers continuing to slide, North American Mission Board president Kevin Ezell issued a “GC Challenge” aimed at seeing more pastors to commit to urge church members to share their faith. The effort is a partnership between NAMB, LifeWay Christian Resources and the SBC Executive Committee.
Ezell urges “gospel conversation resurgence” at SBC Annual Meeting
North American Mission Board (NAMB) president Kevin Ezell shared that church plants have been gaining ground in non-South states where 20 percent of the church population in several state conventions is made up of churches planted since 2010. Ezell, however, said a “gospel conversation resurgence” is needed in the SBC.
NAMB and EC announced young leader initiative
The North American Mission Board (NAMB) and the SBC Executive Committee launched a joint young leader initiative to better engage pastors between the ages of 25-45. Jonathan Akin joined NAMB as director of young leader engagement to help manage the joint effort as the SBC seeks to involve younger pastors and churches in participating in Southern Baptist life.
Trustees approve Send Relief hubs, meet planters in Calif. and Montreal
During a Feb. 7 board meeting in Ontario, Calif., trustees approved the establishment of Send Relief ministry hubs that will provide ministry and give Southern Baptists more opportunities for hands-on missions. A second meeting took place in Montreal, and trustees met with the planters who have been witnessing a great harvest in the city.
Church plant ‘class of 2016’ seeing victories in their communities
In 2016, NAMB saw 964 new churches join the SBC—732 of those were church plants. Those churches are already reaching their communities, seeing people led to Christ and baptizing new believers into their congregations.
Brandon Elrod compiled this report for the North American Mission Board.
Published December 15, 2017