As the Apostle Paul approached the end of his earthly life, he remained consumed with one compelling vision: “…to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead. So I run straight toward the goal in order to win the prize, which is God’s call through Christ Jesus to the life above” (Philippians 3:13-14, GNT). His relentless momentum with the power of the Holy Spirit helped him “fight the good fight, finish the course, and keep the faith” until the end of his life (2 Timothy 4:7).
In his book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, pastor and leadership coach John Maxwell wrote, “Momentum is a leader’s best friend.” Instead of focusing on the problems a leader may encounter along the way, momentum focuses endeavors on the potential outcome of a goal. It propels individual and corporate efforts to forge ahead rather than lapsing into inactivity. It breeds excitement among people in an organization instead of creating boredom and apathy.
Momentum gains ground instead of losing it. It pursues excellence instead of accepting mediocrity. Momentum serves as a catalyst for change, leading people to truly believe with God’s help, anything is possible.
In 2022 our Chaplaincy Team, along with the North American Mission Board, intend to “maximize the ministry momentum” we experienced during 2021, and we will focus our efforts in four specific ministry areas:
Increase SBC Chaplaincy Endorsements
We currently have 3,720 endorsed Southern Baptist chaplains. We will maximize the momentum in chaplain endorsements by 1) assessing 150 new chaplains 2) increasing our chaplain recruiting efforts at SBC colleges and seminaries and 3) developing a strategy to network with our 42 state conventions regarding the importance of the chaplaincy ministry.
Despite the continued restrictive environment from the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, Southern Baptist chaplains experienced phenomenal evangelistic results, recording 74,293 gospel presentations, 7,058 professions of faith, and 1,227 baptisms. We will maximize our evangelism ministry in 2022 around the theme, “The SBC Chaplaincy and the Gospel Mandate.” Dr. Matt Queen, associate dean of the Roy J. Fish School of Evangelism and Missions at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, will serve as the keynote speaker for our regional chaplaincy training events. Additionally, we invite chaplains to attend NAMB’s “Who’s Your One?” and Timothy+Barnabas events. We will also train and equip our chaplains and service academies’ Baptist Collegiate Ministries with resources and effective ways to share the gospel.
Jim Hartz, SBC Pastoral Care manager, serves alongside nine Chaplain Ambassadors in serving the needs of over 3,700 endorsed SBC chaplains and their families. In 2022, we will add two additional Chaplain Ambassadors and realign our regional pastoral care coverage, providing one Chaplain Ambassador for every 350 chaplains.
Church Planting Near Military Communities (CPMC)
We currently have 15 CPMC plants and 12 potential church plants. Throughout 2022, we will maximize our CPMC potential as we provide focused assistance to five potential CPMC plants across the United States. In addition, Endel Lee, National CPMC Strategist, will host two CPMC roundtables with CPMC plants and our gospel partners. We will also increase our networking with SBC churches and military ministry organizations.
Please join us in prayer as we maximize our momentum in these four critical ministry areas which will ultimately increase our mission of sending the hope of the gospel to your institutional settings, our churches and communities, the nation, and the ends of the earth.
Our focus on maximizing the chaplaincy ministry momentum is not just about more endorsement and evangelism numbers. It’s also about maximizing the spiritual health and resilience of those — like the SBC Chaplaincy — to lead the Great Commission effort. As each of you prepares for another exciting year of chaplaincy ministry, I leave you with this prayer, “Dear friend, I pray that you are prospering in every way and are in good health, just as your whole life is going well” (3 John 2, CSB).
Published December 3, 2021