We serve the local church, and pastors are our number one customer.
Messengers at the Southern Baptist Convention, 10 years ago, gave us a clear mandate:
“The North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention exists to penetrate lostness throughout North America by assisting Southern Baptist churches in their task of reaching North America with the Gospel of Jesus Christ through ministries of evangelism, church planting and to mobilize Southern Baptist churches as a missional movement.
The New Testament identifies the church as the central instrument of the Kingdom of God. We must return the local church to the primacy and centrality in the life and work of our denomination at every level…All of our Baptist work beyond the local church must exist solely to serve the local church in this mission. This is true for every Baptist association, state convention, and the Southern Baptist Convention. None of these exists for itself — all exist for the churches.”
At the same time, it is a privilege to work with local associations and state conventions to do the work called us to do as we equip and encourage the local church.