FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 3, 2020
Contact: Brad Jurkovich, spokesman, Conservative Baptist Network
BOSSIER CITY, La. —The Conservative Baptist Network today reaffirms its strong endorsement of SBC Executive Committee President Ronnie Floyd’s Vision 2025, a bold effort to reach the lost and to grow the Southern Baptist Convention over the next five years.
“It was a great shame that the COVID-19 pandemic pushed Dr. Floyd’s Vision out of the headlines,” said Dr. Brad Jurkovich, Network spokesman and senior pastor of First Baptist Bossier. “In an historically unprecedented time of declining membership and baptisms, Vision 2025 is the sort of leadership Baptists need.”
Floyd announced Vision 2025 at the February Executive Committee meeting. It consists of five parts:
- Increase the SBC’s total number of full-time, fully funded missionaries by a net gain of 500, to 4,200 full-time, fully funded missionaries through the International Mission Board.
- Add 6,000 new churches to our Southern Baptist family, giving us more than 50,000 churches.
- Increase our total number of workers in the field through a new emphasis on “calling out the called,” and then preparing those who are called out by the Lord.
- Turn around our ongoing decline in reaching, baptizing, and discipling 12- to 17-year-olds in the prime of their teenage years.
- Increase our annual giving in successive years to reach and surpass $500 million given through the Cooperative Program to achieve these Great Commission goals.
“For years, Southern Baptists have been in the grip of an unprecedented evangelistic decline,” said Chuck Kelley, president emeritus and distinguished research professor of evangelism at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Network Steering Council member. “We must take clear, intentional action to mobilize our churches to reach their communities for Christ, and we must do it now, before God moves on.”
Rod D. Martin, SBC Executive Committee officer and CBN Steering Council member, agreed.
“America desperately needs a new Great Awakening, not the Great Awokening it’s getting,” Martin said. “It’s hardly coincidental that after a century of gains, Southern Baptists have lost a million and a half members during exactly the time that many of its leaders have loudly embraced the language if not the worldview of the left. The Baptist in the pew is just not on board. And they have choices.
“Baptists need to ditch the leftwing politics and get back to the Bible. Dump the Critical Race Theory, dump the Intersectionality — things our seminary presidents like Jason Allen and Al Mohler have rightly deemed “unchristian” —and get wholeheartedly back to advancing the unalloyed Gospel. There’s no reconciliation, and there’s certainly no redemption anywhere else.
“Ronnie Floyd’s Vision 2025 is a big step toward exactly that. When the then-officers of the Executive Committee unanimously recommended this Vision 2025 in February, I immediately resonated with its passion and purposes. I gladly cast my vote as part of a unanimous affirmation of this wonderful plan.”