This stimulating entry appears on the current blog of WORLD magazine. How do we, as Grace Brethren, react? Should we be setting numerical goals for conversions and baptisms? Is our over-arching goal of every church being a church-planting center realistic, reachable, and biblically defensible?
If we are to continue the Progressive Brethren tradition, we need a big, big vision! Let’s see what God wants us to do and be in the coming year.
The new president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has set an ambitious goal for the nation’s largest Protestant group: Rev. Bobby Welch says he wants to see the churches in the convention baptize 1 million people per year. Welch plans to promote the campaign by traveling more than 18,000 miles in a chartered bus emblazoned with the slogan “Everyone Can!” Rev. Welch said the idea isn’t to get “scalps on our belts” but to reach lost souls with the Gospel. Though the SBC has never baptized even 500,000 people in a year, Welch said the million-mark is attainable: “If we can ever get in a unified direction, a million baptisms will be routine for Southern Baptists.” The SBC has long been commendably zealous in its evangelism efforts, but the new campaign raises serious questions: Should Christians set numerical goals for conversions and baptisms? What constitutes success?