The IMB continues to serve Southern Baptists as they send and fund missionaries, mobilize missionary partners, make disciples, plant churches, and pray for the nations.
Almost 25,000 Southern Baptist missionaries have been sent to 185 countries around the world since Southern Baptists sent their first missionaries to China in 1845. Countless millions have heard and responded to the gospel. Yet, millions still have never heard.
The mandate from 175 years ago is the same today — “to bear communications of divine love, beseeching [sinners] to be reconciled to God,” as declared by executive leader James B. Taylor in the Foreign Mission Board’s very first missionary commissioning service.
But today, many Christians hesitate to share the gospel for a couple of reasons. First, while 94 percent of Christian millennials surveyed by Barna in 2019 agree the best thing that could ever happen to someone is for them to come to know Jesus, 47 percent believe it is wrong to share one’s personal beliefs with someone of a different faith in hopes they will one day share the same faith. Only 51 to 60 percent of Christians (depending on age) believe the Great Commission command to “go and make disciples” applies to them.
Second, in the midst of a secular culture that values tolerance and non-intervention, many Christians struggle to find their place in the church and in traditional missions. This struggle, coupled with a justice-oriented desire to contribute to the global good, means, as Barna observed, “the lines between simply ‘making a difference’ and ‘making disciples’ is blurring.”
Southern Baptists must consider anew how to share the gospel in the midst of complex cultural and global challenges. How will we encourage and equip this generation, in light of its passions and giftings, to make disciples among the nations? How will we continue to proclaim the name of Jesus, the champion of mercy and justice, to a world that is disillusioned and broken?
Scripture promises that one day “a great multitude … from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages” will gather in worship before the Lord’s throne (Revelation 7:9). What is our role in the fulfillment of that vision?
Targets for the Year 2025
Mobilize the Church
Mobilize 75 percent of Southern Baptist churches to prayerfully and financially support the work of the IMB.
Send 500 Missionaries
Send out 500 new fully funded IMB missionaries.
Mobilize Global Partner Missionaries
Mobilize 500 new global partner missionaries sent out from Africa, South America, East Asia and other parts of the world.
Engage Global Cities
Engage 75 global cities in comprehensive strategies for making disciples and planting churches.
Increase receipts to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering® by 6 percent annually.
Pray, Give, Go and Send
Pray daily for the work of missionaries and for unreached peoples around the world. Download the prayer app, sign up for a monthly newsletter, or access daily prayer requests. You can also participate in 175 days of prayer as we celebrate 175 years of IMB work around the world.
The primary way to support the IMB financially is to give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering®. One hundred percent of this offering is used to support over 3,600 missionaries and their work around the world. You can also give to special projects — from organic farms to refugee aid — that empower missionaries and their local partners to share the gospel in specific ways.
Christ’s command to “go and make disciples” is for everyone. For some, “go” might mean full-time missionary service overseas. For others, it might mean a lifestyle of making disciples at home coupled with an occasional trip overseas. The IMB offers opportunities for short-, mid- and long-term service, for a variety of age ranges and skillsets.