GCR Task Force report calls for greater North American church planting priority

Fifteen years after the adoption of a strategy called a “Covenant for a New Century” turned the Home Mission Board into the North American Mission Board (NAMB), the Southern Baptist Convention is once again considering recommendations from a national study committee to “reinvent” the North American missions agency.

In its final report, released May 3, members of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force (GCRTF) called on Southern Baptists to liberate NAMB to “penetrate lostness” in North America by re-focusing the entity’s missions strategies, responsibilities, and partnerships toward a church planting priority.

The final report indicates NAMB leaders met with task force members to discuss shared concerns about “the priority of liberating NAMB to conduct and direct a strategy of reaching the United States and Canada with the Gospel and planting Gospel churches,” the final report reads.

The fourth of seven components suggested by the task force, the report addresses two basic questions about NAMB: what should the agency do, and how should it do that work?

What should NAMB do?

With the adoption of the “Covenant for a New Century” in 1996, NAMB was tapped with nine ministry assignments to assist churches:

• Supporting missionaries

• Evangelism

• Establishing new congregations

• Christian social ministries

• Volunteer missions

• Missions involvement and education

• Communication technologies

• Service to associations

• Disaster relief

According to the GCRTF final report, NAMB will be “unleashed for greater effectiveness” with a church planting priority targeting cities and unreached regions and people groups. The final report suggests NAMB focus on assisting churches in the following areas:

• Church planting

• Evangelism

• Mobilizing a missional movement among churches

The fourth component further elaborates that NAMB should help churches in disciple-making and it should be tasked with leadership development to become “a central engine for building missional momentum” among pastors.

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