fbpx Skip to main content

THE ORGANIZATION MANUAL OF THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION

Published by the
Executive Committee
of the
Southern Baptist Convention
Ronnie W. Floyd, President and Chief Executive Officer
901 Commerce Street
Nashville, Tennessee 37203

Record of Revisions

FOREIGN MISSION BOARD

First program statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention May 25, 1966. See SBC Annual 1966, pp. 60-67. Finally approved May 31, 1967. See SBC Annual 1967, pp. 61, 85-91. Amended June 11, 1974. See SBC Annual 1974, p. 57. Revised June 10, 1986. See SBC Annual 1986, pp. 47-52. (Replaced by International Mission Board, June 19, 1997. See International Mission Board Ministry Statement.)

INTERNATIONAL MISSION BOARD

First ministry statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention June 20, 1995. See SBC Annual 1995, p. 46 and pp. 165-173. Amended June 17, 2003. See SBC Annual 2003, pp.50-51. Amended June 14, 2011. See SBC Annual 2011, pp. 62-64

HOME MISSION BOARD

First program statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention May 25, 1966. See SBC Annual 1966, pp. 67-79. Finally approved May 31, 1967. See SBC Annual 1967, pp. 61, 92-102. New statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention June 12, 1973. See SBC Annual 1973, pp. 57-65. Amended June 11, 1974. See SBC Annual 1974, p. 57. Amended June 10, 1975. See SBC Annual 1975, pp. 58-59. Amended June 13, 1978. See SBC Annual 1978, p. 47. Amended June 10, 1980. See SBC Annual 1980, p. 34. Amended June 9, 1981. See SBC Annual 1981, p. 29. Revised June 11, 1985. See SBC Annual 1985, pp. 58-60. Amended June 14, 1988. See SBC Annual. 1988, pp. 54-56. Amended June 13, 1989. See SBC Annual 1989, p. 36. Amended June 15, 1993. See SBC Annual. 1993, p. 65. Amended June 14, 1994. See SBC Annual 1994, p. 53. (Replaced by North American Mission Board, June 19, 1997. See North American Mission Board Ministry Statement.)

NORTH AMERICAN MISSION BOARD

First ministry statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention June 20, 1995. See SBC Annual 1995, p. 46 and pp. 165-173. Amended June 14, 2011. See SBC Annual 2011, pp. 64-68.

THE SUNDAY SCHOOL BOARD

Original program statement approved June 2, 1965. See SBC Annual 1965, pp. 61-67. Finally approved May 31, 1967. See SBC Annual 1967, pp. 61, 103-117. New statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention June 6, 1972. See SBC Annual 1972, pp. 60-67. Amended June 12, 1973. See SBC Annual 1973, p. 55. Amended June 11, 1974. See SBC Annual 1974, p. 60. Amended June 10, 1975. See SBC Annual 1975, pp. 59-60. Amended June 15, 1976. See SBC Annual 1976, pp. 36-37. Amended June 13, 1984. See SBC Annual 1984, pp. 49-50. Revised June 11, 1985. See SBC Annual 1985, pp. 38-58. Amended June 13, 1989. See SBC Annual 1989, pp. 36-37. Amended June 4, 1991. See SBC Annual 1991, pp. 46, 48. First ministry statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention June 20, 1995. See SBC Annual 1995, p. 46 and pp. 165-173. Name changed to LifeWay Christian Resources by action of the Southern Baptist Convention, June 9, 1998. See SBC Annual 1998, pp. 42-45.

LIFEWAY CHRISTIAN RESOURCES

Formerly The Sunday School Board. Name changed to LifeWay Christian Resources by action of the Southern Baptist Convention, June 9, 1998. See SBC Annual 1998, pp. 42-45. Amended June 13, 2006, See SBC Annual 2006, p. 62-64. Formal reinstatement of research and statistical compilation assignment (which was continuing to be performed as it had been under an earlier ministry assignment). See SBC Annual 2007, pp 68-69.

ANNUITY BOARD

First program statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention May 8, 1963. See SBC Annual 1963, pp. 55-56. Amended May 25, 1966. See SBC Annual 1966, pp. 56-57. Finally approved May 31, 1967. See SBC Annual 1967, pp. 61, 118-119. Amended June 14, 1988. See SBC Annual 1988, pp. 52-53. First ministry statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention June 20, 1995. See SBC Annual 1995, p. 46 and pp. 165-173. Amended June 13, 2000. See SBC Annual 2000, pp.66-67. Ministry expanded to non-Southern Baptist, evangelical organizations. June 15, 2004. See SBC Annual 2004, pp.69-70. Name changed to GuideStone Financial Resources by action of the Southern Baptist Convention, June 21, 2005. See SBC Annual 2005, p.82.

GUIDESTONE FINANCIAL RESOURCES OF THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION

Formerly Annuity Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Name changed by action of the Southern Baptist Convention, June 21, 2005. See SBC Annual 2005, p. 82. Requirement of Southern Baptist Foundation approval for extending service to SBC entities deleted (Need for cooperative agreements with state conventions or foundations retained). See SBC Annual 2007, p. 74-75. Expansion to like-minded individuals. See SBC Annual 2013, pp. 64-66.

THE SEMINARIES OF THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION

First program statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention May 20, 1964. See SBC Annual 1964, pp. 60-62. Finally approved May 31, 1967. See SBC Annual 1967, pp. 61, 120-122. Amended June 12, 1973. See SBC Annual 1973, pp. 69-70. Amended June 11, 1974. See SBC Annual 1974, pp. 57-59. Completely rewritten and approved by the Southern Baptist Convention June 12, 1979. See SBC Annual 1979, pp. 37-39. Amended June 15, 1993. See SBC Annual 1993, p. 74. First ministry statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention June 20, 1995. See SBC Annual 1995, p. 46 and pp. 165-173.

SOUTHERN BAPTIST FOUNDATION

First program statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention June 6, 1962. See SBC Annual 1962, pp. 60-61. Amended May 25, 1966. See SBC Annual 1966, p. 58. First statement finally approved May 31, 1967. See SBC Annual 1967, pp. 61, 123-124. Merged with Executive Committee Ministry Statement June 19, 1997 by action of Southern Baptist Convention June 20, 1995. See SBC Annual 1995, p. 46 and pp. 165-173.

THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST COMMISSION ON THE AMERICAN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

First statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention May 25, 1966. See SBC Annual 1966, pp. 59-60. First statement finally approved May 31, 1967. See SBC Annual 1967, pp. 61, 128. New program statement approved June 13, 1978. See SBC Annual 1978, p. 31. Amended June 15, 1993. See SBC Annual 1993, pp. 71-74. v. Entity was discontinued on September 30, 1996. See SBC Annual 1995, pp. 294-295.

BROTHERHOOD COMMISSION

First program statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention June 2, 1965. See SBC Annual 1965, pp. 59-61. First statement finally approved May 31, 1967. See SBC Annual 1967, pp. 61, 129-131. Revised statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention June 12, 1973. See SBC Annual 1973, pp. 55-56. Revised statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention June 12, 1990. See SBC Annual 1990, pp. 35-36. Revised statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention June 14, 1994. See SBC Annual 1994, p. 47. Entity discontinued June 19, 1997 by action of the Southern Baptist Convention June 20, 1995. See 1995 Annual, p. 46 and p. 64. See ministry statement of the North American Mission Board.

THE CHRISTIAN LIFE COMMISSION

First program statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention May 24, 1961. See SBC Annual 1961, pp. 60-63. Amended May 25, 1966. See SBC Annual 1966, p. 58. First statement finally approved May 31, 1967. See SBC Annual 1967, pp. 61, 132-134. New statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention June 6, 1972. See SBC Annual 1972, pp. 68-70. Amended June 10, 1975. See SBC Annual 1975, p. 60. Amended June 14, 1988. See SBC Annual 1988, p. 53. Revised statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention June 12, 1990. See SBC Annual 1990, pp. 47-48. Revised statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention June 9, 1992. See SBC Annual 1992, pp. 47-50. Name changed to Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission on June 19, 1997 by action of the Southern Baptist Convention June 20, 1995. See 1995 SBC Annual, p.64.

THE ETHICS AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY COMMISSION

First ministry statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention June 20, 1995. See SBC Annual 1995, p. 46 and pp. 165-173.

EDUCATION COMMISSION

First statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention May 24, 1961. See SBC Annual 1961, pp. 57-60. Amended May 25,1966. See SBC Annual 1966, pp. 58-59. First statement finally approved May 31, 1967. See SBC Annual 1967, pp. 61, 135-137. Revised statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention June 6, 1972. See SBC Annual 1972, pp. 59-60. Amended June 15, 1993. See SBC Annual 1993, pp. 66-71. Entity discontinued June 19, 1997, by action of the Southern Baptist Convention on June 20, 1995. See SBC Annual 1995, p. 46.

HISTORICAL COMMISSION

First program statement approved May 24, 1961. See SBC Annual 1961, pp. 55-57. Amended May 25, 1966. See SBC Annual 1966, pp. 55-56. Finally approved May 31, 1967. See SBC Annual 1967, pp. 61, 138-140. Revised statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention June 11, 1974. See SBC Annual 1974, pp. 64-65. Revised statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention, June 12, 1990. See SBC Annual 1990, pp. 38-39. Entity discontinued June 19, 1997, by action of the Southern Baptist Convention on June 20, 1995. See SBC Annual 1995, p. 46.

THE RADIO AND TELEVISION COMMISSION

First program statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention May 24, 1961. See SBC Annual 1961, pp. 64-67. Amended June 2, 1965. See SBC Annual 1965, p. 77. Amended May 25, 1966. See SBC Annual 1966, p. 56. Finally approved May 31, 1967. See SBC Annual 1967, pp. 61, 141-144. Amended June 11, 1974. See SBC Annual 1974, pp. 59-60, 66. Amended June 15, 1976. See SBC Annual 1976, p. 36. Entity discontinued June 19, 1997, by action of the Southern Baptist Convention on June 20, 1995. See SBC Annual 1995, p. 46. See ministry statement of the North American Mission Board.

THE STEWARDSHIP COMMISSION

First program statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention May 18, 1960. See SBC Annual 1960, pp. 53-54. Amended May 25, 1966. See SBC Annual 1966, pp. 55-56. First statement finally approved May 31, 1967. See SBC Annual 1967, pp. 61, 145-148. Amended June 5, 1968. See SBC Annual 1968, p. 61. Amended June 4, 1991. See SBC Annual 1991, pp. 46, 48-52. Amended June 15, 1993. See SBC Annual 1993, pp. 79-83. Entity discontinued June 19, 1997, by action of the Southern Baptist Convention on June 20, 1995. See SBC Annual 1995, p. 46. See ministry statements of the Executive Committee and LifeWay Christian Resources.

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

First program statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention May 31, 1967. See SBC Annual 1967, pp. 61, 55-56. Revised statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention June 9, 1992. See SBC Annual 1992, pp. 43-46. First ministry statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention June 20, 1995. See SBC Annual 1995, p. 46 and pp. 165-173.

WOMAN’S MISSIONARY UNION

First program statement was approved by the Southern Baptist Convention May 25, 1966. See SBC Annual 1966, pp. 79-81. (The Woman’s Missionary Union is auxiliary to the Southern Baptist Convention. The program statement is not binding except as the WMU consents.) Finally approved May 31, 1967. See SBC Annual 1967, pp. 61, 149-150. Revised statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention June 9, 1992. See SBC Annual 1992, pp. 52-54.

As an auxiliary, Woman’s Missionary Union’s program statement is at the discretion of the WMU. The Southern Baptist Convention does not assign ministries to Woman’s Missionary Union.

PROCEDURE FOR CHANGING MINISTRY STATEMENTS

The amended procedure approved by the Great Commission Council on February 19, 1999 and practiced thereafter was formally approved by the Executive Committee on February 20, 2007.

Preface

In 1960 the Southern Baptist Convention adopted the following bylaw. It shall be the function of the Executive Committee:

To maintain an official organization manual defining the responsibilities of each agency of the Convention for conducting specific programs and for performing other functions. The manual shall cite the actions of the Convention that assigned the programs and other functions to the agency. The Executive Committee shall present to the Convention recommendations required to clarify the responsibilities of the agencies for programs and other functions, to eliminate overlapping assignments of responsibility, and to authorize the assignment of new responsibilities for programs or functions to agencies. — SBC Annual 1960, p. 51

Beginning that same year the Convention approved program statements for all the entities. These were brought into uniform styling and form by another bylaw approved by the Convention in 1967:

14. Program Statements. The program statements of the agencies as approved by the Southern Baptist Convention and published in the 1967 Annual and subsequently amended express the policy of the Convention with respect to the programs of the agencies of the Convention. — SBC Annual 1967, p. 61

On November 1, 1967 the Executive Committee published its first complete organization manual. Since then the Convention has made numerous changes in the ministries (formerly programs) of the entities which render this first manual out of date.

In the following pages are presented all of the ministries, as approved by the Convention. At the bottom of the last page for each one of them, you will find the dates when these ministries were approved, or when changes were made.

Please note also on page 15 the procedures adopted by the Executive Committee for changing ministry statements.

On June 20, 1995, the Southern Baptist Convention adopted Covenant for a New Century with an introduction to ministry statements as follows:

Ministry statements assigned to each Southern Baptist Convention entity are rooted in and measured by our shared mission. The charge assigned to each entity is founded upon the conviction that the entities of the Convention exist to serve the churches, their ministries, and mission. The statements have been developed in order that each entity will serve the Convention’s mission to the greatest standard of faithfulness and the maximum standard of stewardship.

These ministry statements will replace the present program statements as assigned to the entities of the Convention. The ministry statements, a statement of cooperation, a listing of relationships for cooperation, and details of the process of cooperation will be published in the Organization Manual of the Southern Baptist Convention as required by SBC Bylaw 20,(5),(m). [Note: This is now Bylaw 18E (13).]

Beginning in the fall of 2006, The Organization Manual began being printed in each year’s SBC Annual and SBC Book of Reports among the other governing documents of the Convention to keep Southern Baptists apprised of each entity’s charge. (See Item 160, 2006 SBC Annual, p. 94, and pp. 204-5.)

International Mission Board

MISSION

The International Mission Board exists to assist the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention to be on mission with God in penetrating the unevangelized world outside the United States and Canada with the gospel and making Christ known among all people.

MINISTRIES

  1. Assist churches by evangelizing persons, planting Baptist churches, and nurturing church planting movements among all people groups outside the United States and Canada; and, provide specialized, defined and agreed upon assistance to the North American Mission Board in assisting churches to reach unreached and underserved people groups within the United States and Canada. Develop and maintain a systematic strategy for gospel proclamation and planting churches that will result in the rapid reproduction and multiplication of local indigenous congregations that will make the gospel accessible to all persons among every ethno-linguistic people group; assist national conventions and unions in providing programs of discipleship and leadership training; develop and distribute relevant electronic and print media that support evangelism and church planting, and facilitate the translation and distribution of the Bible, Scripture portions, and other materials in indigenous languages.
  2. Assist churches in sending and supporting Southern Baptist missionaries and volunteers by enlisting, equipping, and enabling them to fulfill their calling. Enlist, appoint, equip, and provide support for God-called Southern Baptist missionaries to serve in long-term and short-term channels of service who give evidence of piety, zeal for their Master’s kingdom, conviction of truth as held by Southern Baptists, and giftedness for cross-cultural witness; inform, promote, and provide opportunities for Southern Baptist volunteers to assist in the ministries of the International Mission Board through projects of various duration, and provide resources and materials for training and equipping these volunteers.
  3. Assist churches and partners to mobilize Southern Baptists to be involved in international missions through praying, giving, and going. Inform, challenge, and work in partnership with local churches, associations, state conventions, and other SBC entities to enable Southern Baptists to fulfill the Great Commission overseas by facilitating involvement in prayer strategies, encouraging generous and sacrificial giving to missions through the Cooperative Program and Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, and promoting channels for volunteer and missionary service.
  4. Assist churches in fulfilling their international missions task by developing global strategies, including human needs based ministries, and providing leadership, administrative support, and financial accountability for implementation of these strategies. Provide and maintain an organizational structure and support staff with appropriate leadership and financial management that are designed to implement a comprehensive program to reach the whole world with the gospel through direct evangelism and creative access platform ministries; utilize hospitals, clinics, community health, agricultural, and other development programs, hunger relief and disaster response to meet human needs and share the gospel.

RELATIONSHIPS

The International Mission Board will work within the Southern Baptist Convention entity relationship guidelines approved by the Great Commission Council and the Executive Committee and printed in the Organization Manual of the Southern Baptist Convention.

  • First ministry statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention June 20, 1995. See SBC Annual 1995, p. 46 and pp. 165-173.
  • Amended June 17, 2003. See SBC Annual 2003, pp.50-51. Amended June 14, 2011. See SBC Annual 2011, pp. 62-64.
North American Mission Board

MISSION

The North American Mission Board exists to work with churches, associations and state conventions in mobilizing Southern Baptists as a missional force to impact North America with the Gospel of Jesus Christ through evangelism and church planting by:

MINISTRIES

  1. Assisting churches in planting healthy, multiplying, evangelistic Southern Baptist churches in the United States and Canada; and provide specialized, defined and agreed upon assistance to the International Mission Board in assisting churches to plant churches for specific groups outside the United States and Canada. Work in partnership with churches, associations, and state conventions, and the International Mission Board to start new congregations with a priority to reach population centers and underserved people groups; lead a missional movement to encourage Southern Baptist churches to become church planting congregations.
  2. Assisting churches in the ministries of evangelism and making disciples. Equip Southern Baptists for faithful evangelism; encourage churches in evangelism and discipleship; implement direct evangelism projects; prioritize spiritual awakening; develop an evangelism strategy for reaching North America with the Gospel.
  3. Assisting churches by appointing, supporting and assuring accountability for missionaries serving in the United States and Canada. Appoint, approve, support and supervise missionaries assigned to accomplish the ministries of NAMB; endorse chaplains; enlist and assist bivocational ministers in mission service.
  4. Assisting churches by providing missions education and coordinating volunteer missions opportunities for church members. Develop organizations, services, and materials for establishing, enlarging, and improving missions and ministry learning and involvement experiences in churches; assist in volunteer mission involvement.
  5. Assisting churches by providing leadership development. Equip pastors for effective congregational leadership, contextual evangelism, and church planting; connect pastors to pastors through leadership development; encourage pastors as they serve in diverse congregational settings.
  6. Assisting churches in relief ministries to victims of disaster and other people in need. Provide appropriate assistance and coordination in service to state Baptist conventions when multi-state and national disaster responses are needed; coordinate with federal government as well as national disaster relief entities to ensure good response coordination on behalf of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief; direct and assist Christian social ministries.

RELATIONSHIPS

The North American Mission Board will work within the Southern Baptist Convention entity relationship guidelines approved by the Great Commission Council and the Executive Committee and printed in the Organization Manual of the Southern Baptist Convention.

  • First ministry statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention June 20, 1995. See SBC Annual 1995, p. 46 and pp. 165-173.
  • Amended June 14, 2011. See SBC Annual 2011, pp. 64-68.
  • Amended June 16, 2015. See SBC Annual 2015, pp.93-95.
LifeWay Christian Resources

MISSION

LifeWay Christian Resources exists to assist churches and believers to evangelize the world to Christ, develop believers, and grow churches by being the best provider of relevant, high quality, high value Christian products and services.

MINISTRIES

  1. Assist churches in the development of church ministries. Provide programs, products, and services that help churches grow in the areas of Bible study, discipleship, music, worship, administration, media/library, recreation, fellowship, and family ministry; consult with church leaders regarding total church growth concepts, strategies, and resources.
  2. Assist churches in ministries to college and university students. Contribute to the effectiveness of churches and to individual spiritual growth by developing a program, products, and services that may be used in establishing, administering, enlarging, and improving ministry with college students, faculty, and administration.
  3. Assist churches with Christian schools and home school ministries. Provide consultation, products, and services needed by churches with Christian schools and members educating through home schools.
  4. Assist churches in ministries to men and women. Contribute to the effectiveness of churches and to individual spiritual growth by developing a program, products, and services that may be used in establishing, administering, and improving ministries to men and women.
  5. Assist churches through the operation of conference centers and camps. Develop, promote, and operate conference and resident camp facilities useful to Southern Baptist Convention entities, state conventions, associations, and churches in establishing, enlarging, and improving their ministries.
  6. Assist churches through the publication of books and Bibles. Produce, publish, and distribute products, including books, of Christian content and purpose and Bibles that contribute to the effectiveness of churches and individuals.
  7. Assist churches through the operation of LifeWay Christian Stores. Serve people and the churches, associations, state conventions, and agencies of the Southern Baptist Convention by distributing appropriate products through LifeWay Christian Stores.
  8. Assist churches through church architecture consultation and services. Develop products and services needed by Southern Baptist churches, associations, state conventions, and denominational entities to assist them in planning, financing, furnishing, equipping, and utilizing property.
  9. Assist churches in capital fund raising. Provide leadership to churches in securing funds for capital needs.
  10. Assist churches by conducting research and compiling statistics. Conduct research and compile statistics on matters relating to, and of interest to, Southern Baptists, noting future trends and possible effects on church practice, productivity, witness, and health, and tender reports to the Executive Committee for review and possible report or action in an SBC annual meeting.

RELATIONSHIPS

LifeWay Christian Resources will work within the Southern Baptist Convention entity relationship guidelines approved by the Great Commission Council and the Executive Committee and printed in the Organization Manual of the Southern Baptist Convention.

  • Original program statement approved June 2, 1965. See SBC Annual 1965, pp. 6167.
  • Finally approved May 31, 1967. See SBC Annual 1967, pp. 61, 103117.
  • New statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention June 6, 1972. See SBC Annual 1972, pp. 6067.
  • Amended June 12, 1973. See SBC Annual 1973, p. 55.
  • Amended June 11, 1974. See SBC Annual 1974, p. 60.
  • Amended June 10, 1975. See SBC Annual 1975, pp. 5960.
  • Amended June 15, 1976. See SBC Annual 1976, pp. 3637.
  • Amended June 13, 1984. See SBC Annual 1984, pp. 4950.
  • Revised June 11, 1985. See SBC Annual 1985, pp. 3858.
  • Amended June 13, 1989. See SBC Annual 1989, pp. 3637.
  • Amended June 4, 1991. See SBC Annual 1991, pp. 46, 48.
  • First ministry statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention June 20, 1995. See SBC Annual 1995, p. 46 and pp. 165-173.
  • Amended June 13, 2006. See SBC Annual 2006, pp. 62-64.
  • Amended June 12, 2007. See SBC Annual 2007, pp. 68-69.
Theological Education Ministries

Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission

MISSION

The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission exists to assist the churches by helping them understand the moral demands of the gospel, apply Christian principles to moral and social problems and questions of public policy, and to promote religious liberty in cooperation with the churches and other Southern Baptist entities.

MINISTRIES

  1. Assist churches in applying the moral and ethical teachings of the Bible to the Christian life. Provide research, information resources, consultation, and counsel to denominational entities, churches, and individuals with regard to the application of Christian principles in everyday living and in the nation’s public life.
  2. Assist churches through the communication and advocacy of moral and ethical concerns in the public arena. Represent Southern Baptists in communicating the moral and ethical positions of the Southern Baptist Convention to the public and to public officials.
  3. Assist churches in their moral witness in local communities. Provide information resources that inform and equip churches for active moral witness in their communities.
  4. Assist churches and other Southern Baptist entities by promoting religious liberty. Provide information and counsel to denominational entities, churches, and individuals regarding appropriate responses to religious liberty concerns; represent Southern Baptists in communicating the positions of the Southern Baptist Convention on religious liberty issues to the public and to public officials.

RELATIONSHIPS

The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission will work within the Southern Baptist Convention entity relationship guidelines approved by the Great Commission Council and the Executive Committee and printed in the Organization Manual of the Southern Baptist Convention.

  • First ministry statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention June 20, 1995. See SBC Annual 1995, p. 46 and pp. 165-173.
GuideStone Financial Resources

MISSION

GuideStone Financial Resources exists to assist the churches, denominational entities, and other evangelical ministry organizations by making available retirement plan services, life and health coverage, risk management programs, and personal and institutional investment programs.

MINISTRIES

  1. Assist churches, denominational entities, and other evangelical ministry organizations by making available retirement plan programs for their ministers and employees. Make available retirement plan programs and related services for ministers and denominational employees.
  2. Assist churches, denominational entities, other evangelical ministry organizations, and like-minded individuals, by making available life and health coverage and risk management programs. Make available medical, life, and disability programs and other risk management programs to respond to the needs of churches, denominational entities, other evangelical ministry organizations, and like-minded individuals.
  3. Assist churches and denominational entities through relief to Southern Baptist ministers and Southern Baptist denominational employees. Make available a channel through which Southern Baptists can extend systematic financial help to Southern Baptist ministers and denominational employees and their widows who are in need and to interpret the channel to Southern Baptists for the purpose of eliciting support.
  4. Assist churches, denominational entities, other evangelical ministry organizations, and like-minded investors, by making available a personal investment program to their ministers and employees and their spouses, and to like-minded investors. Make available personal investment program and related services to further enhance the financial security of ministers and other employees and their spouses.
  5. Assist churches and denominational entities by making available institutional investment services through cooperative agreements with state Baptist foundations (or state Baptist conventions where no foundation exists) and the Southern Baptist Foundation. Assist other evangelical ministry organizations by making available institutional investment services. Develop mutually beneficial relationships with the state Baptist conventions and foundations and the Southern Baptist Foundation to assist Southern Baptist institutions in the states and the Southern Baptist Convention entities with their institutional investment needs. Develop relationships with other organizations that will enhance investment opportunities.

RELATIONSHIPS

GuideStone Financial Resources will work within the Southern Baptist Convention entity relationship guidelines approved by the Great Commission Council and the Executive Committee and printed in the Organization Manual of the Southern Baptist Convention.

  • First program statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention May 8, 1963. See SBC Annual 1963, pp.55-56.
  • Amended May 25, 1966. See SBC Annual 1966, pp. 56-57
  • Finally approved May 31, 1967. See SBC Annual 1967, pp. 61, 118-119.
  • Amended June 14, 1988. See SBC Annual 1988, pp. 52-53.
  • First ministry statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention June 20, 1995. See SBC Annual 1995, p. 46 and pp. 165-173.
  • Amended June 13, 2000. See SBC Annual 2000, pp. 66-67.
  • Amended June 12, 2007. See SBC Annual 2007, pp. 74-75.
  • Amended June 11, 2013. See SBC Annual 2013, pp. 64- 66.
SBC Executive Committee

MISSION

The Executive Committee exists to minister to the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention by acting for the Convention ad interim in all matters not otherwise provided for in a manner that encourages the cooperation and confidence of the churches, associations, and state conventions and facilitates maximum support for worldwide missions and ministries.

MINISTRIES

  1. Assist churches through conducting and administering the work of the Convention not otherwise assigned. Manage according to the Southern Baptist Convention Bylaws, Bylaw 18, The Executive Committee; manage the operation of the Southern Baptist Convention Building according to guidelines adopted by building occupants.
  2. Assist churches by providing a Convention news service. Provide regular news releases about Southern Baptists; serve as the Convention’s press representative; coordinate news operations for annual meetings of the Southern Baptist Convention.
  3. Assist churches by providing a Convention public relations service. Interpret the Southern Baptist Convention to internal and external publics.
  4. Assist churches, Baptist general bodies and their entities, and other evangelical organizations and individuals through estate planning consultation and investment management primarily for funds providing support for Southern Baptist causes. Encourage and consult with Baptist general bodies and their entities, and other evangelical organizations and individuals, regarding wills, gifts, trusts, or deeds which benefit Baptist or other evangelical causes; and provide investment management for a balanced portfolio of securities.
  5. Assist churches through the promotion of cooperative giving. Consult with state conventions and Southern Baptist Convention entities regarding cooperative giving advancement; interpret the Cooperative Program as the basic channel of support for the ministries of the state conventions and the Southern Baptist Convention.
  6. Assist churches in stewardship education. Produce, develop, publish, and distribute products that help Southern Baptists to grow in commitment to Jesus Christ by applying biblical principles of stewardship.

RELATIONSHIPS

The Executive Committee will work within the Southern Baptist Convention entity relationship guidelines approved by the Great Commission Council and the Executive Committee and printed in the Organization Manual of the Southern Baptist Convention.

  • First program statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention May 31, 1967. See SBC Annual 1967, pp. 61, 55-56.
  • Revised statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention June 9, 1992. See SBC Annual 1992, pp. 43-46.
  • First ministry statement approved by the Southern Baptist Convention June 20, 1995. See SBC Annual 1995, p. 46 and pp.165-173.
  • Amended June 13, 2006. See SBC Annual 2006, pp. 62-64. Amended June 15, 2010. See SBC Annual 2010, p. 66.
Relationship Guidelines
  1. Entities are to relate to each other cooperatively and voluntarily out of deep convictions of faith in Christ and the urgency to serve Him effectively in assisting churches.
  2. Entities are to respect Ministry Statements as both directives and restraints in the same manner as the SBC Bylaws and Business and Financial Plan and honor them in working together to assist churches in their ministries.
  3. Entities are to work together through established processes of the Great Commission Council to determine needs of churches and ways to meet these needs, and, wherever appropriate, to coordinate the activities and resources involved in meeting them.
  4. Entities are to work together for mutual reinforcement and for promoting the total work of the Convention.
  5. Entity administrators are to ensure that their employees understand the need and the processes for working cooperatively with the personnel of all entities in the spirit of Matthew 7:12 (HCSB): “Therefore, whatever you want others to do for you do also the same for them,” and are committed to honor them in day-to-day operations.
  6. Entities exploring the possibility of launching new programs, projects, or services are to provide information to the Great Commission Council and/or its committees and other entities whose assignment(s) may be closely related to the new venture in order to avoid conflict with another entity’s Ministry Statement and to allow for timely review, feedback, clarification of relationships, and discovery of supportive activities by other entities.
  7. Entities are to communicate with state convention, association, and church leadership in keeping with their Ministry Statements and in order to provide churches maximum service with minimum confusion.
  8. Entities are to initiate relationships with or respond to initiatives of organizations outside the Southern Baptist Convention according to their respective Ministry Statements and assist, as needed, by directing such organizations to appropriate entities.
Women’s Missionary Union

MISSION

Woman’s Missionary Union assists churches in developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy of missions in order that a church can fulfill its total mission in the world. Woman’s Missionary Union challenges Christian believers to understand and be radically involved in the mission of God.

MINISTRIES

  1. Assist churches in the development of Woman’s Missionary Union organizations. Provide programs, products and services that help churches and individuals grow in missions awareness and involvement.
  2. Assist churches in Christian development for women in missions. Assist churches by providing plans and materials that contribute to the individual woman’s spiritual growth and missions consciousness.
  3. Assist churches through the publication and distribution of magazines and products. Produce, publish, and distribute magazines and products that help churches and individuals grow in commitment to Jesus Christ by applying biblical concepts of missions.

RELATIONSHIPS

Woman’s Missionary Union will work within the Southern Baptist Convention entity relationship guidelines approved by the Great Commission Council and the Executive Committee and printed in the Organization Manual of the Southern Baptist Convention.

As an auxiliary, Woman’s Missionary Union’s program statement is at the discretion of the WMU. The Southern Baptist Convention does not assign ministries to Woman’s Missionary Union.

Procedure for Changing Ministry Statements
  1. Amendments to ministry statements may be initiated by any messenger or by the SBC Executive Committee. Amendments may also be initiated by any SBC entity at any time with the approval of the entity’s trustees. Conferences with Executive Committee staff on matters of form and relationship are desirable. Where relationships are involved, these are discussed with all parties concerned before submission to the Executive Committee.
  2. Proposed changes in ministry statements are circulated to SBC entity executives, state convention executives, and state Baptist paper editors before presentation to the Executive Committee for approval as recommendations to the SBC.
  3. Amendments are presented to the Cooperative Program Subcommittee of the Executive Committee and all parties have opportunity to express their point of view before that committee makes its final recommendation to the Executive Committee. Ministry statement changes approved by the Executive Committee are recommended to the Southern Baptist Convention at its next meeting.
  4. All ministry changes must be approved by a majority vote of the messengers present in the Southern Baptist Convention in session.
  • Approved by the SBC Executive Committee, February 20, 2007