The estimated 46,000 autonomous churches that cooperate together with the Southern Baptist Convention pool their resources to support the work of the North American Mission Board. Formerly known as the Home Mission Board, this entity was renamed the North American Mission Board (NAMB) in 1997. The stated mission of NAMB is 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.”
NAMB embraces the vision that Christ spoke in Acts 1:8 that …you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. The missions entity strives to fulfill the Lord’s expectation that a global missions strategy begins with a strong home base that will expand to the global arena. NAMB is the Southern Baptist entity empowered to assist churches to reach North America for Christ.
Like other Southern Baptist entities, NAMB is funded in part by the Convention’s “Cooperative Program.” The Cooperative Program helps fund ministries and missions through cooperating state conventions and the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Nearly 23 percent of all Cooperative Program contributions received by the Southern Baptist Convention are directed to North American missions through NAMB.
NAMB is also financially supported by an annual offering received during the Easter season called the “Annie Armstrong Easter Offering® for North American Missions”. Named for an early leader of the Woman’s Missionary Union who supported both international and American missionaries, this offering is used exclusively to help finance Southern Baptist mission work throughout North America.
What does NAMB do? This entity helps provide support for missionaries serving throughout the United States, Canada, and their territories. These church, association, and state workers proclaim the Gospel, start new churches, baptize converts, disciple new and established believers in the faith, and provide Bible-centered teaching ministries. The entity’s work is especially focused in areas of North America that are under reached with the Gospel and underserved with Southern Baptist churches.
NAMB reported that Southern Baptist churches baptized 314,956 individuals in 2012, and that 929 new churches were organized.
Another important function of NAMB is training and equipping both full-time and part-time missionaries to accomplish the Great Commission. In 2012, missionary personnel units serving through NAMB included 77 fully funded; 1,382 jointly funded; and 1,029 self-funded. NAMB will increase the number of missionaries in the future as it works toward the church planting goal of 15,000 new Southern Baptist churches by 2022. NAMB initiatives like God’s Plan for Sharing and Send North America will utilize the training of these personnel for evangelistic and church planting projects.
The entity also assists churches to be involved in evangelism efforts in both their local communities and throughout North America. More than 2,600 churches have registered to become actively involved in organizing new evangelistic church plants in North America through NAMB’s “Mobilize Me” process. NAMB, along with state convention personnel, will assist the local churches in their own church planting efforts.
Recognizing the growing importance of social media trends, NAMB continues to maintain a robust website and enhance communication strategies through print media, on-line videos, and other means of communication favored by twenty-first century North Americans.
NAMB, through its LoveLoud initiative, encourages and moves Southern Baptists toward community transformation through compassion ministries, evangelism and church planting. These community-based ministries serve people’s needs and provide services as a means for evangelism. NAMB’s coordination of chaplaincy endorsement serves the U.S. armed forces, businesses, hospitals, and prisons with more than 3,500 endorsed chaplains.
In addition, the Mission Board is involved in disaster relief. Southern Baptist Disaster Relief is among the largest relief organizations in the United States. Coordinating efforts alongside state conventions, the work of Southern Baptists in disaster relief has won praise from both the media and the federal government. In the most recent reporting year, the Mission Board and its partners noted that volunteers served a collective 59,583 days and provided 2.3 million hot meals to people directly impacted by natural disasters. Volunteers led 397 individuals to Christ because of relief efforts. NAMB has invested in vehicles and equipment to support these disaster relief projects.
NAMB also partners with other Southern Baptist entities. For instance, the Mission Board works with the International Mission Board to reach people groups originating from overseas who now reside in North America. It works with Woman’s Missionary Union to promote missions education and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. Among its partners for evangelism and church planting are the six Southern Baptist seminaries, LifeWay Christian Resources of the SBC, numerous state conventions, and local Baptist associations. Such joint ministry projects between these entities demonstrate the long history of cooperation in Southern Baptist life. Indeed this principle of cooperation between the entities and the individuals in them is one of the 18 spiritual principles enshrined in Southern Baptists’ confession of faith, The Baptist Faith and Message.
The work of NAMB is vital to reaching North America for Christ. NAMB stands ready to assist your church as you seek to be on mission with God.
For more information call 1-800-634-2462,
or visit www.namb.net.