We hope that you have scheduled Monday, October 19th to be at your State Convention of Baptists in Indiana annual celebration. We will begin at 10:00 AM and conclude at 5:15 PM. This year we will be inviting you to join the SCBI staff, the Executive Board in exploring the new SCBI mission, values and measures. The goal of this emphasis is to draw us together toward the common goal of glorifying God through His people and churches helping and serving one another.

I began the process of telling the SCBI “Future Story” in the August & September issues of the Indiana Baptist. In August, I gave a brief overview of the new “Mission” for SCBI. This does not change our biblical mission and mandates, but it is designed to be a statement that might bring us together as fellow Southern Baptist churches who are part of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana.

The mission answers the question, “What are we ultimately supposed to be doing?”

The new “Mission Statement” is the

“SCBI exists to partner with churches to discover and fulfill their next step.”

In September, I gave an overview of the values of the SCBI. The values answer the question, “Why do we do, what we do, in our organization?”

We value the following,

Values Articulated

  1. Cultivating Relationships – we believe God called us to work together to seek and promote love.
    1. Demonstrated by: • Individuals • Churches • Networks
      1. Phil. 1:8 “because of your partnership in the gospel”
      2. Phil. 1.5 “partners with me in grace . . . in the defense and establishment of the gospel”
  2. Following Jesus – we believe Jesus sets the agenda.
    1. Demonstrated by: • Gospel • Word • Mission
      1. Phil 2.9 “for this reason, God highly exalted him”
  3. Inspiring Advancement – we believe God brings life and growth is expected.
    1. Demonstrated by: • Leadership • Multiplication • Vitality
      1. Phil 3:12 “I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus”
  4. Expanding Possibilities – we believe God is creative and opportunities are limitless
    1. Demonstrated by: • Diversity • Innovation • Collaboration
      1. Phil 4.13 “I am able to do all things through Him” 

Our mission answers the what question, the values answer the why question. The measures answer the question “When are we successful?”

Our future team determined that the SCBI will be successful when we see the following take place.

Catalyzing The Next – when our pastors, leaders and churches are seeking intentional ways to help each other determine what God wants them to do next in their spiritual life and/or in the life of the ministries of the church. This is the central point of the new vision to help us help each other. Then there are four ways to measure our progress.

  1. Clarify the Next Step – we believe that it is important to help each other work through church needs and opportunities. This is not done through an authoritative approach, but it happens when local churches, associations and state convention team members “partner” together to “discover” where the local church is currently and where the leadership believes God is leading them. Does the church need to develop strategies for a healthier ministry? Is there a need to improve worship, age group ministries, to seek mission opportunities? The church determines it’s next step based on where they see the greatest needs exist.
  2. Collaboration on the Process – Who and what will be helpful to the local church to help them fulfill their next step? It will be helpful to “collaborate” with other ministry partners to discover resources, associational, state convention, SBC entity help, guidance from other churches. This could truly be a wonderful picture of collaborative partnering for the sake of strengthening our fellow churches and starting new church plants.
  3. Coaching for Impact – The value of cultivating relationships is important here. We want to see a network of leaders around the state who can walk with a church once they have found healthy partnerships, then they have discovered the needs, opportunities and direction from God, to be able to relationally coach each other to fulfill their next step. This measure is important so the we protect ourselves from coming up with good, sincere ideas and then not seeing follow-thru to accomplish what God has led us to accomplish.
  4. Celebrate the Results – when the local church determines their next step, they collaborate with partners and go through a coaching experience to help fulfill their next step, then it’s time to celebrate what God has done and who He has used to accomplish God’s working in the life of the church.

Jesus prayed in John 17:23 that “we would be made completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent Me and have loved them as you have loved Me.” This is my prayer! That we would choose in our autonomy to cooperate more and more and show our unity to our world so that lost people would be drawn to Jesus.

Until Next Time,

Steve