Welcome to The Great Commission Baptist Journal of Missions. This journal is designed to be the missiological voice of the International Mission Board (IMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through it, we hope to express what the workers and leaders of the IMB have learned through 177 years (and counting) of history since our founding in 1845. We also hope to offer thoughtful analysis of contemporary issues in Christian mission, along with anticipation of future trends. Our desire is to make a useful contribution to the current conversation about mission based on the perspectives, experiences, and convictions of the IMB.
The theological convictions that guide both the IMB and this journal can be found in The Baptist Faith and Message 2000 (BF&M), which is the doctrinal statement of the Southern Baptist Convention and its entities. We are driven by the belief that the Bible is the inspired and inerrant word of God, and that it is therefore the shaping force and final authority for our missionary thought and practice. We are equally driven by the conviction that every person on earth is a sinner in desperate need of a savior, and that Jesus, God the Son in human flesh, is the only savior for sinners. There is salvation in no one else. We believe that people must hear the Good News about Jesus, repent of their rebellion against God, and trust in Jesus alone for their salvation, if they are to be saved. We believe that we are commanded to make disciples, not merely converts, and that disciples are made and nurtured in the context of healthy local churches. We are convinced that Scripture commands us to make such disciples among all the nations and peoples of the earth. Therefore, we believe that the missionary task consists of entry, evangelism, disciple-making, healthy church formation, leadership development, and exit to partnership to the ends of the earth.
This journal will be practitioner driven and peer reviewed. We believe there is a need for missiological writing that is both academically rigorous and grounded in field experience. Our hope is to provide a platform for missionary practitioners, churches engaged in global mission, and other mission partners to engage in gracious and constructive conversation about critical issues in missionary thought and practice, all within the confessional framework of the BF&M. This journal is aimed at missionaries, missionary strategists, missionaries in training, and churches engaged in global mission, with the anticipation that it will be useful to seminaries and other Christian educational institutions as well.
This first issue is devoted to a look at Foundations, published by the IMB in 2018. Foundations was written to articulate the convictions of the IMB on who an IMB missionary is and what an IMB missionary does. The articles in this edition of the journal will look reflectively at key issues addressed by Foundations, beginning with the hermeneutical basis of evangelical missiology. We pray that it will encourage missionaries and advance the mission Christ gave to his church!