The messengers of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches, meeting together in regular conference June 27-July 1, 2011, in Denver, Colorado,

Believing that the church’s mission is at least two pronged: (1) toward the world, involving evangelization (Matt. 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8), and (2) toward itself, involving edification (Eph. 4:11–16; 1 Cor. 14:26; 2 Tim. 2:2; Jude 20),

Recommending that the church give balanced attention to both edification and evangelization,

Knowing that the gospel is most clearly articulated in 1 Corinthians 15:1–4, and that the primary means of evangelization is the proclamation of this gospel (Acts 1:8; 8:4), leading to the establishment of New Testament local churches,

Affirming the difference between Israel and the church, and that a literal earthly Kingdom awaits the nation of Israel, a Kingdom with ethics, leadership, and social care uniquely different from the church,
Observing that Christ’s ministry, including His miracles and acts of service, was selective, was primarily spiritual and redemptive, and was meant to reveal His ability to redeem, to show that He is deity, and to affirm His Messiahship,

Noting that a missional church movement exists that has the potential of blurring the lines between the Kingdom and the church, that places undue stress upon social responsibility and social justice, and that possibly confuses the true nature of the gospel message,

Perceiving within the missional church movement a second, more evangelical level of the movement that stresses an exaggerated commitment to social responsibility, that confuses the church and the Kingdom, and to some degree allows its zeal for missionary activity to diminish a healthy focus on the church gathered,

Recognizing, also, that the missional movement has positive qualities that could constructively impact the church today,

Acknowledging the difficulty of precisely defining the missional movement, we

Use care in what elements of this movement are adopted and in the wise assessment of the theological and Biblical framework of this approach to church ministry,

Adopt some of the missionary fervor generated from the current missional movement,

Learn from the strategic thinking of some of the missiologists and writers involved in the missional church movement and evaluate our own ministry for potential weaknesses or blind spots,

Evaluate how the church ought to relate to social responsibilities, differentiating between responsibilities of the individual believer and the mission of the local church,

Commit to fresh efforts to boldly and unashamedly declare and preach the gospel, sharing the good news of Christ’s death and resurrection with people outside the church gathered,
Strengthen the edification mission of Christ’s gathered church, while not neglecting the evangelistic thrust of the Great Commission.

(See Baptist Bulletin article, May 2011, Evaluating the Missional Church Movement, for a fuller treatment of this topic.)