Holy spirit

‘We Have Seen the Holy Spirit Moving’: Southern Baptist Missionaries Report Staggering Global Increase in New Believers and Baptisms

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) reported some truly astonishing numbers regarding international missions efforts, noting an impressive increase in baptisms and gospel sharing throughout 2020.

The SBC’s International Mission Board (IMB) reported a 62% increase in the number of new believers between 2019 and 2020, with the number rising from 89,000 to more than 144,000, David Roach of Christianity Today reported.

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During the same period, baptisms increased by 81%, from 47,929 to 86,587. And that’s not all, as 769,494 people heard the Gospel in 2020, up to 535,325 in 2019 .

Meanwhile, 18,380 churches were planted across the world in 2020.

Roach noted that most evangelism increases have occurred in South Asia, where 89% of baptisms have taken place and 97% of new churches have been planted.

These statistics — which come with caveats and considerations to explore — are especially compelling in the context of a pandemic that has left many national and global churches closed, restricted, or otherwise appeased.

It seems that the 3,552 SBC missionaries were really busy with their global work, despite these issues, as the statistics show a noticeable increase in not only reach but also faith membership.

CP SBC 2021 IMB Annual Report on Vimeo.

“We have seen the Holy Spirit working across the world in powerful ways,” said Wilson Geisler, director of global research at IMB.

The IMB statistical report detailing all of these achievements noted that international missionaries needed to be creative in how they shared the gospel, primarily due to fewer opportunities to meet in person due to COVID. .

“In 2020, despite fewer face-to-face opportunities, IMB missionaries and partners found innovative, often virtual, ways to present the gospel,” the report read.

These international gains for the SBC came amid controversy over a sexual abuse investigation and a notable drop in membership in 2020. The denomination reportedly lost 436,000 members in 2020, and baptisms were down significantly. , although the latter consideration came amid church closures due to the pandemic.

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