Southern Baptists launch bid to recruit ethnic minority missionaries
Southern Baptists are launching funding efforts to address a chronic lack of ethnic minorities in their overseas mission trips.
Kingdom Diversity Missions Initiative is a joint venture between Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and The College at Southeastern. It provides disadvantaged students with financial support, help on where to go and how to obtain a passport as well as a debrief when they return, according to Baptist Press.
The move comes after 'alarming' statistics from the International Mission Board revealed out of 3,500 missionaries working in January 2017, 0.44 per cent were African American, seven percent were Asian, and less than two per cent were Hispanic.
These figures are even 'more alarming considering that 25 per cent of all the 40,000-plus [Southern Baptist] churches are [ethnic majority] congregations,' Southeastern College's Great Commission Center states on its website.
But this is not just a Southern Baptist Problem, Scott Hildreth, director of Center for Great Commission Studies, says.
He said Kingdom Diversity Missions Initiative was crucial 'because God gave the Great Commission to the whole church ... including ethnic minorities who have not had opportunities or traditions of international missions to take the Gospel to the nations.'
He added: 'Our prayer is that they will lead their churches to embrace the Great Commission," he said, "and that it will become a vital part of their lives.'