In an all-out effort to share the Gospel of Christ with metro San Diego’s 3 million residents, the North American Mission Board’s initiative will bring attention, volunteers and resources to the effort.
ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) – The North American Mission Board has named San
Diego as the next Strategic Focus City – an initiative that will bring
additional Southern Baptist attention, volunteers and resources in an
all-out effort to share the Gospel of Christ with metro San Diego’s 3
NAMB’s Strategic Focus Cities (SFC) is a six-year-old strategy for
leveraging the resources of the Southern Baptist Convention’s 16.3
million members and 43,000-plus churches to win America’s top 11
metropolitan areas for Christ.
Fermín A. Whittaker, executive director for the California Southern
Baptist Convention, said Baptists there are excited about partnering
with NAMB to reach the lost and make disciples in the Golden State.
“With at least 33 million unchurched Californians, we must do
everything possible to tell every man, woman, boy and girl about Jesus
and His saving grace. This is one more way to help California Southern
Baptists’ culturally diverse congregations be on mission and be Kingdom
builders,” Whittaker said.
San Diego – the seventh largest city in the U.S. – was named as a
Strategic Focus City because it is a largely unchurched mission field,
said John Yarbrough, NAMB vice president for strategic initiatives.
“Only 15 percent of metro San Diego’s 3 million people attend church
regularly,” Yarbrough said. “We also chose San Diego because of its
existing strengths. The major advantage of metro San Diego is its being
home to many strong and dynamic Southern Baptist churches.”
San Diego’s SFC project thus would be “church-centric,” relying heavily
on existing Southern Baptist churches’ current ministries, he said.
“Even with our 170 Baptist churches, San Diego’s unchurched population
is greater than 18 states and most Canadian provinces,” Yarbrough said.
“We have an enormous opportunity to share Christ’s love in a tangible
and compelling way.”