International Ministries

Responding to the Call

June 25, 2015 News

Responding to the Call logo

With thanksgiving to God and to all those who have contributed to its special bicentennial effort of spiritual discernment, the Board of Directors of American Baptist International Ministries (IM) gathered in Overland Park, Kansas, unanimously and enthusiastically approved a fresh statement of vision and priorities to guide its work during the next few years.

Drawn from the Lord's Prayer as recorded in Matthew, the vision statement for IM's new guiding document is simply, “On earth, as in heaven.” These five short words point to the fullness of what Jesus announced in word, embodied in action, made possible through his death and resurrection and will bring to completion at the end of time. It is this sweeping, holistic vision of the mission of Jesus Christ that will guide the actions of IM into the early years of its third century of mission.

The vote of IM's governing Board came as a crucial step in its spiritual discernment process. It built upon the fruit of an extensive and intensive listening process, as IM interviewed some 1,800 people all around the world. Interviewees were invited to share both their experiences of God at work in the world and their hopes and dreams for the future of their own churches and ministries and for IM.

Supported by a global prayer network, the 26 members of a diverse Discernment Team studied, discussed and prayed together for God to speak to IM through the testimonies and hopes of the larger body of Christ. The fruit of their efforts was distilled into a brief statement of vision, purpose, context, core values and ministry priorities entitled "Responding to the Call."

“We were inspired by deep discussions, energized by powerful stories about great moments in mission and renewed by the sense of belonging to each other and serving a common task as we wove our hopes and dreams about the future into a collective tapestry,” said Karen Smith, IM director of Mission Design and IM missionary, about the nature of the interviews and the discernment process.

The Board’s actions launch IM into the second phase of the discernment process, during which Responding to the Call will be translated into specific objectives, concrete operational plans and tools for measuring progress on these ministry priorities:

  • Inviting People to Be Disciples of Jesus
  • Proclaiming God's Reign of Justice, Peace and Abundant Life
  • Equipping the Body of Christ to Engage in God's Mission
  • Pursuing Organizational Excellence

The crucial work of phase two will be carried out over the next nine months.

For more information, please contact

Strategic Plan: Statement of Vision and Goals



Prayer Call