FORT LAUDERDALE—”Tour de Florida” arrived in the state’s Southeast region where nearly 80 pastors gathered to learn more about the Challenge 2025 vision during a rally at First Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale Jan. 16
The term, “Tour de Florida,” is how Tommy Green, executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention, describes his crisscrossing the state—from Miami to Pensacola—to inspire Florida Baptist pastors to a God-sized vision of making a difference in the state for the gospel.
“We can continue to do the same thing…But God is stirring something…God desires SBC churches in Florida to come together for something greater,” said Green.
“Let’s place before our churches a God-sized vision that will take every church in Florida working together to achieve it,” he added.
James Welsh, senior pastor at First Fort Lauderdale, said he was “excited about the vision Dr. Green is casting for 2025…that we may all rally around it.”
Challenge 2025 sets statewide goals in six areas of Florida Baptist life for the next five years–church plants, church revitalization, baptisms, missions engagement, Cooperative Program and Maguire State Mission Offering giving.
“God has led me to place this challenge before Florida Baptists,” said Green. “Would you plan to join me for a time of prayer and discussion towards our Challenge 2025 goals? It will take all of us working together for the glory of God to achieve these outcomes.”
Green noted that “to achieve any goal requires preparation, strategy and action.”
–Church Plants – 30 plants per year (statewide 75 per year)
–Church Revitalizations – 30 churches (statewide 100 per year)
–Baptisms – 7,500 per year (statewide 30,000 per year)
–Mission Engagements – 2,750 (statewide 12,000 total per year)
Along with these region-specific goals, Green is challenging the entire state to increase annual giving to $33 million through the Cooperative Program and $1 million to the Maguire State Mission Offering to support church planting across Florida.
Green promised resources to help churches reach their goals, including Cooperative Program and state mission offering funding, associational and catalyst collaborations, evangelism conferences, church partnerships and multi-church participation.
During question time, one pastor asked if a new church meeting in the building of another church qualifies to be counted as a new church plant. Green answered, “Yes. We don’t want to get bogged down with terminology. We have to become selfless about all of this.”
Another pastor inquired about the availability of demographic studies in communities where they are serving. Green responded that such studies are available through their local associations and regional catalyst.
The meeting closed with Erik Cummings, president of the Florida Baptist State Convention and pastor of New Life Baptist Church in Carol City, praying for the pastors and the churches as they work together towards Challenge 2025.
Remaining dates for Challenge 2025 rallies:
Monday, Jan. 27, 10 a.m. | Eau Gallie First Baptist Church, Melbourne
Tuesday, Jan. 28, 10 a.m. | Mandarin Baptist Church, Jacksonville
Thursday, Jan. 30, 6:30 p.m. | First Baptist Church, Tampa
Friday, Jan. 31, 12 p.m. | Trinity Baptist Church, Apopka
Thursday, Feb. 6, 6 p.m. | First Baptist Church, Fort Ogden