NAMB, messengers to 'experience Baltimore'
ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) -- The North American Mission Board again will focus on its partnership with Southern Baptists to push back lostness through its Send North America strategy at the SBC annual meeting in Baltimore.
The Send North America luncheon, at noon Monday, June 9, in the Ballroom on Level 400 of the Baltimore Convention Center, will allow Southern Baptists to experience the sights, smells and tastes of Baltimore as they learn how they can engage lostness in the city and other cities through NAMB's Send North America initiative.
Attendees will learn the story of Baltimore through the stories of those who have lived its recent history, centering around the city's increasing urbanization, as evidenced in its growing diversity and density. Southern Baptists also will learn about the ministry opportunities those changes have given to churches and church plants. Luncheon attendees will be challenged to look for the same opportunities in their communities.
There is limited seating for this free event but attendees must register and have a ticket to attend. Tickets are available at snaluncheon.com.
"God is gathering more people to our cities than ever before," said Kevin Ezell, NAMB's president. "The question is, 'How will Southern Baptists respond? How will we use the remarkable amount of resources and the opportunity He has given us?'"
Ezell will address convention messengers at 2:53 p.m. on Tuesday, June 10, with NAMB's report and presentation. His message will spotlight the impact Southern Baptists are having through Send North America. He will share about NAMB church revitalization efforts and the need for Southern Baptists to reduce the number of churches that close their doors each year.
Messengers will meet NAMB missionary David Pothier and learn how God is working through his church plant in Montreal, one of the most unreached cities in North America.
During the NAMB presentation, Ezell also will introduce messengers to two new tools to help pastors mobilize their congregations for missional engagement. Each messenger attending will receive samples of the new tools, including one designed to help individuals share their faith.
Throughout the convention, Send North America city coordinators and mobilizers will be at NAMB's exhibit to help connect churches to mission opportunities. NAMB's efforts this year will focus on helping pastors mobilize their entire congregation through Send North America. City coordinators and mobilizers will be encouraging pastors to involve their congregations in the 2015 Send North America Conference in Nashville. They'll also introduce visitors to the one-day Send North America Experiences taking place throughout the continent prior to the 2015 conference. Both the conference and one-day Send North America Experiences are designed to help pastors cast a vision for pushing back lostness in North America with other pastors and lay leaders in their own congregations.
NAMB leaders, church planters and pastors will participate in several panel discussions on church planting and pushing back lostness in North America. The discussions will take place at the SBC Executive Committee's Cooperative Program exhibit.
NAMB is partnering with the Baltimore Baptist Association to minister to the local community on Saturday, June 7, through Crossover, the annual event through which Southern Baptists reach out evangelistically to the host community. SBC churches and church plants across the Baltimore area will host evangelistic events and ministries within their neighborhoods. Southern Baptists from throughout North America are invited to come to the convention early and participate in the outreach efforts. New church plants will be among the churches reaching out to their neighborhoods during Crossover. For more information about Crossover, visit embracebaltimore.com/crossover.
Also hosted at the Baltimore Convention Center:
-- Hispanic pastors and church leaders are invited to the National Hispanic SBC Conference on June 8, starting at 5 p.m. in Room 337-338. The conference is co-sponsored by NAMB, Guidestone Financial Resources, LifeWay Christian Resources and the International Mission Board. NAMB's workshop, which will be held at 6:30 p.m. in Room 344, will focus on "Mobilizing the Hispanic Church."
-- NAMB invites all SBC chaplains to participate in a reception from 3-5 p.m. on June 9 in Room 340-341. To register for the event, email Keith Travis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- A free LoveLoud breakfast June 11 at 7 a.m. in Rooms 307-308. A panel will explore issues related to mental and emotional health and the church's responsibility to minister to individuals and families experiencing these struggles. To register, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mental-illness-and-the-mission-of-the-church-tickets-11428804863 or email Heather Aldrich at email@example.com.
-- A NAMB-sponsored lunch honoring bivocational pastors and their wives will take place June 11 at 11:30 a.m. in Room 309.
NAMB is also partnering with the Southern Baptist Conference of Associational Leaders who will host a June 6-8 meeting preceding the convention. The meeting will include large group worship and training, presentations by various SBC leaders, as well as practical breakout sessions for associational ministry. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Send North America and NAMB's SBC presence, visit namb.net.
Tobin Perry writes for the North American Mission Board.