Reports, preaching, affairs and layers

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At our 2021 annual meeting in Branson, Missouri Baptists heard incredible reports, listened to wonderful Bible sermons, and participated in important affairs. Our churches sent 1,194 messengers and 267 registered visitors, making our state convention meeting one of the most important in recent memory.

Behind the scenes, your staff at the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) have worked hundreds of hours to provide hospitality, audio, streaming, recording, and everything needed to help messengers have a great experience. positive. They used barcode scans and over 500 messengers checked in in an hour – and no lines! No waiting at our annual meeting – kind of like a scan and go !!

The exhibit hall was busy all the time. There was a gentle spirit with the vendors. The guys from Minnesota / Wisconsin brought their cheddar cheese… The NAMB mailing team was handing out wallets… and everyone got mints.

As a special action for new generation pastoral families, a 25-person disaster relief child care unit, led by Angie Hurd, cared for 58 children (23 were under two years old). and 16 were 3 to 5 years old). Can you imagine the number of diapers changed in two days? Unbelievable!

The generational change that is happening in our convention is good, and the trained daycare volunteers give these young parents a sense of security and encouragement. And we learned that at least one new generation young woman has surrendered her life to Christ because of the testimony of a member of the MBC team. Alleluia!

Big thumbs up: “Thank you” to everyone for their role in making the Annual Meeting one of our greatest events in recent history. Sharon and I thank you all for honoring us for a decade of service. We cannot do what the Lord has called us to do without your support and intercession. We don’t do our job alone; we serve with an incredibly amazing team of MBC missionaries.

On another side . . .

During the recent SBC executive committee bickering, a friend asked, “How do you think national decisions will impact your work at the state convention?” ”

Great question. Although they are autonomous organizations, the Southern Baptist Convention and state conventions are linked by the common thread of the cooperative program, which has created the most formidable multigenerational, multi-ethnic missionary force in Christian history.

Insiders and chair experts recognize that funding for the cooperative ministry could be affected. This is something we don’t know, and it depends on a number of factors. One factor is the number of lawyers who file complaints against the SBC executive committee and / or affiliated ministries. Of course, public discourse could also have an impact on the source of funds and governance – the local church. This is at a time when some churches are coming back online with reimagined post-Covid ministries. Some churches that were really struggling before 2020 may find themselves with even deeper struggles.

Since 1835, the MBC has existed to transform lives and communities with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ by working with cooperating Missouri Baptists to make disciples, multiply churches, and develop leaders in Missouri, the nation and the world.

From the MBC story that I have read and experienced, the Missouri Baptists have always been an independent group, defending the Baptist specifics of the infallibility and truthfulness of the Word of God, the believer’s priesthood, and the autonomy of the local church. In the midst of our deep history, we have learned the hard way that we can accomplish more for the kingdom of God by working together than we could ever accomplish on our own.

Some have used the model of Acts 1: 8 to describe state jurisdiction as a “Judean” ministry. A state convention serves to explore the cultural context of the state, and then serves strategically and missionarily with local churches and grassroots associations to spread the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ. The hope of our state missionary staff is a movement of discipleship through authentic ministry by local churches and associations impacting multiple cultures and generations.

No national or world ministry can comprehensively do what the state convention in Missouri does. National and global partners assist the state convention, but they just don’t have the manpower to support the work regardless of the state convention.

Paul Chitwood, Chairman of the International Mission Board Paul Chitwood, speaker at this year’s MBC annual meeting, wrote about the importance of state conventions on August 28, 2019 Path (edited):

“From my past experience as a pastor and head of state mission, I have seen first-hand the missionary impact of state convention ministries. Ministries dealing with refugees, migrants and ethnic minorities are often headed or assisted by members of the state convention team and resources. State conventions help facilitate church planting, church strengthening, and revitalization efforts, as well as provide evangelistic training and coordinate disaster relief ministry. . . The lives of unborn children are saved by crisis pregnancy centers which are often funded, in part, by state convention. All over America people are finding new life in Christ as churches work together through their state convention ministries.

Do we need to evaluate our processes? Sure. We must constantly evaluate our methodologies. We always want to do and be better at what the Lord has called us to do. But for change to take place, we need good civil discussion and solid research.

The beauty of Missouri Baptists is that, no matter how small, every church is valuable. Every association has value. Each MBC entity has an immeasurable role to play in the kingdom of God. Our God is doing great and mighty things through His people living on mission with Him.


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