SBC Cooperative Program step to encourage a “laser focus” on unity, generosity and diversity

SBC Executive Committee leaders host a panel discussion on the CP Stage at the 2021 SBC Annual Meeting in Nashville. Photo courtesy of Baptist Press.

ANAHEIM (BP) — A drive toward unity in the gospel and the bringing of the Great Commission to the nations will permeate presentations and discussions at the Co-op Stage at 2022 SBC Annual Meetingorganizers say.

“This will be an opportunity for messengers to hear first-hand reports on a variety of SBC missions and ministries, and to ‘listen’ to impactful and insightful panel discussions that revolve around issues important to Southern Baptists. “, said Willie McLaurin, Interim President and CEO of SBC’s Executive Committee. “The 2022 co-op program stage was designed to emphasize unity, generosity and diversity.”

The theme for the annual gathering, held this year at the Anaheim Convention Center, is “Jesus: The Center of Everything.” Due to changing personal schedules, messengers are encouraged to monitor the Annual Meeting app for the latest information on CP stage speakers and schedules.

The International Council of Missions and North American Missionary Council will feature prominently, with the latter hosting various panel discussions ranging from the future of the SBC to church planting, adoption and foster care.

First Baptist Church, Cleveland, Tennessee, Pastor Jordan Easley will moderate many of these discussions. The first will be “Creating a Church Culture that Looks Like and Ministers to Your Community” on June 13. It will be followed by “Forecasting the Future of SBC: What are the main things we need to focus on as we move forward?”

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Next Generation National Director Shane Pruitt and NAMB National Director Paul Worcester will discuss student and college ministry issues with “Reaching the Next Generation.” NAMB President Kevin Ezell — who alongside his wife, Lynette, raised six children, three of whom were adopted — will moderate a panel on adoption and foster care.

Sessions begin each day at 8:30 a.m., with the June 13 list beginning with “Making Disciples Who Live in Mission” led by Sandy Wisdom-Martin, executive director-treasurer of the Women’s Missionary Union. Later the National African American Fellowship will host a panel on ‘Finishing Well’ and this afternoon McLaurin will be interviewed about his new book ‘The Winning Way’.

“We all have lessons that we learn along the way,” McLaurin said. “These lessons have shaped our philosophy on how we engage and develop others. The lessons deepen our faith and challenge us to think and live differently. All of the working principles of this book flow from such a lesson.

IMB President Paul Chitwood will also be on stage for at least two of the entity’s three sessions. These sessions will cover the importance of having a continued presence of Southern Baptist missionaries around the world as well as how the IMB is sending more missionaries and opening more avenues for Southern Baptist churches to participate in missionary work at short and long term.

IMB and Send Relief have been active in helping people affected by the war in Ukraine from the start. Another session will discuss how the IMB used digital strategies for gospel engagement in and around the country during the conflict.

Earlier this year, Gateway Seminary President Jeff Iorg testified to what is special about ministry in California in a Baptist Press first-person. These points are sure to resurface in the panel he will lead in Monday’s final session – “As California Goes.”

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Virginia S. Braud