Let’s all go to Columbus

Meredith Flynn —  June 12, 2015

SBC_logo_2015Midwest is host for Southern Baptist business, prayer next week 

Columbus, Ohio | Missions, evangelism, and cultural impact will highlight the 2015 Southern Baptist Convention June 16-17, which also will emphasize prayer—“extraordinary prayer.”

In his year as SBC President, Ronnie Floyd has positioned the Columbus meeting as an opportunity for Baptists to pray together. The annual meeting’s theme is “Great Awakening: Clear Agreement, Visible Union, Extraordinary Prayer,” based on Romans 13:11. Floyd told Baptist Press he hopes Southern Baptists of all ages and ethnicities will attend and “rise to this moment in our nation calling out to God for the next Great Awakening in our nation.”

“We’ve got to understand that we need everybody,” said Floyd, pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas. “I know historically and biblically there is no great movement of God that ever occurs that is not first preceded by the extraordinary prayer of God’s people.”

The prayer focus will culminate in a Tuesday evening Call to Prayer to be streamed on sbcannualmeeting.net and broadcast on the Daystar Television Network. “We will join together in the same room and around the world via technology for this one epic night of prayer,” Floyd blogged last month. “Plan now to adjust your dinner or fellowship to before this session or gather with friends after the session itself. Please let NOTHING
keep you from this extraordinary night of prayer together.”

Floyd also will host a discussion Wednesday afternoon on preparing churches for the future of marriage in America. Panelists include two SBC pastors, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore, Southern Seminary President Albert Mohler, and Rosaria Butterfield, author of “The Secret Thoughts of an Unchurched Convert: An English Professor’s
Journey into Christian Faith.”

On the Saturday before the Convention convenes, more than 140 projects and activities are planned for the annual Crossover evangelism outreach.

Sending Celebration
The North American and International Mission Boards will hold a joint missionary commissioning service during the Wednesday morning session of the Southern Baptist Convention. Along with celebrating the missionaries about to embark for their mission fields, the service also will celebrate the churches that are sending them.

“The mission fields we serve are unique and need to be approached differently; but the people we want to reach are growing more similar all the time,” said NAMB President Kevin Ezell. “The Sending Celebration is another example of the greater collaboration between IMB and NAMB.”

Musicians Shane & Shane will lead worship during the celebration.

Movies, meals, and an app
LifeWay Christian Resources will offer free screenings of two upcoming movies in Columbus.

“War Room,” the newest film from Alex and Stephen Kendrick, will be shown June 15 at 9 p.m. in the convention center. “Woodlawn,” a true story about spiritual awakening among high school football players, will screen June 16 at 9 p.m. in the convention center.

LifeWay’s The Gospel Project will host a light breakfast and panel discussion on different preaching styles and philosophies. The June 16 meeting begins at 6:30 a.m. and features Pastors H.B. Charles (Florida), J.D. Greear (North Carolina), Chip Henderson (Mississippi), and LifeWay VP Ed Stetzer. Register at Gospel Project.com/SBC15.

The SBC Men’s Breakfast is June 17 at 6:30, sponsored by the North American Mission Board and LifeWay. Speakers include Greear, Matt Carter (Texas) and Michael Catt (Georgia), along with LifeWay and NAMB personnel.

The annual SBC Ministers’ Wives Luncheon, featuring author Angie Smith, is sold out, but there are several other opportunities for women attending the Columbus meeting. The Pastors’ Wives Conference begins at 8 a.m. on Monday, June 15, at the Hyatt Regency, and a women’s expo area will be open prior to each of the events. Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary will host “Tea at 3” on June 15 from 3-4 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency, featuring short messages from women in a variety of leadership roles.

The SBC’s two mission agencies will co-host the fifth annual Send North America Luncheon June 15 at the convention center. Ezell and International Mission Board President David Platt will discuss how the mission boards’ closer cooperation will serve Southern Baptists. Free tickets are available at snaluncheon.com.

Baptist21 will host its annual lunch and panel discussion on June 16 immediately after the morning session. Panelists, including Platt, Moore, Mohler and Charles, will discuss the most pressing issues facing the church. Register at baptisttwentyone.com.

Messengers can once again schedule their SBC activities with help from an app available for iPhone, iPad, and Android
devices. Search “SBC Annual Meetings” in the app store. Along with up-to-date schedule and speaker information, the app also includes a map of the exhibit hall, local restaurant list, PDF versions of the book of reports, daily bulletins, and SBC Life, and a list of area churches.

SBC messengers can register online at sbcannualmeeting.net. Each messenger will receive an eight-digit registration code to present at the annual meeting’s Express registration lane. Childcare for kids in grades 1-6 will be provided, as will hands-on mission opportunities for teens. Pre-registration is required at sbcannualmeeting.net under the “Children/Youth” tab.

SBC Annual Meeting information is from Baptist Press, online at BPNews.net. For more, including a schedule of the Annual Meeting June 16-17, read the May 18 issue of the Illinois Baptist online.

Meredith Flynn


Meredith is managing editor of the Illinois Baptist newspaper.