Serve Like Jesus is the theme of the 2013 conference. Over the two days of the conference you will be immersed in the basic components of the state-wide emphasis, SERVE OKLAHOMA, that will run from Spring 2013 through Spring 2014. SERVE OKLAHOMA is mobilizing your congregation to take Jesus outside the walls of your church building to “be the church” instead of just “doing church.”
This involves organizing a day of service and a season of service through your Sunday school or small groups. However, instead of just having your people do a local mission project by themselves, they will invite lost and unchurched friends, neighbors and acquaintances to participate with them. Then the Baptist Messenger will help you capture your story for distribution in your local paper and media.
Your evangelism group takes seriously the task of putting together an anointed time that will lift your spirit and instruct your mind. Much prayer and planning has gone into crafting each speaker and session to highlight Jesus Christ and His commission’s implications to you and your church.
This marks the fourth year that MY316 has been a part of the conference emphasis. This is in response to pastors sharing a desire to stay focused on one thing for several years instead of constantly moving on to something “bigger and better.” The investment made by Oklahoma Baptists to provide this free material merits the good stewardship of continued promotion. Additionally, new MY316 resources continue to be developed.
While we are staying with MY316, the 2013 scripture of Mark 10:45 highlights that it is not a choice between evangelism and service, but both together. Jesus Himself says, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45 NIV84).
A special feature added this year is Return To Me, A Call To Prayer. This solemn assembly will be held at Southern Hills Baptist Church from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on the evening (January 27th) before the conference. Dr. Greg Frizzell will lead us through a time of corporate prayer as a body of believers who truly desire to seek the Lord in repentance and cleansing.
The 2013 evangelism conference serves as the kickoff for SERVE OKLAHOMA. During the conference I want you to commit to leading your church to participate in SERVE OKLAHOMA by:
- Designating March 2013 as SERVE OKLAHOMA MONTH
- “Being the church” instead of “doing church”
- Mobilizing believers to take Jesus outside the walls of your building
- Organizing a Day of Service and a Season (several weeks to several months) of Service through your Sunday school or small groups
- Sharing your church’s story with the Baptist Messenger
To help you follow through on this commitment and to imitate Mark 10:45, Bob Mayfield and I have updated the Power Up Your World materials that will be available online in January and will be distributed at the conference in the SERVE OKLAHOMA Resource Kit. My prayer is that this conference and the resource kit will renew your passion for sharing Christ with your community and prepare you to lead your congregation in “being the church” instead of “doing church.”
I believe that if you give your time, money and attention to this conference, you will be prepared to lead your people to serve and share Jesus Christ through both actions and words. Aren’t you praying that 2013 will be the year your church makes great strides in reaching every man, woman, boy and girl in your community with the gospel.
Serving like Jesus,
Evangelism Group Leader, BGCO