Missouri Baptists begin to probe depth of GPS
By Allen Palmeri
JEFFERSON CITY—Missouri Baptists soon will be customizing a plan for statewide participation in the National Evangelism Institute (God’s Plan for Sharing, or GPS) that is now being advanced by the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).
North American Mission Board (NAMB) Chairman Geoff Hammond, in an op-ed piece for Baptist Press published Nov. 21, explained the many benefits of launching GPS as a national evangelism campaign.
“In early 2009, NAMB is partnering with five states—Texas, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, California, and Georgia—to pilot the first coordinated evangelism activity of GPS,” Hammond wrote. “There is excitement from the field about these projects.”
In Missouri, Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) State Evangelism Director Gary Taylor is planning a Jan. 12 meeting that will include pastors and directors of missions from each of the eight regions of the state. With the possibility of two pastors and two DOMs from each area, there may be around 30 people in the Baptist Building to help launch the Missouri GPS in the next year or two. The full launch in Missouri is set for 2010, Taylor said.
“I believe this might be a way God is working to see us reaching our state, reaching our nation, for the Lord Jesus Christ,” Taylor said in Nov. 6 briefing to the MBC staff at the Baptist Building.
Missouri Baptist leaders in their initial meeting will be divided into four groups in accordance with the four GPS biblical mileposts of praying, engaging, sowing and harvesting, Taylor said. These ideas will also be introduced to Missouri Baptist pastors and lay leaders in late January during the State Evangelism Conference.
“GPS will include resources to help Christians and churches impact those around them for Christ,” Hammond wrote. “And it will contain media assets to help spread the Gospel as widely as possible. Television ads, print material, Internet, radio, billboards, door hangers, and social media like Facebook will all be utilized at various stages of the initiative across the entire continent in an effort to help local churches connect with their community.”