By Allen Palmeri
JEFFERSON CITY—The Organizational Study Group of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) will hold its first meeting Feb. 8 at the Baptist Building—with a creative twist.
The 12-member study group will meet both in person and by means of audio/video conferencing from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the 7th floor conference room. It marks the first time that MBC Executive Director David Tolliver, who is serving as the facilitator of the study group, will be present in a meeting where the advanced electronic technology will be utilized.
“That’s a big step forward for us, because we’re not spending money on travel, and schedules can be much more efficient, without dead time on the road,” said MBC Technology Leader David Ellis.
Tolliver said his goal is to organize the members to begin doing research, with an eye on eventually reporting back findings concerning the future of the MBC. The study group came into being by unanimous MBC Executive Board action Dec. 15 and will meet throughout 2010.
“I am convinced that we all do have the common goal of looking for what is the very best, most effective and efficient organization to accomplish the task of Missouri Baptists reaching Missouri for Christ,” he said.
Its members in alphabetical order are: Jerry Field, MBC associate executive director; Judith Gonzales, member, Iglesia Cristiana Casa de Oracion, Springfield; Josh Hall, pastor, Selmore Baptist Church, Ozark; Rodney Hammer, director of missions, Blue River-Kansas City Baptist Association; Jay Hughes, MBC associate executive director; Matt Marrs, pastor, Northland Baptist Church, Kansas City; Kim Petty, member, Grace Community Church, Smithville; Cindy Province, member, Dardenne Baptist Church, O’Fallon; T.D. Stubblefield, pastor, First Baptist Church, Chesterfield; Tolliver; William Vail, pastor, First Baptist Church, Poplar Bluff; and Jim Wells, director of missions, Tri-County Baptist Association.
Province was involved in a serious automobile accident Jan. 11 and was hospitalized in critical condition as of press time. Tolliver said he is praying for her recovery and has no immediate plans to replace her.
The first two Mondays in February are important for Tolliver, who was installed as executive director last Feb. 3. On Feb. 1-4, he will be presenting a Powerpoint on his vision statement to the MBC staff to help them see how they can best fit into the future. On Feb. 8 he will do something similar for the Organizational Study Group, with the hope that the MBC can be organized around its ideals in the months to come.
The vision statement calls for Missouri Baptists to be a people who are spiritually healthy Christians, coming together in healthy churches, going to an unhealthy world with the healing Gospel of Jesus Christ. The question facing all Missouri Baptists, according to Tolliver, is, “How can we best implement the vision statement?”
Tolliver said the study group will meet on into 2011 as needed.