JEFFERSON CITY—The upcoming CORE Conference is not “just another” conference. It is a time to focus on the core beliefs that make Missouri Baptists a Great Commission people.
The three core values of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) are: becoming disciples, developing leaders and missional living.
“This one conference defines and lays out those values and the scriptural background for them,” said Rick Hedger, partnership missions specialist for the MBC and the leader of the team organizing the event. “It’s why we exist. In the future, the way the MBC relates to the local church is going to be filtered through these core values.”
The conference is March 21-22 at Concord Baptist Church in Jefferson City. It begins that Monday at 1 p.m. and goes through Tuesday at noon, so pastors and laity from anywhere in Missouri can attend by taking only two days off, with a one-night stay.
“Attendees will not just be sitting and listening, either,” Hedger said. “The format of the conference is something new to the MBC. Each of the expert speakers will speak for just 45 minutes on his respective core value, followed by an interactive question-and-answer session and small-scale breakout discussions, all on that same core value.
“We want to hear ideas, and suggestions about how this is working in your church.”
Each of the speakers is recognized as a leader in disciple-making, leadership development and missional living.
Robert Coleman will kick off the Becoming Disciples session. He is the author of Master Plan for Evangelism. Neil Cole is known for his ministry geared around helping churches develop disciples with a passion for getting outside the church walls and taking the Gospel around the world.
“The MBC is not here to help make more decisions,” Hedger said. “We’re here to make more disciples.”
Author Calvin Miller and Bob Logan, founder of CoachNet, will tackle the Developing Leaders portion.
“Having been a pastor for 29 years, I believe that one of our greatest needs and greatest downfalls is developing leaders in the local church,” Hedger said. “How do we become more strategic in developing leaders in our local church? The pastor shouldn’t have to be the go-to person to make something happen.”
Anthropologist Jim Slack and author and researcher Bob Roberts will lead discussion on missional living, included partnership missions, church planting and evangelism.
“We’re not just talking about mission trips,” Hedger said. “We’re talking about living a life of mission from the time I get up to the time I go to bed: On mission at work, on mission at the ball field, on mission at school.”
CORE doesn’t replace any one event the MBC has hosted in the past, but Executive Director David Tolliver said it will encapsulate some of the themes of other events under one conference umbrella.
“This is who we are,” he said. “A convention built around these three values: becoming disciples, developing leaders, and missional living.”
The conference is free, but attendees can register at www.mobaptist.org/core or by calling the MBC at 1-800-736-6227.
BRIAN KOONCE/staff writer