JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri Baptist Convention’s (MBC) state evangelism conference has a new name – and much more. Now called the Great Commission Conference, this annual event has been reshaped to better equip Missouri Baptists as they strive to transform lives and communities with the gospel.
“Where this event previously appealed primarily to full-time church staff, we hope bi-vocational ministers, volunteers, and the next generation will be able to participate, as well,” said Matt Kearns, MBC catalyst for Making Disciples. “Even if an attendee cannot participate in the entire conference, our hope is that a greater number of Missouri Baptists can participate in at least a portion of the conference.”
The Great Commission Conference is scheduled for Feb. 23-25 at Ridgecrest Baptist Church, Springfield. Inspired by the MBC’s vision statement – “Transforming lives and communities with the gospel” – the theme, “Transform,” permeates the biblical preaching and teaching, worship and relationship-building throughout the conference.
Keynote and breakout speakers include:
• Alvin Reid, professor of evangelism and student ministry at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., and author of numerous books, including most recently Sharing Jesus Without Freaking Out (2016);
• Ed and Kathy Litton. Ed is senior pastor of Redemption Church, Saraland, Ala., and Kathy serves as national consultant for the North American Mission Board’s ministry to pastors’ wives;
• John Avant, senior pastor of First Baptist Concord, Knoxville, Tenn., and author of four books: The Passion Promise, Authentic Power, If God Were Real, and Revival Revived;
• Ed Stetzer, Billy Graham Chair of Church, Mission and Evangelism at Wheaton College, and executive director of the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism, as well as author of numerous books, including most recently Transformational Groups (with Eric Geiger, 2014), and Subversive Kingdom: Becoming Agents of Gospel Transformation (2012).
• Greg Stier, CEO and founder of Dare 2 Share Ministries, speaker, and author of several books including Evangephobia, Dare 2 Share: A Field Guide to Sharing Your Faith, and Gospelize your Youth Ministry.
The Chris White Band is slated to lead musical worship at the conference. Special guest author and recording artist, Michael Card, is to appear Thursday evening and Friday morning.
The conference seeks to elevate a biblical understanding of disciplemaking and evangelism, with an emphasis on the need for revival and renewal in Missouri Baptist churches. In addition, Friday night features an inter-generational prayer and worship gathering as participants pray for God to move on middle school, high school, and university campuses throughout the state.
The conference also includes 20-minute talks, highlighting various issues related to community transformation—including racial reconciliation, adoption and foster care, and ministry to refugees.
Additionally, large-group breakout sessions emphasize the Missouri Baptist mission to make disciples, multiply churches, and develop leaders. Speakers follow up their “transformation talks” with “talkback” times, enabling Missouri Baptists to ask questions and learn more.
The conference also features meals for Missouri Baptist Directors of Missions, the Fellowship of Missouri Baptist Evangelists, a Women in Ministry fellowship, and the Bonhoeffer Project.
The Great Commission Conference is funded through the faithful giving of Missouri Baptists through the Cooperative Program. To learn more about the conference or to register now, go online to mobaptist.org/gcc.