JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri directors of missions (DOMs) gathered at the Baptist Building, March 21-22, to learn how to more effectively help their association churches implement discipleship strategies. The main speaker was Brent Longenecker, who is a member of the MBC Making Disciples Team.
Longenecker spoke to the DOMs about the pathway of disciple making.
He asked, “Why does making disciples seems so hard?” He followed up with the thought that there needs to be a change in the culture. He believes leaders need to get out among their “sheep.”
He continued, “The pathway is to realign hearts to Christ and our lives to someone else.” He took the DOMs through a four step journey to help churches implement disciple making pathways and a strategy to see their communities, congregations and members transformed.
Longenecker summarized his team’s strategy to include the associations in the plan with this thought: “Our directors of missions are in a key place to lead in (this) work. Our aim throughout the conference is to focus on the picture and pathway of disciple making, in order that we might align our lives according to what a disciple is and does.”
One of the DOMs, Alan Earls, responded in a devotion to the group, saying, “Sometimes when we accuse people or churches of being lazy, they are actually just not motivated. They need Godly leadership to provide encouragement and direction.” Earls is the DOM for Concord Association, located in Jefferson City.
There were several other speakers at the event, including John Vernon, DOM of Cape Girardeau Baptist Association and president of the Missouri DOM Fellowship. He encouraged the DOMs to utilize the disciple making strategy among the member churches in the associations represented.
Jon Nelson, pastor of Soma Church, Jefferson City, spoke to the group with an update on the SBC sexual abuse implementation task force work that is ongoing in response to the crisis of sexual abuse in the SBC and how the convention will respond in the future.
Another speaker was Neil Franks, president of the Missouri Baptist Foundation. At an evening banquet, he spoke to the DOMs and their wives about “investing.” He urged them to invest financially as well as spiritually.
At that banquet, Spencer Hutson and his wife Valerie were honored for Hutson’s 40 years of service to the Missouri Baptist Convention. He currently serves as the MBC liaison for directors of missions and Baptist associations. He is retiring this spring. The group presented several gifts to the Hutsons.
There are 57 Baptist associations in Missouri and currently there are 50 directors of missions serving these associations.