EL CAJON — Messengers to the 79th annual meeting of California Southern Baptist Convention will be asked to “Step Up” to meet the challenges of reaching California for Christ.
Meeting Oct. 22-23 at Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, messengers will be challenged by Bill Agee, CSBC executive director, to Step Up by having their churches increase by 20 percent in 2020 in four areas — evangelism/baptisms, church planting, mission going and mission giving.
Jeff Hood, pastor of First Baptist Church in Fairfield and chairman of the committee on convention operations, which plans the program for the annual meeting, said the Step Up theme was chosen after listening to Agee “share his heart” about CSBC churches and the need to reach California for Christ.
“Our hope is that the convention will help galvanize our churches to Step Up in our culture and reach people with the Gospel of Christ,” Hood said.
Tuesday evening will feature Agee and Shawn Beaty, CSBC president, rolling out the “Step Up Challenge,” which will be augmented with video presentations and testimonies of pastors who already have committed their churches to one or more of the Step Up distinctions. The evening also will feature preaching from Matt Lawson, pastor of Story City Church in Burbank, and the University Choir and Orchestra from California Baptist University, which will provide music.
Agee said every church represented that night will have the opportunity to fill out a card committing their congregation to Step Up in one or more of the distinctions. He noted CSBC already is leading the Southern Baptist Convention in increased baptisms, church plants and number of churches in a revitalization process.
“We certainly don’t want to lose the momentum we’ve built,” Agee said, “and I believe this is one way we can move forward in reaching some of the 35 million people in our state who don’t have a relationship with Jesus.”
In designing the program, Hood said the committee wanted Tuesday afternoon to be “packed with motivation from our CSBC partners. We felt that it would give a sense of encouragement to the people, seeing the exciting things that are occurring in our state.”
The afternoon will feature CBU, The Baptist Foundation of California, Gateway Seminary and California associations.
Hood explained that featuring CSBC partners on Tuesday afternoon meant “moving much of the business to Wednesday morning.”
Business items to be considered include electing board and committee members, the 2020 Proposed CSBC Executive Board Ministries Budget and a number of Constitution and Bylaw amendments.
Officers also will be elected. Beaty, who has served one year as president, is eligible to serve a second consecutive term in the office.
Slated to preach in addition to Lawson are Beaty and Agee.
The annual sessions will be preceded by a number of auxiliary meetings, including the Pastors’ Conference, CA Women’s Gathering, Fellowship of Church Musicians, missions and evangelism celebration and more. More information about the convention can be found at csbc.com/2019annualmeeting.