Insight - October 2019

By Bill Agee, executive director, California Southern Baptist Convention on September 27, 2019

It’s hard to believe, but the CSBC annual meeting is right around the corner. It will be a great time of fellowship as well as dealing with issues that will affect the future of the Convention.

One highlight of the meeting will be the Tuesday night celebration of the “Step Up Challenge.”

During 14 different meetings I had with pastors and church leaders throughout the state, a challenge was laid before them to “step up” in four areas. They were asked to step up in evangelism, and seek to baptize 20 percent more people in 2020 than they did in 2019. In 2017-18 California churches led the Southern Baptist Convention in increased number of baptisms, so this goal is certainly achievable.

The challenge also includes stepping up in church planting. California was a leader in new church starts in the SBC with 70 last year; in 2019 we could see 80 or more, and the challenge for 2020 will be 100 new church starts in California.

Churches are asked to get involved with a church plant near them and become a praying church, a church providing people to assist with outreach projects, mentoring for the church planter or a number of additional ways to be involved.

Stepping up to lead in mission going is the next aspect of the challenge. It is important for church members to understand and experience missions first-hand. Churches are challenged to involve 20 percent more people in missions experiences in 2020. There will be international opportunities but also opportunities in California. The world has come to California and your missions experience with a certain people group may be much closer than you think!

The final aspect of the challenge includes stepping up in mission giving through the California Mission Offering. A 20 percent increase in this offering will make a major difference in the ability of the Convention to assist churches to fulfill their vision.

The Tuesday night session of the annual meeting will be dedicated to pastors and leaders demonstrating their commitment to the challenge. Each pastor will have the opportunity to give his name, church name, and that they accept the Step Up Challenge.

Each one will give encouragement to others by their visual commitment and allow 2020 to possibly be one of the best years in Convention history.

Please plan to be in El Cajon for the annual meeting, and be prepared to demonstrate your commitment to stepping up. It should be a great time of worship and celebration.

See archives of Dr. Agee's previous Insights.

This Convention serves our culturally diverse congregations as we fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.