I shared recently with the Convention staff that we are at the point of a new beginning.
For the last 2.5 years we have been on defense in a battle, sometimes, to simply survive. Also, over the last 2.5 years the Convention has eliminated close to $1.5 million in annual recurring expenses.
As a result we are no longer operating on defense but are in a position to go on offense and actively begin to address the immense lostness in California.
Our ministry teams are poised to make a Kingdom difference in responding to and resourcing the vision of the churches in the Convention as each one seeks to fulfill the Great Commission.
California led the Southern Baptist Convention in several areas last year, and when all the numbers are tallied for 2019 the same will be true again. Sixty-two additional churches were started in 2019, more churches are involved in revitalization than in the previous year, more churches were involved in evangelism initiatives than in the previous year and more small churches stepped up to reach their community for Christ.
There are several things to keep in prayer and take advantage of in 2020. The first is the statewide “Baptism Sunday” scheduled for May 31, which is Pentecost Sunday. We are asking every California Southern Baptist church to plan to baptize someone on that day. If every church baptizes one person it will result in more than 2,000 being baptized on that day.
Many churches are planning to baptize every month in 2020. Is it possible to baptize 15,000 statewide in 2020? That would mean a 20 percent increase in baptisms, but the growth over the last two years has been 20 percent each year so it is possible.
Church planting is another area to find a place in which to be involved. The goal for 2020 is 100 new church starts. The Count the Cost 3 process is designed to call out and equip “mother churches.” Your congregation can be involved with a team of other churches to start a church in strength rather than in survival mode.
Over the last three years 152 churches have been birthed and now, with more mother churches coming online, it is possible to see 100 new churches in the next 12 months.
The next Insight will highlight other opportunities for you and your church to fulfill God’s vision in your community.
I want to thank each of you for your trust and commitment that allows each of us at the Convention to serve you in California. We do not take for granted the sacrifice every church makes to proclaim the gospel. Let’s believe God together for a great year!
See archives of Dr. Agee's previous Insights.