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Associational leaders focus on Lord’s work

ST. LOUIS (BP) — Southern Baptist associational leaders will focus on church planting, discipleship and ministry in rural and urban settings June 12–13 at the St. Louis Holiday Inn Downtown Convention Center preceding the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in St. Louis.

“Work heartily as for the Lord, not for men,” is the theme for the Southern Baptist Conference of Associational Leaders (SBCAL) confab for representatives of the 1,100 Southern Baptist associations in the U.S., said team leader Ray Gentry, director of missions of the Southside Baptist Network in McDonough, Ga. Workshops, speeches, plenary sessions, a ministry fair and networking are on tap.

Blackaby Ministries International President Richard Blackaby will speak at the June 12, 4:50 p.m. banquet, and will gift all banquet attendees with a copy of a book he authored with his father Henry Blackaby, “Flickering Lamps: Christ and His Church.” John Mark Clifton, North American Mission Board lead strategist for church revitalization, wrote the forward.

Gentry described the publication as “a wonderful, hopeful book on church revitalization based on the book of Revelation and Henry’s experience of church revitalization in Canada.”

Other key presenters will include plenary speakers Jason Allen, president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo., and Tom Wood, president of Church Multiplication Ministries in Atlanta. Wood coauthored “Gospel Coach: Shepherding Leaders to Glorify God,” with Scott Thomas.

Workshop topics include Gospel Coaching Practicum, Biblical Steps to Successful Church Planting, Solutions for Struggling Churches, Helps for Newer DOMs (directors of missions), Finishing Strong, the CROSS Conversation for Disciplemaking, Town and Country Associational Leadership, City Shepherds: Restoring the Soul of the City, and How to Add Value and Make Your Association Relevant.

Workshop leaders, in addition to Wood and Gentry, will include Jim Breeden, executive director of the St. Louis Metro Baptist Association; Mike Carlisle, director of missions with the San Diego Association; Darren Casper, director of Plant MidWest and director of Church Planting Partnerships with the St. Louis Metro Baptist Association; Terry Dorsett, executive director of the New England Baptist Convention, and Hugh Townsend, executive director of missions with the Gwinnett Metro Association in Lawrenceville, Ga.

Ministry support specialist Judy Carlisle, wife of San Diego Southern Baptist Association Director of Missions Mike Carlisle, will lead a four-part workshop series for leaders’ wives.

Registration information is available at sbcassociations.org/conference-registration.