NEW ORLEANS (BP) — The Cooperative Program will be a key focal point in the exhibit hall at the Southern Baptist Convention in New Orleans.
The beauty of the CP lies not in the amount of money each church is able to give, but in the voice it provides every believer in SBC missions and ministry, said Ashley Clayton, associate to the SBC Executive Committee president for the CP and stewardship.
“Every gift is an investment in ministries and missions,” Clayton said. “What we try to communicate in the exhibit hall is that every Southern Baptist has a voice about the Cooperative Program. We’re all vested in missions and ministries.”
The 1,500-square-foot CP booth will be positioned next to the International and North American mission board areas, and will highlight the CP’s integral support of CP entities, state missions, theological education and evangelism.
“These are things that Southern Baptist know and love,” Clayton said, “and they fuel that through the Cooperative Program. We believe it’s in the heart of every Southern Baptist to be generous and to be on mission.”
The CP booth will feature a platform stage area and two large high-definition video screens displaying live interviews, panel discussions and Twitter feeds. Attendees are encouraged to visit the booth as early as 9 a.m. Monday, June 18, to hear interviews featuring pastors, church planters, missionaries, professors and key SBC leaders through Wednesday afternoon, June 20.
View interview schedules in the daily bulletins and on the new SBC Annual Meeting smartphone app for iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry users, available for download at http://m.core-apps.com/sbc2012am from a smartphone or by typing in “SBC Annual Meeting 2012” in the smartphone’s app store.
SBC entities and WMU (Woman’s Missionary Union) also will have exhibit hall space at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center:
INTERNATIONAL MISSION BOARD — A unique prayer experience awaits SBC messengers at the IMB’s exhibit hall booth highlighting Matthew 16:24-25: “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will find it.'” Housed inside a re-creation of a Bedouin tent, IMB invites Southern Baptists to deepen their commitment to be Christ’s heart, hands and voice, following His plan for their life no matter the cost. The prayer tent will pinpoint each of Jesus’ commands in Matthew 16: come [with me], deny yourself, take up your cross, follow [me] and count the cost. Messengers will receive prayer journals and learn of opportunities to share the Gospel among unreached and unengaged people groups as well as ways to connect with IMB missionaries and mission board leadership.
NORTH AMERICAN MISSION BOARD — NAMB’s Send North America exhibit will depict the harvest field in major U.S. cities alongside Southern Baptist efforts in evangelistic church planting and local church evangelism. NAMB church planters and staff will answer questions and mobilize individuals and churches in reaching North America with the Gospel.
A separate NAMB exhibit will showcase the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief partnership between NAMB and the 42 state conventions, sharing disaster relief volunteers’ personal experiences and information on DR training and mobilization. The latest DR vehicles and equipment will be on display.
“The Many Faces of the SBC,” a separate NAMB-sponsored exhibit, will highlight the outreach of ethnic fellowships and networks in reaching all peoples. Representatives of the SBC’s 27 formal ethnic and language fellowships will staff the exhibit.
LIFEWAY CHRISTIAN RESOURCES — LifeWay’s exhibits will feature the popular 9,000-square-foot LifeWay Christian Store and interactive displays highlighting LifeWay’s various divisions, including research, church resources and direct sales, Ridgecrest Conference Center, B&H Publishing Group and CrossBooks.
Of special interest:
— Within the Digital Church Services exhibit, consultants will demonstrate WORDsearch tools.
— Church Resources will offer ministry experts for one-on-one discussions and provide information on the new Gospel Project curriculum.
— B&H Publishing will highlight and sell products related to the movie “Courageous,” including New York Times bestsellers “Resolution for Men,” “Resolution for Women” and “Courageous Living.”
— Several authors will sign books, including Ed Stetzer (“Transformational Discipleship,” “The Mission of God Study Bible,” “Compelled by Love” and “Subversive Kingdom”); Eric Geiger (“Transformational Discipleship” and “The Mission of God Study Bible”); Michael Kelley (“Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal”), and Diana Davis (“Deacon Wives,” “Fresh Ideas”).
— Put your name in drawings for gift certificates for overnight stays at Ridgecrest.
GUIDESTONE FINALCIAL RESOURCES — GuideStone’s wellness center will again provide a free health check valued at $150. Messengers and family members can have their blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose measured and receive a free summary. In the main booth, GuideStone representatives will be available for a personal review of participants’ retirement accounts and to answer questions about GuideStone’s life and health plans as well as other GuideStone services. Attendees can receive a free copy of GuideStone President O.S. Hawkins’ latest book, “Fear Factor.” Churches also order materials for Mission:Dignity Sunday highlighting GuideStone’s ministry to needy retirees and widows. GuideStone will offer several breakout sessions discussing Medicare, GuideStone’s benefit options for those nearing retirement, compensation planning for smaller churches, investing wisely for the future and protecting children from abuse at church. Times and locations will be available in the SBC Bulletin and can be obtained by visiting GuideStone’s booth or at www.GuideStone.org/SBC2012. Additionally, during the SBC, Hawkins will be signing copies of his books, “The Pastor’s Guide to Leading & Living” and “The Joshua Code: 52 Scripture Verses Every Believer Should Know” at the LifeWay store. All royalties and proceeds from the sale of these books will benefit Mission:Dignity.
ETHICS & RELIGIOUS LIBERTY COMMISSION — The ERLC will be sharing God’s truth for the family through a two-area convention presence this year. In one section, staff from the Washington, D.C. office will be available to discuss their work on Capitol Hill. Interviews also will be conducted with Southern Baptist leaders from the stage. The ERLC Nashville staff will be hosting a New Orleans-style park-themed booth. In addition to learning more about the ERLC’s efforts to share biblical truth for today’s moral and social issues, visitors will be entertained by caricature and balloon artists. Messengers also will be encouraged to learn more about the upcoming 40/40 Prayer Vigil in anticipation of the 2012 presidential election.
WOMAN’S MISSIONARY UNION — WMU’s “Missions for Life” exhibit, named after WMU’s new tagline, will feature missions opportunities for preschoolers, children, youth and adults. Visitors can enter a drawing for one of three $500 WMU Foundation grants for church missions. New Hope Publishers and WorldCrafts will sponsor adjacent booths.
New Hope Publishers will partner with WMU to communicate radical commitment to God’s mission, featuring “The Story Lives On: God’s Power throughout Generations,” the 2012–13 WMU emphasis book by Wanda Lee. New Hope has partnered with Ed Stetzer and Philip Nation to release “Compelled: Living the Mission of God” to coincide with publication of the Holman Mission of God Study Bible. Visitors to the New Hope booth also can enter a daily drawing to receive a set of five new titles.
WorldCrafts will display products supporting impoverished people groups and offer drawings for daily giveaways. Educational materials will detail WorldCrafts’ ministry partnering with artisans to develop and support sustainable businesses in more than 30 countries. Many WorldCrafts partners work to free women from human exploitation and sex trafficking.
SOUTHERN BAPTIST HISTORICAL LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES will display images and documents illustrating significant people, places and events in Baptist life and history, including Vacation Bible School, baptisms, worship and special events. Learn how to microfilm and archive church records and history, and receive information on the Baptist History and Heritage Society and the International Conference on Baptist Studies.
SOUTHERN BAPTIST FOUNDATION will focus on planning for eternity, showcasing resources and services to facilitate giving, glorify God and advance His Kingdom. The foundation’s work is to assist believers in quality estate planning as an act of stewardship and generosity.
SEMINARY EXTENSION will display course examples, highlight its diploma and certificate programs and distribute copies of its catalog. The booth will spotlight Seminary Extension’s commitment to making theological education available to pastors, teachers and other leaders unable to attend traditional seminaries. Vivian Buttrey, who is retiring after nearly 36 years with Seminary Extension, will be on hand to greet alumni, students and volunteer faculty.
GOLDEN GATE BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY will highlight its new master’s degree in Christian counseling and its new Korean-English bilingual program. Themed “Biblical, Missional, Global,” the booth will tell the benefits of the Golden Gate education offered at its five campuses in northern and southern California, the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Northwest.
MIDWESTERN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY and COLLEGE will showcase its fully online master’s and bachelor’s programs Tuesday, June 19, at 12:15 p.m. and will give away a Kindle. Return to the booth Wednesday, June 20 at 11 a.m. for a forum with four Midwestern doctoral studies leaders discussing “Historical Truth and New Perspectives.” Enter your name in a drawing for a free set of academic books. Faculty, staff and students will offer information on the missions-oriented “Fusion” undergraduate curriculum track. MBTS’ booth theme will focus on its core values of “Veritas (knowing), Pietas (being), and Missio (doing),” reflecting commitments to knowing the truth; modeling and instilling in students devotion to the Lord; and evangelism.
NEW ORLEANS BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY faculty will welcome attendees to the school’s home city and answer questions about degree programs and new initiatives at the main campus and extension centers. In keeping with tradition, NOBTS will give away small bottles of Louisiana hot sauce.
SOUTHEASTERN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY will utilize Ipad kiosks to receive information from prospective students, distribute information about the seminary and accept alumni luncheon reservations. Emphasizing Southeastern’s mission of equipping students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission, the booth’s compact space will allow more funds to be allocated for that mission.
SOUTHERN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY will provide complimentary copies of “A Guide to Adoption and Orphan Care,” a new resource edited by school of theology dean Russell D. Moore, and the latest issue of Southern Seminary Magazine featuring articles by Moore, SBTS President Albert Mohler Jr., Boyce College dean Dan DeWitt, professor Gregory A. Wills and associate professor Denny Burk. Connect with alumni, friends and prospective students at the booth’s seating area.
SOUTHWESTERN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY. View several seminary-produced videos reflecting Southwestern’s passion for taking the Gospel to the world’s unreached peoples, along with students’ experiences, Southwestern’s heritage and a campus tour. Seminary representatives and faculty will discuss the Southwestern’s programs and answer questions. Learn about the school’s upcoming six-month exhibit, Dead Sea Scrolls & the Bible, opening July 2.
Compiled by Baptist Press staff writer Diana Chandler and BP editor Art Toalston.