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SBC DIGEST: Education webcast slated by Okla. Baptists; also NOBTS, SWBTS

OKLAHOMA CITY (BP) — A simulcast to train Sunday School and small group leaders titled “One Day Live” has been slated for Sunday, Aug. 28, by the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.

“Sunday School is not just for kids,” said Bob Mayfield, BGCO Sunday School and discipleship specialist. “It is a powerful, time-honored tool for people of all ages, and we want to provide teachers and leaders with the best resources possible.”

The strategy behind One Day Live “encourages the local church to own the equipping of its small group leaders,” Mayfield said, “rather than spending hundreds of dollars and sending leaders to training events that are miles away.”

Ed Stetzer, vice president for research and ministry development at LifeWay Christian Resources, voiced enthusiasm “to see my friends from the BGCO working hard to serve their churches. Let me add that I think this kind of approach will be a big part of the future. It takes such training to people and not just to pastors.”

Joining with Oklahoma Baptists as One Day Live’s featured speaker will be Johnny Hunt, pastor of First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Ga., and immediate past president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Eighty-four training seminars for leaders of all age groups have been written by Oklahoma Baptist pastors, staff and Sunday School teachers. These seminars are available through the One Day initiative, www.bgco.org/oneday.

Anthony Jordan, BGCO executive director, noted, “Making disciples is the dream and desire of Oklahoma Baptists…. One Day is more than just a training event for our Sunday School leaders. It reemphasizes Sunday School as a practical and primary growth strategy for both evangelism and discipleship in the local church.”

Phil Stone, Sunday School leader for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, described the One Day Live simulcast as “a unique and cutting-edge way to encourage and train your leaders to understand and use the Sunday School ministry as a disciple making/growing strategy for your church.”

Added Mayfield, “Rather than a cookie-cutter approach to training, these seminars will give the churches the opportunity to customize its leadership training to their particular needs and context.”

Resources for One Day Live are available at no charge to attendees for churches who register for the 5:25-6:00 p.m. (Central) webcast. More information is available at www.bgco.org/oneday.

NOBTS ADDS BIVOCATIONAL, AFRICAN AMN. SCHOLARSHIPS — New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary President Chuck Kelley has announced two new scholarships — one for bivocational ministers and another for African American students — funded by a Louisiana-based family foundation.

To qualify for the bivocational minister’s scholarship, a student must be serving a church and have employment outside the church. The scholarship is available to both full- and part-time students at NOBTS.

“One of the least known facts in Southern Baptist life is how many bivocational ministers are serving in our churches,” Kelley said. “We are thrilled at the opportunity to make theological training more accessible for those who are fulfilling such an important role in Southern Baptist life.”

The other scholarship is open to any African American student, whether full- or part-time coursework. Kelley said he hopes the scholarship will help more African American ministers attend NOBTS, which will benefit both the seminary community and local churches.

“Southern Baptists have a lot of catching up to do in our relationships with African American churches and ministers,” Kelley said. “Adding God-called African American ministers to our student body will make us a healthier seminary and do more to develop leaders for healthy churches. I am especially praying that this will make doctoral work more attainable for African American ministers, equipping them to enter classrooms as teachers as well as students.”

The scholarships will not require additional forms or applications but will be awarded through the seminary’s normal financial aid process. The online application process for spring semester scholarships will open Sept. 1; information about eligibility for these new scholarships for the upcoming Fall 2011 semester is available at www.nobts.edu/FinancialAid.

SOUTHWESTERN OFFERS 2012 REVIVAL PREACHERS — For more than 50 years, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has sent students and faculty to churches as part of its spring revival practicum, now called Revive This Nation. Churches can join Southwestern in promoting spiritual awakening across the United States by hosting preachers for the March 11-14, 2012, emphasis.

This year, Southwestern aims to send revival preachers to 200 churches throughout the nation, with at least one preacher in all 50 states.

“We want partner churches who will join us in prayer for God to revive our nation and who will invite people to come hear the Gospel preached,” Thomas White, SWBTS vice president for student services and communications, said. “Passionate men who have thoroughly prepared stand ready to preach the Word, calling believers to greater commitment and the lost to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.”

During Revive this Nation 2011, Southwestern sent out 124 preachers who led 140 people to accept Christ as Savior and engaged more than 1,250 people in personal evangelism. To learn about Revive this Nation’s history and hear the stories of God’s work during 2011, visit www.swbts.edu/swnews.

Churches of all sizes can request revival preachers and download resources at www.swbts.edu/rtn. Southwestern pays for the roundtrip transportation of preachers to and from the revival locations. Churches provide housing, meals and local transportation.
Compiled by Baptist Press editor Art Toalston.

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