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SBC DIGEST: NAMB Leadership Pipeline; IMB observes Asian American Pacific Islander Month

NAMB summit to offer training, discussions for young leaders

By Brandon Elrod/NAMB

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Young leaders and pastors will gather May 13-14, for a national summit aimed at developing them and spurring conversations on the topics most relevant to them.

The SBC’s Leadership Pipeline – launched in early 2021 – will host its first in-person event at First Baptist Church Cleveland, Tenn., presented by the North American Mission Board (NAMB).

The event will be free to the first 500 leaders who register. Participants can expect the opportunity for fellowship and will hear messages from fellow pastors and leaders and discuss issues affecting the future of the church.

Featured guests will include H.B. Charles Jr., pastor-teacher at Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla.; J.D. Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in Durham, N.C.; and Noe Garcia, head pastor of North Phoenix Baptist Church in Phoenix; among several others.

Leadership Pipeline is focused on engaging young pastors and leaders in the life of the Southern Baptist Convention. The goal is to encourage wider involvement as young leaders begin stepping into influential roles in the SBC.

“The upcoming NAMB Pipeline Young Leader Summit is designed to meet pastors and young leaders exactly where they are – today,” said Jordan Easley, pastor of First Baptist Church Cleveland and a leading catalyst for the Leadership Pipeline. “The focus of this gathering is going to be on becoming better, together.”

Shane & Shane will lead worship, and Easley said the plan will be for presenters to deliver compelling, 15-minute talks before transitioning to vibrant panel discussions on each subject.

“I’m personally excited about these panel discussions because I have so much respect for the people that are going to be involved,” Easley said. “I’m also looking forward to seeing what the attendees will have to say; they will be crucial contributors to those discussions.”

The last few years of ministry have been increasingly difficult for pastors. Barna reported late last year that nearly 40 percent of pastors considered quitting within the last 12 months. Perhaps the most alarming statistic of the Barna study is that, of pastors under the age of 45, roughly 46 percent said they were considering quitting full-time ministry.

“After walking through such a challenging season of life and ministry over these past couple of years, I’m hoping this multi-day event will be a much-needed gift for our young pastors and leaders,” Easley said.

The Pipeline initially launched as a project facilitated by the SBC’s Executive Committee before recently transitioning to NAMB, given the entity’s ministry assignment from the SBC to provide leadership development for Southern Baptists.

For a list of featured guests, topics and to register for the event, visit https://sbcpipeline.com/summit/.

IMB observes Asian American Pacific Islander month

By Sue Sprenkle/IMB

Theresa Dacio swore she’d never be a missionary. She even announced the fact to her parents, International Mission Board missionaries Henry and Thu Phan, at the age of 10. She just wanted to live in the United States, be comfortable and stay in one place.

Her parents smiled and nodded. They understood. Henry first immigrated from Vietnam to the U.S. with his parents as a child during the Vietnam War. Thu immigrated in the late ‘80s with her family as a young adult. At one time, they also thought they’d stay in the U.S. Instead they spent most of their adult lives in five different countries living out their ministry calling.

When God nudged Dacio’s heart to the mission field, she didn’t tell her parents until tickets were purchased for her assignment in Asia. She kept thinking God would slam the door shut, so why tell anyone? The graduate student couldn’t shake the feeling that it was time to step out of her comfort zone and allow God to fully use her. So, she went. Now, she hopes others will do the same.

“We are not called to comfort,” she said, challenging her generation of 20-somethings to get involved. “You are meant to go. God will equip you and give you the tools you’ll need like language, relationships and confidence to share His message.”

Join Dacio during this Asian American Pacific Islander month to learn more about her ministry experience and challenge for others to take up the cross and share Jesus’ redeeming love. She emphasized this task is for everyone, not just those who grew up in the ministry.

See Dacio and her parents’ story, along with many others, on the IMB’s Asian Church Missions page. It includes videos celebrating Asians, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have answered God’s call to the nations. The videos also celebrate the diversity of Asian fellowships within the Southern Baptist Convention. The page features children’s materials, including short stories and a word search, to help kids connect with Asian contributions to global missions.

For more information on IMB’s efforts to mobilize Asians and Asian fellowships, contact [email protected].

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