NORFOLK, Va. (BP)–The Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia approved a long-range strategic plan at their annual meeting at First Baptist Church in Norfolk.
More than 1,000 people, including 753 messengers and 308 guests, attended the Nov. 8-10 meeting, which centered on the theme of “Pushing Back the Darkness through Evangelism.”
Messengers unanimously approved a plan that will guide the SBCV as it assists local congregations in their task of fulfilling the Great Commission. SBCV’s executive board initiated a Vision 20/20 team in January to review its past, examine its present and formulate a vision that focuses on the next decade, culminating in the year 2020.
The Vision 20/20 Report challenges the SBCV to function as a:
— Multiplying missional network in which the number of affiliated churches doubles from more than 500 to more than 1,000.
— Mobilizing missional network in which the number of churches committed to the Acts 1:8 Challenge rises from approximately 50 to more than 500.
— Maturing missional network in which 500 churches move to the next level in congregational health.
— Sacrificial missional network in which an additional .25 percent of undesignated CP receipts will be forwarded to the Southern Baptist Convention each year for the next decade, subject to an annual review.
— Streamlined missional network in which ministry staff and the SBCV calendar are streamlined for optimal Kingdom impact.
— Contextualized missional network in which the unchanging message of the Gospel is communicated in the most effective manner possible for their context.
Throughout the meeting, God’s Plan for Sharing, Southern Baptists’ new national evangelism initiative, was highlighted and promoted. Churches were encouraged to join “Across Virginia,” which will begin statewide about a month before Easter. The “Find It Here” television commercial was shown in English and Spanish, as were videos highlighting GPS pilot projects in Ontario, Calif., and Philadelphia.
Messengers adopted a 2010 budget of $9.2 million, down from $9.5 million for the current year. The SBCV will forward 50.25 percent of all undesignated Cooperative Program receipts to national and international missions and ministries, an increase of .25 percent.
Doyle Chauncey, the convention’s assistant treasurer, said early estimates indicate the increase could mean more than an additional $1 million given to national and international missions during the next decade.
Guest speakers included Daniel Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, who held a question-and-answer session about the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force after his message; B. Gray Allison, president emeritus of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary; Tom Elliff, former president of the SBC; Tim Hight, SBCV president and pastor of Main Street Baptist Church in Christiansburg; and Jay Dennis, pastor of First Baptist Church in Lakeland, Fla.
Eagle Awards were presented to 26 sponsoring churches and pastors who helped plant 23 churches. Mark Custalow, director of multiplying churches for the SBCV, said “a full 33 percent of SBCV churches have actively engaged in sponsoring a new church, which far surpasses the national average of 6 percent.”
An additional 16 churches requested affiliation with the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia. All were unanimously affirmed, which brought the total number of churches affiliating with the SBCV to 550.
The SBCV annually recognizes churches that lead the convention in baptisms and Cooperative Program giving. Jeff Ginn, the SBCV’s executive director, gave the Pentecost Award to Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg for the highest number of total baptisms and Monumental Baptist Church in Petersburg for the highest number of baptisms per capita.
Ginn also gave two Macedonia Awards for the churches with the highest CP giving. Liberty Baptist Church in Hampton was recognized for the highest total CP giving, while Matoaca Baptist Church in Matoaca was recognized for the highest CP giving per capita.
The SBCV annually presents Nehemiah Awards to individuals who have helped in the formation of the SBCV or have been instrumental in leadership and service to the convention. This year, Chauncey presented Nehemiah Awards to Bob Davis, an evangelist with the Bob Davis Evangelistic Association, and Tommy Taylor, pastor of London Bridge Baptist Church in Virginia Beach.
Messengers unanimously approved four resolutions: on prayer for elected officials, on appreciation for the Armed Services of the United States of America, on prayer for the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force; and on appreciation for the host church.
Mark Becton, pastor of Grove Avenue Baptist Church in Richmond, was elected president of the SBCV by acclamation, as was Randy Green, pastor of Harvest Fellowship Baptist Church in Smithfield, first vice president; Neal Hawks, pastor of Pioneer Baptist Church in Max Meadows, second vice president; and Gordon Ellsworth, pastor of Virginia Beach Beacon Baptist Church in Virginia Beach, secretary.
Next year’s annual meeting will be Nov. 7-10 at Hyland Heights Baptist Church in Lynchburg.
Brandon Pickett is director of media services for the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia.