GREENSBORO, N.C. (BP)–What began in Nashville at the 2005 Southern Baptist Convention will continue in Greensboro when the Younger Leaders Summit II convenes at 10 p.m. Monday, June 12, following the annual Pastors’ Conference.
Marty Duren, pastor of New Bethany Baptist Church in Buford, Ga., and principle organizer for the gathering at the War Memorial Auditorium, said the intention is for the summit to conclude by 10:45.
“We really want this to be an interactive time,” Duren said. “We want those attending to have time to interact with the speakers as well as network with each other and hope that the fellowship following the meeting is as beneficial as the meeting itself. I think last year we saw the value of bringing younger leaders together. There were some beneficial relationships established.”
Last year’s Younger Leaders Summit was hosted by James T. Draper Jr., then-president of LifeWay Christian Resources.
In 2004, Draper challenged the SBC annual meeting in Indianapolis to “pull a chair to the table” for younger leaders, allowing them to get more involved in the convention. Draper then spent the next year encouraging cross-generational interaction through various personal appearances and commentaries circulated SBC-wide, culminating in the Younger Leaders Summit in Nashville. Draper said at the time that the summit was an opportunity to give younger leaders a platform from which to speak.
Draper, who retired from LifeWay in February, will be among the speakers at this year’s summit. The main address will be delivered by Jeff Iorg, president of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, Calif.
Also scheduled are Doug and Kiki Cherry, Mission Service Corps campus directors at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa.; Jerry Rankin, president of the International Mission Board; and Tim Sweatman, pastor of Jackson Grove Baptist Church in Bowling Green, Ky.
“We’ve seen a lot of positive things happen in the two years since Dr. Draper called the denomination to reach out to younger leaders,” Duren said. “It seems things have accelerated in our denomination just since last year’s summit in Nashville and interest continues to build toward Greensboro. I appreciate that Dr. Draper expressed the leadership he did. It was timely and providential.
“I believe we have a great lineup [of speakers]. I believe each will bring a challenge for calling our denomination to focus its energies on reaching a lost world with the Gospel,” Duren said. “We wanted speakers who were relevant and could address the need for missional living in our churches.”
A praise team will lead in a time of worship. Registration is not necessary.