NAMB announces multi-site, multi-format Send Conference


The North American Mission Board will host a series of Send 2020 events in 70 locations across North America beginning in fall 2019 and continuing through 2020. Photo by North American Mission Board.

By NAMB Staff

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) – The North American Mission Board (NAMB) announced Wednesday, April 17, that its next Send Conference will happen through a series of local and regional conferences that will take place in more than 70 locations throughout North America beginning this fall.

“It’s about maximizing momentum. What began as a plan to hopefully reach 18,000 people with a national event in Atlanta is now a plan to reach in excess of 200,000 by taking the events on the road,” said NAMB president Kevin Ezell.

The local and regional approach will also allow different events to take on different formats. Some will consist of an evening session followed by a morning session and conclude by noon. Others will run for two nights and three days. Still others might be a single day or single evening in duration.

The focus of the conference series is to call every believer to actively share the gospel wherever God has placed them and to openly consider where God might be calling them to serve.

“In addition to allowing us to bring this important message to every corner of North America, this approach also gives us maximum flexibility to shape the event for specific audiences,” Ezell said. “The more we discussed this way of doing it, the more excited we became about the possibilities.”

Many of the events will be hosted by local churches. Plans also include events on or in close proximity to several university campuses.

“We will utilize a variety of speakers and musicians, depending on our location and the needs of the audience we are trying to reach,” Ezell said.

Part one of the tour will commence this fall with Johnny Hunt featured as the main speaker. Those events will kick off with an inspirational Sunday evening program focused on evangelism for every member of the church. The next morning, pastors and church leaders will return to attend an equipping session geared toward helping them train and mobilize their congregations for evangelism. NAMB has already secured 18 locations for these events.

“Every Southern Baptist who wants to attend will have access to at least one of these events,” Hunt said. “I’m praying that over this 18-month period we will see God sweep through our Southern Baptist family in a way we haven’t seen in decades. We are doing all we can to ignite a spark that we hope will re-start the fires of evangelism.”

A video about the conference can be viewed here: https://vimeo.com/331013714

More details, a schedule and registration information will be posted soon at: send2020.com

This article was written by the NAMB communications staff.
MASHALLTOWN, Iowa (BP) — Southern Baptist Disaster Relief teams have begun cleanup work in Marshalltown, Iowa, following a devastating tornado July 19.

A Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief team arrived Tuesday to set up incident command at Iglesia Karios in Marshalltown. Chainsaw teams from Iowa have dispersed throughout the city to clear debris. An SBDR feeding team has prepared meals for recovery workers in the area.

Additional SBDR volunteers from Kansas-Nebraska and Florida already are on the ground in Marshalltown. Carlson, co-director of Iowa Baptist Disaster Relief, expects volunteers from other nearby states to arrive later this week and early next week. Teams from other states interested in providing assistance should contact their state disaster relief director.

“It looks like a war zone to tell you the truth,” Carlson said. “When you go downtown, you’ll see a lot of glass and brick everywhere.

“On the east part of town, there are about 10 blocks that are very heavily hit. There’s really not many trees standing. A lot of those homes aren’t livable,” Carlson said.

The EF-3 tornado injured at least 235 people in the town of 27,000 located 50 miles northeast of Des Moines. Carlson estimates that at least 100 homes were destroyed. Many more homes will take substantial work before people can return to live in them. Carlson believes it will take months, if not years, for Marshalltown to rebuild.

Some of the worst damage in Marshalltown came to the town’s courthouse and the brick buildings in the town square. In recent years officials and property owners had slowly worked to revamp the buildings, many of which are now destroyed. Jenny Etter, executive director of the Marshalltown Central Business District, estimates that the city had spent $50 million in building renovations since 2002.

A dozen or more tornadoes hit central Iowa last Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. The two biggest tornadoes, both rated EF-3, hit Marshalltown and Pella, with peak winds of 144 mph.

SBDR chaplains are also in Marshalltown to provide support and counsel to residents impacted by the tornado. Sam Porter, the North American Mission Board’s executive director of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, prays the SBDR response will provide volunteers opportunities to share the Gospel.

“[The] number one goal with disaster relief is to earn the right to share the Gospel,” Porter said. “We work with those impacted. We treat them with respect. We pray with them. When they ask the question, ‘What makes you do this for no charge?’ that’s when you’ve earned the right to share the Gospel.”

The Marshalltown tornado comes on the heels of the SBDR response to flooding in Des Moines, Iowa, where teams wrapped up work last week. Eight people came to faith last week during SBDR efforts in the capital city, Carlson said.

Porter and Carlson urge Southern Baptists to pray for Marshalltown and the rest of Central Iowa.

“Pray for all the people who live here,” Carlson said. “A lot of them lost their homes. They lost their cars. They lost their job. There is a lot of a need here.”

Tobin Perry is a writer for the North American Mission Board.,


Published April 17, 2019