Photo by Casey Jones.
By Josie Rabbitt and Daryn Sinclair
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The North American Mission Board (NAMB)’s exhibit at the annual Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), located in Birmingham, Ala., this year, featured four quadrants exhibiting Who’s Your One, Send Relief, Send Network and GenSend and Go2.
“The goal of NAMB’s booth this year was to meet the specific needs of pastors and those who visit us,” said Adam Hollingsworth, NAMB’s chief marketing officer. “This year’s booth was content rich and highlighted the current major ministry focuses of NAMB. To help dive into deeper conversation, we shared overviews of each ministry focus, prayer guides, and cards.”
“We wanted people to picture themselves in the context of the ministry opportunities we were offering,” Hollingsworth said.
NAMB’s booth challenged visitors to think deeper about future opportunities in ministry and encouraged attendees to mobilize their church members to choose someone with whom they would share the gospel.
Visitors to NAMB’s exhibit at the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in Birmingham, Ala., could record the first name of a person they are praying will come to know Christ and with whom they are committed to sharing the gospel. NAMB staff prayed for each name recorded. Photo by Casey Jones.
The Who’s Your One quadrant of NAMB’s SBC booth included a video aspect in which attendees could record videos of their stories praying for and pursuing their one person this year to use on social media or in their churches. Who’s Your One has been a successful gospel initiative led by SBC president J.D. Greear and Johnny Hunt, NAMB’s senior vice president of evangelism and leadership, since February 2019.
“Everyone at our booth asked the question, ’Who’s Your One?’ with someone,” said Hollingsworth. “We made sure that those who stopped by were able to learn about our evangelism resources through the Who’s Your One initiative and through other ministries we offer. Some of our resources included a kit pastors could order online at no cost to them to use to lead their congregations through the initiative.”
NAMB also handed out Who’s Your One frisbees as a daily reminder to attendees to find, pray for and love their one person for the sake of the gospel and Great Commission.
“It was awesome getting to visit the NAMB exhibit and learn about the Who’s Your One initiative from a NAMB employee,” said Bradley Bagwell, a messenger from Morning View Baptist Church in Mantachie, Miss. “I especially liked the interactive map component. When I texted ‘ONE’ to 888-123, I witnessed a lighted dot appear on the online map that represented the one I am praying for. It was extraordinary.”
“I had an incredible experience at the NAMB exhibit,” Green Acres Baptist Church pastor Neal Riley explained. “The friendly volunteer at the exhibit called me over from the crowd of people walking by and expressed interest in my story and my community. He even gave me a free Bluetooth speaker so that I could start listening to ‘Stories of Hope,’ NAMB’s new podcast.”
The exhibit hall area of the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex was open June 10-12. Many booths featured discussions on missions and the future of the SBC between Southern Baptist leaders.
Steve Turner discusses GO2, an initiative designed to encourage recent college graduates to spend at least two years on the mission field, with an attendee to the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting. Turner is senior director of next generation mobilization for the North American Mission Board. Photo by Casey Jones.
Among those who spoke at the exhibit hall were SBC president J.D. Greear and entity presidents Paul Chitwood from the International Mission Board, Kevin Ezell from the North American Mission Board and Ronnie Floyd from the SBC Executive Committee. They shared topics including discussions on Who’s Your One, how to encourage college students to be on mission, church planting and the vision for the SBC.
“Our programming included conversations about some of the challenges that Southern Baptists have faced this past year and are still currently facing,” said C. Ashley Clayton, vice president of the SBC Executive Committee for the Cooperative Program. “With these leaders at the helm of our three entities, we took the opportunity to focus on the future of these organizations and the vision of their leaders.”
Josie Rabbitt and Daryn Sinclair write for the North American Mission Board.
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 June 13, 2019