NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Changes are in store for the 2011
Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) annual meeting — including two missionary
appointment services, fewer business sessions and no night sessions — in hopes
that more people will participate, the chairman of the committee planning that
meeting announced Jan. 28.
Proposed changes include trimming the program to morning and afternoon business
sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 14-15, and scheduling missionary
appointment services for both of the convention’s two mission boards, said Will
Langford, pastor of Great Bridge Baptist Church in Chesapeake, Va., and the
chairman of the Committee on Order of Business.
The annual meeting will be in Phoenix at the Phoenix Convention Center.
“The Committee on the Order of Business has been working diligently with SBC
President Bryant Wright to make adjustments to the 2011 Annual SBC Convention
Program,” Langford said in a statement released to Baptist Press.
“Proposed changes include trimming down the number of program items so as to
better emphasize the Great Commission work of the SBC entities and
missionaries,” Langford said. “Changes to the program will consolidate the
meeting into four sessions that will be morning and afternoon sessions on both
Tuesday and Wednesday without unduly restricting seminary and other special
luncheon time. The evening sessions will be eliminated.”
The committee believes eliminating the evening sessions and trimming the
program items will enhance participation and free up time for messengers and
guests for fellowship, discussions and family, Langford said.
“Also, it is the desire of the committee that the International Mission Board
and the North American Mission Board will be able to include missionary
commissioning services as part of their reports, thereby enhancing the
experience of the missionary, the messenger, the mission entities, and lifting
up the Great Commission emphasis,” Langford said.
“By these changes we seek to promote greater attendance and participation in
our annual meeting, and in providing this general preview the hope that anyone
who has not yet made plans to attend might be encouraged by these new enhancements
to do so,” Langford noted. “These are high bars to hurdle, and we are still
working on details, but feel confident that when we announce the program on the
traditional date of May 1, the new format will be one that is well-received by
the vast majority of Southern Baptists.”
Other members of the SBC Committee on Order of Business are Emerson Falls,
pastor of Glorieta Baptist Church in Oklahoma City; Stan Buckley, pastor of
First Baptist Church in Jackson, Miss.; Rudy Yakym Jr., businessman from South
Bend, Ind.; John B. Hoychick, attorney from Rayville, La.; and William A.
(Andy) Chambers, vice president for student development at Missouri Baptist
University. SBC President Bryant Wright is an ex officio member of the
committee. Jason Breland, worship pastor of First Baptist North Mobile in
Saraland, Ala., is the music director for the annual meeting.
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