The Collegiate Partnerships Team of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) is holding a new conference for both seasoned and emerging collegiate leaders. Jonathan Yarboro, Western Region Consultant for Collegiate Partnerships said, “We came up with something N.C. Baptists have never seen before. Over a 24-hour timeframe, we are going to have seven collegiate ministry practitioners – all of whom use different models of ministry and don’t necessarily agree with each other – present their big idea for ministry in a mere 15 minutes.”
After the presentations the microphone will be handed to the audience to ask hard, probing questions. Yarboro described Converge365 as “a fast-paced, unfiltered event built around cutting-edge ideas for collegiate ministry.” There will be no music and no preaching. It is designed to be “a consortium of leaders from every collegiate context imaginable sharpening and challenging each other, all for the sake of engaging collegiate communities more effectively.”
The shift in collegiate strategy for N.C. Baptists has been a reversal of ownership and support. For decades, the BSC employed professional campus ministers at select schools across the state and asked the local churches to support the ministry of the BSC.
In the new strategy, local churches are engaged in contextualized ministry utilizing multiple models, while the BSC supports the work of the churches.
“The bumps in the transition are largely due to a lack of training,” Yarboro said. “Churches aren’t aware of alternative collegiate ministry models and just haven’t done it before. Converge365 is about changing that.”
The conference features many leaders including Brian Frye, National Collegiate Strategist for NAMB; Stephen Wagoner, lead pastor of Church of the Triad in Greensboro; Kelton Hinton, director of missions, Johnston Baptist Association; Gene Parr, Morehead State University in Kentucky; Joy Turner, Baptist University of Oklahoma; Josh Hyde, lead pastor of Campus Church at Western Carolina in Sylva; Reggie Hunt, pastor of Cornerstone Summit in Boone and Appalachian State University football chaplain; Frank White, BSC staff; Rick Hughes, BSC staff; Faith Beam, Campbell University; and Seth Norris, pastor of Perkinsville Baptist Church in Boone.
The event is set for Sept. 26-27 at N.C. Central University. The cost is $50. Teams who register three persons will receive a fourth registration free. The conference will be limited to the first 180 people who register. Register at ncbaptist.org/converge or call (800) 395-5102, ext. 5536.