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Site launched to link ‘missional’ Baptists
Bob Allen, Associated Baptist Press
May 11, 2010
3 MIN READ TIME

Site launched to link ‘missional’ Baptists

Site launched to link ‘missional’ Baptists
Bob Allen, Associated Baptist Press
May 11, 2010

OKLAHOMA CITY — A web site

launched May 10 aims to become an online platform for churches, mission

organizations, strategists and international partners to collaborate to share

the gospel in the 21st century.

“This was born out of a

desire for churches to reclaim their place in missions,” Tom Ogburn, senior

pastor of First

Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, and member of a facilitating team for

Missions Together, an idea born at a meeting of mission-minded Baptist pastors

last fall.

Ogburn was among several

pastors and other leaders who have been seeking mission partners and

connections that go beyond denominational lines and structures. They wanted to

cooperate with partners who had a similar vision, to help create opportunities

they could not create on their own and to share resources and ideas. But there

wasn’t a good way to connect people all over the world apart from

identity-driven organizations like the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and

Southern Baptist Convention.

Together with Dennis

Wiles, pastor of First Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, Ogburn invited about

50 pastors to Oklahoma City in October 2009 to envision what a new

collaboration might look like. Consensus from both the meeting and two

follow-up conference calls was that what was not needed is the birth of a new

denomination or mission organization requiring administrative leadership,

offices and staffing. This time the choice was to create an open-source web site

to share documents, contacts, relationships and opportunities for churches

already involved in missions.

“Missions Together seeks, in

God’s power, to build a covenantal collective of mission-passionate churches,

missions partners, strategists and implementers that assist churches and

facilitates accomplishing the Great Commission without a sense of competition

and without compromising the integrity of our ecclesiology,” says a statement

on the site

missionstogether.org.

Missionstogether.org is a

public site that serves as an entry point for those desiring to add their voice

to the collaboration. The actual resources are being collected on a

password-protected site, missionstogether.net, which costs $25 a month to join.

Limiting access to

subscribers, Ogburn said, will allow users to post information like e-mail

addresses they might be reluctant to share in an open environment where people

can lurk or comment without using their real names.

The facilitation team has

seeded the site with some initial information including educational resources,

training opportunities, links to mission organizations, and volunteer

opportunities both overseas and in the United States. The concept is for those

resources to multiply exponentially as subscribers use the site and begin to

upload documents, post links to websites and exchange ideas on discussion

boards.

The platform is built with

Microsoft Sharepoint, a content-management system with search capabilities

designed for businesses to work in a Web-based collaborative environment.

“It has been encouraging to

see congregations connecting with one another and sharing missional resource

and relationship information with each other even before we establish the

website,” Ogburn said in an e-mail announcing the launch sent to people who

attended the original Oklahoma City meeting. “I can hardly wait to see what God

will do in us and through us as we discover new ways to empower each other and

partner with one another for the sake of the Kingdom.”

(EDITOR’S NOTE — Allen is

senior writer for Associated Baptist Press.)