Mike Sowers has been tapped as Senior Consultant for the newly created Office of Great Commission Partnerships (GCP) for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC). Sowers, who for the past three years served as youth missions consultant for North Carolina Baptist Men, begins Sept. 1.
The BSC Executive Committee approved creating the new office at its July 15 meeting in Cary.
When the BSC began a partnership with the Metropolitan New York Baptist Association earlier this year Sowers was asked to serve as coordinator of the new partnership, which he will continue to do in his new position. Sowers is looking forward to continuing efforts necessary to fulfill the projects previously identified in the partnership and expanding in strategic ways this unique partnership between the BSC and the Metropolitan New York Baptist Association. The New York partnership is one of five current BSC partnerships to which Sowers will give oversight, the others including Appalachian Regional Ministry, Eastern Canada, New England and Thailand.
Before joining N.C. Baptist Men, Sowers served five and a half years as pastor of Hope Mills Baptist Church in Hope Mills. Prior to that he served as youth pastor for three years at Guilford Baptist Church in Greensboro.
During the time at Guilford the Lord began burdening Sowers’ heart for missions and for helping get others, especially youth, plugged into missions. Sowers developed a three-year missions strategy for the youth at Guilford, culminating in an international mission trip to Honduras with Deep Impact.
Deep Impact, sponsored by N.C. Baptist Men, is a week of missions involvement and worship for middle and high school students. As youth missions consultant Sowers was responsible for leading and developing these mission weeks. In the past three years Deep Impact added more mission weeks at more locations across the state. “Deep Impact is an important part of introducing students to missions and to what God is doing in their community and in the world,” Sowers said.
As pastor of Hope Mills, Sowers had opportunity to not just encourage teenagers in missions, but to lead a congregation on a journey of discovering what it means to truly live with a missional mindset. Situated in a town transforming from a mill village into a commuter town for Fort Bragg, Sowers and the congregation set out on a two and a half year process of revisioning how to be more effective in reaching people with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Sowers helped point the congregation to the Scriptures as they sought to answer the question, “What does it mean to be the church of Jesus Christ?”
The congregation stepped up its involvement in local missions, starting a homeless ministry that continues to increase in influence. They began serving in national and international missions.
“We developed a comprehensive missions strategy,” Sowers said. “You can’t just go on a mission trip or give to missions or pray about missions. There needs to be a comprehensive strategy that encompasses all of that if the DNA of the church is going to change.”
As a former pastor, Sowers can relate to the challenges pastors face when it comes to figuring out the needs in their community and developing a missional strategy for the community and the church. In his new role, reaching out to pastors will be a priority for Sowers. His goal is to help pastors become missions strategists who lead congregations in local, national and international missions.
Another area of development Sowers will focus on is training young leaders in what it means to be intentional in missions and missions leadership.
“I have seen the urgency people have to do missions and to make a difference, but they do not always have the tools they need,” Sowers said. “The Office of Great Commission Partnerships will seek to help equip North Carolina Baptists for missions and to introduce new ways of engaging in missions.”
Sowers received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and his master of divinity from Campbell University. Sowers and his wife Sara have two children, Andrew, 13 and Luke, 10.