SBC exhibits to feature dialogue & ministry

DALLAS (BP) -- Abuse, the future of the Southern Baptist Convention, racism and collegiate church planting are among trending topics the Cooperative Program booth will address at the 2018 SBC Annual Meeting in Dallas.

Donna Gaines, second from left, participates in a panel on women's discipleship in the exhibit hall at the 2017 SBC Annual Meeting. This year's exhibit hall will feature panels on a range of issues as well as information about national and international missions and ministry.
BP file photo by Bill Bangham
Interviews with SBC presidential contenders J.D. Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and Ken Hemphill, a North Greenville University administrator, also are scheduled during the June 11–13 sessions in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

C. Ashley Clayton, SBC Executive Committee vice president for CP and stewardship, called the lineup impressive and worthy of notice for visitors to the exhibit hall.

"Messengers and guests will have opportunities to hear directly from SBC leaders about topics and issues orbiting SBC life," Clayton told Baptist Press. "The CP stage and platform will feature SBC entity leaders, seminary presidents and faculty, missionaries, church planters, pastors, authors, experts and 'thought agents' discussing important and high-leverage issues of top interest to Southern Baptists."

In addition to the presidential candidates, speakers and panelists will include SBC President Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church near Memphis, Tenn.; former SBC President Fred Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans; D. August Boto, interim president of the Executive Committee; Russell Moore, president of the SBC Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission; and Beth Moore, founder of Living Proof Ministries.

Others are former National African American Fellowship President K. Marshall Williams, pastor of Nazarene Baptist Church in Philadelphia; Vance Pitman, former SBC Pastors' Conference president and pastor of Hope Church in Las Vegas, and Matt Carter, pastor of Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, Texas. Boyce College associate dean Kevin Jones and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary associate professor Jarvis Williams, coauthors of "Removing the Stain of Racism in the SBC," will be featured, as will Jonathan Akin, North American Mission Board director of young leader engagement; Jeff Palmer, executive director of Baptist Global Response; and Jonathan Howe, managing editor of LifeWayPastors.com and co-host of the SBC This Week podcast.

The CP platform will be located between the International Mission Board and North American Mission Board exhibits.

A full schedule of the three-day events, which begin at 8:30 a.m. daily, is available at TalkCP.com and the SBC mobile app and will be listed in the annual meeting's daily bulletin.

Also slated for the exhibit hall:

INTERNATIONAL MISSION BOARD

The IMB interactive exhibit will provide space for pastors and church leaders to explore opportunities and resources that IMB has to offer to help equip and lead their churches in missions. Guests will find specific mission projects, mission trips, mission team opportunities and digital training materials -- and plenty of IMB missionaries and staff ready to have a conversation about reaching the nations. Because every church plays a vital role in the Gospel going to the nations, IMB offers guests a mosaic wall and video booth to tell their mission stories.

NORTH AMERICAN MISSION BOARD

At the North American Mission Board's exhibit, attendees will learn about NAMB's two primary ministry areas, Send Relief and Send Network. Missionaries and leaders who serve throughout North America will be on hand to connect pastors and churches with missions opportunities. Attendees can learn about partnerships with missionaries and discover how their church can be on mission in North America.

"We always look forward to visiting with pastors and church members at our exhibit each year," NAMB President Kevin Ezell said. "This is a great opportunity for us to share how we can help them take the hope of the Gospel to their community and beyond."

Those who stop by NAMB's exhibit also will have a chance to share the story of their latest gospel conversation by recording a GC60 message as part of the GC (Gospel Conversation) Challenge (gcchallenge.com), which is an evangelism initiative for pastors and their churches.

Many of NAMB's leaders will also participate in conversations on the Cooperative Program stage that will take place throughout the annual meeting.

LIFEWAY CHRISTIAN RESOURCES

LifeWay's 20,400-square-foot exhibit will offer a wide selection of books, Bibles, small group studies and other Christian products. Among the exhibit's features:

-- LifeWay Groups Ministry staff will help messengers plan and select appropriate materials for group Bible studies. Attendees can learn more about LifeWay's ongoing studies The Gospel Project, Explore the Bible, Bible Studies for Life and SmallGroup.com, as well as short-term Bible studies.

-- Messengers and guests will be able to obtain information about two free movie screenings: "Indivisible," based on the story of Army Chaplain Darren Turner and his wife Heather, and "Unbroken: Path to Redemption," the sequel to the 2014 feature film "Unbroken." The film picks up where the first ended and follows World War II prisoner of war Louis Zamperini's life after the war, his struggle with alcoholism and PTSD, and his conversion at a Billy Graham crusade. Church leaders can learn more about opportunities to host movie screenings for their churches.

-- Book signings are scheduled in the LifeWay store throughout the convention by numerous authors including Jeff Iorg, Beth Moore, Ronnie Floyd, Jerry Vines, Jarvis Williams and Kevin Jones.

ETHICS & RELIGIOUS LIBERTY COMMISSION

Visitors to ERLC's booth in the exhibit hall can pick up the latest issue of Light Magazine. The current issue features an interview with Russell Moore and Andy Crouch on technology and the family and an interview between Lindsay Nicolet and the founder of the popular YouVersion Bible app. The theme of the issue is how Christians should engage technology in this digital age in areas like artificial intelligence, communications, economics and the home.

Booth visitors also can register to win an ERLC resource gift pack featuring the most recent books from ERLC authors. Each pack will include a full set of Gospel for Life series, edited by Russell Moore and Andrew T. Walker, as well as two complimentary registrations to the 2018 ERLC National Conference Oct. 11-13 in Dallas. This year's conference theme is "The Cross-Shaped Family."

GUIDESTONE FINANCIAL RESOURCES

GuideStone's Wellness Center once again will offer free health checks, valued at up to $150, allowing messengers and family members to have their blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose measured. Medical professionals will be on hand to answer any questions about the results. Fasting is not necessary for this year's tests.

In the main booth, representatives will offer reviews of participants' retirement accounts and answer questions about GuideStone's life and health plans, property and casualty coverage, and other GuideStone services. Churches will be able to order free materials for Mission:Dignity Sunday, to be held June 24, to support GuideStone's ministry to retired ministers and their widows in urgent financial need.

As part of GuideStone's celebration of its 100th anniversary, Mission:Dignity will provide prayer cards for recipients where messengers can write a personal note to recipients, thanking them for their service to the Lord throughout their lives. Additionally, a large photo display will be available for families to take photographs and post them on social media.

GATEWAY SEMINARY OF THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION

Gateway Seminary's exhibit booth will focus on the benefits of Gospel-centered education offered at the seminary's five urban campuses in the Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Phoenix and Portland areas as well as its Gateway Online program. Alumni and friends also may purchase tickets for the seminary's luncheon at the booth, if they are still available. Tickets are $10 and can be reserved online by clicking here. Seating is limited. The event will be held on Wednesday, June 13, in Ballroom D4, Level 3, of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. Gateway President Jeff Iorg will share about new programs at the seminary including the Chinese-English Bilingual Program, the Women's Network and the Jonathan Edwards Center. In addition, the seminary's distinguished alumni awards will be presented.

MIDWESTERN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

Guests visiting Midwestern Seminary's exhibit booth will receive a "For the Church" mug with the state design of their choice. Additionally, in celebration of the renaming of Midwestern's undergraduate program to Spurgeon College, each mug comes with a code to waive the application fee and a chance to win an iPad loaded with digital resources from Charles Spurgeon. Admissions team members will be ready to answer questions about Midwestern's opportunities for training in ministry and missions. The new Timothy Track and Ph.D. residency programs, the 81-hour M.Div. and other undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and online degree programs will be featured. Purchase tickets to the For the Church Dallas Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 12 for $15 and tickets to Midwestern's Alumni & Friends Luncheon at noon Wednesday, June 13 for $25. During the Tuesday luncheon, leaders such as J.D. Greear and Thom Rainer will discuss issues facing the denomination, while the Wednesday luncheon will highlight faculty at Midwestern as they discuss "Theology for the Church." Early bird pricing for events is available through June 8; register online at mbts.edu/sbc18.

NEW ORLEANS BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

The New Orleans Seminary exhibit booth will highlight main campus programs and distance learning options with a special emphasis on NOBTS' ongoing centennial celebration. The booth will feature a centennial-themed wall to serve as a backdrop for alumni social media posts. On Monday, June 11, NOBTS President Chuck Kelley will host a Centennial Cake Reception at the booth from 4-5 p.m. Throughout the annual meeting, cartoonist Joe McKeever, an NOBTS alumnus, will provide complimentary sketches at the booth and visitors may stop by for seminary literature, pens, Louisiana hot sauce and to enter a drawing for three gift packages (each includes a laptop messenger bag with 11 books written by NOBTS alumni and faculty members). The seminary enlistment team will be on site to guide potential students as they seek to answer God's call to ministry and prepare for service.

SOUTHEASTERN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

Southeastern Seminary's exhibit is designed to connect with attendees about how every believer can serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission. Learn about courses offered at the College at Southeastern and the seminary. Talk with admissions staff and faculty, including Danny Akin, SEBTS president, and Bruce Ashford, Chuck Lawless, Keith Whitfield, Jamie Dew and Jim Shaddix. The booth will feature book giveaways and the spring issue of the Southeastern magazine.

SOUTHERN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

Throughout the annual meeting, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary's exhibit booth will offer a variety of giveaways providing resources for pastors. One giveaway is a new resource by SBTS Press, "Essential Reading on Leadership," featuring contributions by seminary R. Albert Mohler Jr., SBTS president, Hershael W. York, Matthew J. Hall and others. Along with promotions and interaction opportunities with faculty, the seminary will distribute the spring issue of Southern Seminary Magazine. Themed around evangelism, the magazine features articles by Mohler and Adam W. Greenway, dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry, and a profile of SBTS alumnus Bland Mason. Convention attendees can connect with alumni, professors, friends and prospective students at the exhibit's seating area, as well as purchase tickets for the annual alumni luncheon on Wednesday, June 13. More information is available at sbts.edu/alumni/sbc18.

SOUTHWESTERN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

Southwestern Seminary's exhibit booth will reflect its ongoing passion for preaching the Word and reaching the world. Visit the booth to receive free books -- including one by Matt Queen, chair of evangelism, on how to mobilize churches for evangelism, and one containing 110 stories of Southwestern students, faculty and alumni sharing the Gospel with the lost, with many coming to saving faith in Christ. T-shirts and a gift for Southwestern alumni also will be available. SWBTS representatives and faculty will be present to discuss seminary programs and answer questions. The booth will highlight Southwestern's seven schools and share how each one equips students to make a global impact for the Kingdom of God.

WOMAN'S MISSIONARY UNION

WMU will feature three distinct ways to be involved in missions through interactive exhibits in the SBC exhibit hall:

Children's missions: Experience Burkina Faso in this fun, interactive exhibit for children that will also engage adults. Learn how WMU nurtures children in missions discipleship as they hear stories of how God is at work around the world through Southern Baptist missionaries. Kids and adults alike will enjoy experiencing Burkina Faso through missionary stories, missions activities, games and more. Take a fresh look at the ways WMU involves children in grades 1–6 in missions through Girls in Action, Royal Ambassadors, and Children in Action.

Seeking refuge: A Refugee Simulation: The International Mission Board, Baptist Global Response, North American Mission Board, Send Relief and WMU will jointly present a refugee simulation to help Southern Baptists understand the refugee crisis and discover ways to actively respond with Christlike compassion. Through this interactive experience, participants will have an opportunity to develop a greater understanding about the issues refugees face, learn what the Bible teaches about our response to refugees and explore how to go from having knowledge about this issue to engaging in ways to make difference for the cause of Christ. Plan 45 minutes for this experience.

WorldCrafts: A division of WMU, WorldCrafts develops sustainable, fair-trade businesses among impoverished people around the world. Its vision is to offer an income with dignity and the hope of everlasting life. To accomplish this vision, WorldCrafts partners with artisans throughout the world to bring their products to market. Visitors to the WorldCrafts exhibit will learn how to join this fair-trade ministry in providing hope to those in need. In addition to highlighting one of its newest partners, Begin Anew Refugee Artisan Group in Nashville, WorldCrafts also will introduce two new initiatives to bring hope to at-risk children and their families and to students involved in job-readiness ministries. These new initiatives invite churches and individuals to host 30-day online benefits for their chosen Baptist Children and Family Ministries and Christian Women's Job Corps/Christian Men's Job Corps sites. Twenty percent of all sales generated by each benefit go directly to the host's selected ministry. Visit WorldCrafts to learn how you can bring transformation to your community and around the world.

SEMINARY EXTENSION

Seminary Extension offers theological education and ministry training that is biblical, accessible and affordable. Most of its work is done through local churches and associations. Independent study for individual students also is available when other options are not practical. For information about how Seminary Extension serves Southern Baptists or about Seminary Extension studies, stop by booth #925. Seminary Extension director Randal Williams and student services associate Carmen Parker will be at the booth each day to provide assistance and to greet friends of the Southern Baptist service.

SOUTHERN BAPTIST FOUNDATION

Protect your loved ones and create your legacy, starting with information available at the Southern Baptist Foundation exhibit booth, relaying a wide range of investment and estate planning services. With just a little planning, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are taking care of your family and making an impact for Christ through charitable giving, which also offers opportunities for significant tax savings. Stop by the foundation's booth to and discover innovative ways to support your favorite causes and advance the Kingdom or email sbfdn@southernbaptistfoundation.org.

GLOBAL HUNGER RELIEF RUN

The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention is serving as a key partner for the Global Hunger Relief Run 2018, in addition to being one of the sponsors. Runners can register for the 5k and Fun Run on Monday and Tuesday mornings in the SBTC booth at the exhibit hall. In addition, packet pick-up for all participants will be from 2-4 p.m. on Tuesday at the SBTC booth. Runners will receive T-shirts, bibs and a swag bag for the race, slated for 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 13. After the race, all winners -- individual and team -- in the 5k will be recognized later Wednesday morning at the CP Stage at 11:20 a.m.

BAPTIST GLOBAL RESPONSE -- Get to know more about BGR and its projects while sipping a cup of Kingdom Growers Coffee. BGR works with Kingdom Growers to train coffee entrepreneurs in developing countries, and at this year's Southern Baptist Convention, you'll get to taste the results of that partnership at the BGR booth. You can also learn how you and your church can join BGR to aid the most vulnerable, restore families in crisis and empower communities. Just follow the smell of coffee to the booth's retro Volkswagen bus.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was updated May 24 with new exhibit hall details from Southeastern Seminary.

Compiled by Baptist Press editor Shawn Hendricks, senior editor Art Toalston and BP general assignment writer/editor Diana Chandler.
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