By Shannon Baker, BCMD National Correspondent
Annual Meeting of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware, Nov. 8-10
TOWSON, Md.—Every year, churches in the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware gather together to experience dynamic speakers, inspirational music, fellowship, and this year for the first time ever, breakout sessions.
To be held Nov. 8-10 at the Sheraton Towson on 903 Dulaney Valley Road in Towson, Md., this year’s annual meeting will offer several opportunities designed to help messengers “connect” with God, each other and the community.
“This year’s theme is embodied in one word—Connect,” explained David Lee, BCM/D executive director. “The Order of Business Committee felt that we needed to remind one another that we are ‘connected in Christ’ and must ‘connect’ with one another in order to accomplish the Great Commission.”
Lee noted that messengers will notice several changes in this year’s meeting.
“First, the President will call the convention to order on Sunday evening rather than Monday afternoon,” Lee shared, indicating that there will be two major addresses on that Sunday evening. “We are hoping that all of our messengers will be present as we focus on ‘Connecting to God.’”
Lee also explained that the unique feature on Monday morning will be a series of “brunches” providing dialogue opportunities with key national leaders. Plans for separate brunches for ministers, ministers’ wives and lay leaders are underway.
On Monday afternoon, Fred Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Church in New Orleans, La., will preach followed by a series of equipping breakout opportunities.
In these breakout sessions, messengers can explore with national and local church and ministry leaders on the topics “helping hurting people,” “ministries that impact,” “building an evangelism strategy,” “discipling believers,” “impacting our changing culture” or if they choose, they may take a firsthand missions tour of Baltimore, Lee said.
There will also be a two-session workshop for worship leaders and a “money management” workshop led by Scott Preissler from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, he added.
The Monday evening session will be similar to past years except that messengers will hear both the President’s Address and a message from the Executive Director. Election of Officers will still be held on Monday evening.
Tuesday morning will be a business session with two keynote addresses, one from Scott Preissler and another by Larry Steen, who serves as pastor of Westminster Church in Westminster, Md.
Convention reports will be primarily delivered via brief video presentations.
“We felt that we could better utilize the valuable time of our messengers,” said Lee, explaining the rationale behind all the exciting changes. “We can conduct our business and at the same time magnify our opportunities for inspiration and equipping.”
Concerning what he hopes this year’s annual meeting will accomplish, Lee continued, “I want messengers to feel connected. I want them to leave energized to do Great Commission work. I want each church leader to carry with them more tools to multiply their ministries. I want them to have a better understanding and appreciation for our work as Maryland/Delaware Baptists.”
He added, “I sincerely believe that Maryland/Delaware Baptists will leave ‘Connect: A Conference Celebrating the Great Commission’ with a renewed spirit. I encourage each church to send their leaders this year to what I believe will be a fresh experience.”