2017 BCM/D Annual Meeting, November 12-13
Kettering Baptist Church, Upper Marlboro, Md.
By Kevin Smith, Executive Director of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware
Once each year, the churches that support the work of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware send messengers from their congregations to set the future course for their cooperative ministry. This year we will gather at the Kettering Baptist Church on November 12th and 13th. We thank the Lord for the hospitality of Pastor Bucas Sterling and the members of the church.
We have made some adjustments to (hopefully) increase participation. First, the length of the annual meeting has been shortened – Sunday evening and Monday. Hopefully, this will reduce travel costs and time away from regular life for our messengers and guests. Second, childcare options have been expanded to serve attendees with small children. We pray that this new formatting will encourage messengers and guests, pastors (especially bivocational) and church members to eagerly participate in this year’s annual meeting.
The annual meeting accomplishes at least four major things that benefit our missionary efforts:
WORSHIP & FELLOWSHIP
Bible study, preaching, music, shared meals, and exhibits provide an atmosphere of spiritual encouragement and challenge. This is a significant aspect of our annual meeting as relationships are built and strengthened around the Word of God.
Our gathering theme is “United in Prayer, seeking Christ’s Spirit,” so we will pray, extensively. As a matter of fact, we will have very focused corporate, small group, and individual times of prayer that will focus on the health and fruitfulness of our churches – both established churches and newer churches. In a world of pride, overconfidence, and self-sufficiency, MD/DE Baptists will cry out to God in prayer! We realize that we can do nothing without Him (John 15:4).
A selection of breakout sessions, auxiliary meetings, and after-hour fellowships are a highlight of the week. These training opportunities are geared to various aspects of church life, both for church members and pastors. For example, there will be a breakout session on financial controls and financial issues that will be open to pastors, treasurers, and finance committees. We hope that churches will send teams of members to benefit from the training sessions offered at the annual meeting.
The election of officers and committees, the passage of a budget and a variety of other decisions make possible the ministry done between sessions. While these times of discussion and voting usually take only a small portion of the time the convention is gathered, they are indispensable to the work of the convention. Also, it is important for us to receive reports from ministries we support all year.
The plural person (we, you all, they) is prominent in the Bible. God redeems His people. In our individualistic society, we need to remind ourselves about the communal nature of Christ’s followers – the Church. It is good for us to gather together to praise Christ, pray, and share meals and time together. It glorifies Jesus and provides a needed testimony in a divided society.
As different MD/DE Baptists gather – different congregations, ethnicities, languages, geographic areas, styles, ages, socio-economic statuses, cultures – in one accord, in the Spirit of Christ, it gives testimony to the marvelous grace of God (Ephesians 2).
Brothers and sisters, please make plans to gather with other MD/DE Baptists at our annual meeting.
RSVP at www.bcmd.org/annual | (800) 466-5290