GRACEVILLE (BCF)—How do you improve upon a three-day mission’s conference featuring a dozen mission agencies, dynamic worship experiences, and a challenge to win the world to Christ? By ending the week with an additional dozen representatives from the International Mission Board (IMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville Oct. 25 hosted the IMB initiative known as “Embracing the Ends of the Earth.” The conference is designed to equip local church leaders to mobilize their churches for the task of engaging the approximately 3,800 unengaged and unreached people groups with the Gospel of Christ.
Nearly 160 participants from 59 churches took part. Some were BCF students who needed only to walk across the campus. But other groups arrived from as far away as Texas and West Tennessee, eager to be involved in the Great Commission in a more effective, more strategic way.
“The registered trademark of The Baptist College of Florida is ‘Changing the World Through the Unchanging Word, ®” BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen said in his welcome. “We will not change the world until we have first embraced the Gospel and our Lord’s Great Commission. Having done this, we can do no less than to embrace those who are still in darkness. We are honored to be a part of this great enterprise.”
Keynote speaker for the event was Craig Culbreth, lead strategist for the Florida Baptist Convention Missionary Support Group.
“We have been given the challenge to embrace the world and it is a door we are compelled to walk through for the sake of the Kingdom,” Culbreth said
Referring to 1 Cor. 16:9, he said “There is a door of opportunity open for me and there are many adversaries,” he continued. “No matter how difficult it might be. Florida Baptists can make the world smaller by embracing the people groups that desperately need the Gospel.”
Morning plenary sessions covered introductory topics to inform and inspire participants on what it means to “embrace” an unreached people group, the need for it, and the weighty considerations involved. Afternoon breakout sessions were provided according to specific locations around the world where the gospel is desperately needed. During the sessions, detailed resources were offered and strategies shared. The closing session consisted of a challenge to boldly carry out the task of embracing the world and sharing the gospel.
“We have always talked about adopting a people group,” said Chris Kroll, pastor of Hartford Baptist Church in Hartford, Ala. “Now we have a much better understanding of what that means and how to go about it. I am excited. My staff is excited. And my church folks are really excited.”
For more information on how to be involved with “Embracing the Ends of the Earth” or other BCF missions opportunities call 800-328-2660.
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