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SBC Cooperative Program Stage To Encourage a ‘Laser Focus’ on Unity, Generosity, Diversity

SBC Executive Committee leaders hold a panel discussion on the CP Stage at the 2021 SBC Annual Meeting in Nashville. Photo courtesy of Baptist Press.

ANAHEIM (BP) – A drive toward unity in the Gospel and taking the Great Commission to the nations will permeate the presentations and discussion at the Cooperative Program Stage at the 2022 SBC Annual Meeting, organizers say.

“It will be an opportunity for messengers to hear firsthand reports about a variety of SBC missions and ministries, and ‘listen in’ on hard-hitting and relevant panel discussions which orbit around important issues for Southern Baptists,” said Willie McLaurin, interim SBC Executive Committee president and CEO. “The 2022 Cooperative Program stage has been designed to put a laser-sharp focus on unity, generosity and diversity.”

The theme of the annual gathering, held this year at the Anaheim Convention Center, is “Jesus: The Center of It All.” Due to shifting personal schedules, messengers are encouraged to monitor the Annual Meeting app for the latest information on CP Stage speakers and times.

Both the International Mission Board and North American Mission Board will feature prominently, with the latter hosting various panel discussions ranging from the future of the SBC to church planting and adoption and foster care.

First Baptist Church, Cleveland, Tenn., Pastor Jordan Easley will moderate several of those discussions. The first will be “Creating A Church Culture That Looks Like & Ministers To Your Community” on June 13. It will be followed by “Forecasting the Future of the SBC: What Are The Main Things We Need To Focus On As We Move Forward To The Future?”

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National Next Gen Director Shane Pruitt and NAMB National Collegiate Director Paul Worcester will discuss student and collegiate ministry issues with “Reaching the Next Generation.” NAMB President Kevin Ezell – who alongside his wife, Lynette, has raised six children, three of them adopted – will lead a panel on adoption and foster care.

Sessions commence each day at 8:30, with the June 13 slate beginning with “Making Disciples Who Live on Mission” led by Sandy Wisdom-Martin, Woman’s Missionary Union executive director-treasurer. Later, the National African American Fellowship will host a panel on “Finishing Well” and that afternoon McLaurin will be interviewed about his new book “The Winning Way.”

“We all have lessons that we pick up along the way,” McLaurin said. “Those lessons have shaped our philosophy on how we engage and develop others. The lessons deepen our faith and challenge us to think and live differently. The set of working principles in this book were derived from such a lesson.”

IMB President Paul Chitwood will be on stage as well for at least two of the entity’s three sessions. Those sessions will cover the importance of having an ongoing Southern Baptist missionary presence around the world as well as how the IMB is sending more missionaries and opening more pathways for Southern Baptist churches to participate in short-term and long-term missions work.

The IMB and Send Relief have been active in ministering to those impacted by the war in Ukraine since the beginning. Another session will address how the IMB has used digital strategies for Gospel engagement in and around the country during the conflict.

Earlier this year Gateway Seminary President Jeff Iorg testified to what is special about ministry in California in a Baptist Press First Person. Those points are certain to resurface in the panel he will lead in the final Monday session – “As California Goes.”

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