Posted: 5/25/17 at 1:20pm.
Lynchburg, Va. – The Virginia Baptist Mission Council gathered together last month at Eagle Eyrie Baptist Conference Center for its annual meeting. Chair Stu Crow opened the meeting, saying “I’m hopeful this will be a great time of sharing, getting to know your fellow Virginia Baptists, and hearing about the great things happening across the BGAV.”
In an opening devotion, 1st Vice President George Fletcher reflected on the recent Easter holiday and the new things that God is doing among us. “We enter into this time together to talk, to share, to listen, and to dream in this new day,” he told Mission Council members.
Crow then reminded Mission Council members of how they support the overall purpose of the BGAV, touching on various ways members can provide input not just at that meeting but throughout the entire year.
Treasurer David Washburn commented, “Thank you for your continued faithfulness,” as he gave an upbeat financial report, focusing on the 2016 Cooperative Missions giving and the early report for 2017.
Executive Director John Upton asked Mission Council members, “What’s the why?” of the BGAV. He introduced a draft mission statement, which members were able to wrestle with later during their dialogue session with the Executive Board. Upton lifted up highlights from across the ministries of the BGAV, including the fact that in the last 12 months the BGAV has planted 14 new churches with 40 more in the pipeline. “As you can see,” he said, “we’re pretty heavy into church planting.”
Upton highlighted the work that field strategists are doing in partnership with mission council members in each region, pioneering new events and initiatives across Virginia that are contextualized for each part of the state. He concluded by focusing on the missions work Virginia Baptists do together, specifically sharing a powerful story from the work done in partnership with Ghana Baptists through More Than Nets.
During the afternoon sessions, Mission Council members had opportunities to dialogue with BGAV staff members as well as Executive Board members. One of the topics of discussion was about the role of mission council members as advocates for the BGAV. “What reason would you give to be a part of the BGAV?” Crow asked.
Some of the answers shared were:
- “It’s an opportunity to be involved in hands-on missions. We can do more together than we can alone.”
- “There’s so much passion and so many roads of ministry.”
- “Most exciting movement going.”
- “Opportunities are already set up and can be quickly implemented [such as] Disaster Relief, pastoral assistance, etc. with little red tape.”
The meeting concluded with music and prayer.