SBC DIGEST: Arkansas prayer emphasis; Free 'Called to Lead,' online conference
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) -- With the recent decision to cancel the 2020 Woman's Missionary Union Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting, the national WMU officers will remain in office for another year.
The Executive Board of the WMU voted March 25 to cancel its annual meeting, which had been scheduled for June 7-8, 2020, in Orlando, Fla., because of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
WMU's governing documents state that officers are elected each year at the WMU Annual Meeting. With the cancellation, the current terms of service for national officers will continue until the next annual meeting. Linda Cooper of Bowling Green, Ky., will continue serving as president; and Shirley McDonald of Stephenville, Texas, will continue as recording secretary.
Arkansas Baptists' Prayer Task Force adopts National Day of Prayer emphasis
By Greg Addison
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (BP) -- The need for prayer grows with each passing day -- COVID-19, tornadoes and flooding, and upcoming national elections just to start the list. The National Day of Prayer (NDOP) on Thursday, May 7, 2020, is an opportunity for Arkansas Baptists to lead the state and nation in calling on the Lord.
The Prayer Task Force of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention is calling on Arkansas Baptists to join together in an emphasis, Pray714, beginning May 1, 2020, and culminating in each church's NDOP activities May 7, 2020.
Pray714 is a simple, clear method for coordinating praying efforts during the entire week leading up to the National Day of Prayer itself. The Prayer Task Force has worked for more than five years to develop practical ways for pastors and church prayer ministry leaders to engage their churches in praying specifically for revival and spiritual awakening.
Recently, the task force has placed an emphasis on engaging churches with the NDOP. The task force has worked to help churches increase their prayer efforts by developing a "rhythm" of prayer in their annual church calendar. They have modeled a rhythm with their major emphases each year.
The Pastors' Prayer Gathering each August engages pastoral leadership in actual prayer; the annual workshop each January equips both pastoral and lay leaders in principles and practical methodologies of prayer; and the NDOP in May provides a place for the leaders to engage the entire church in a prayer emphasis.
This year's NDOP emphasis was developed by one of the task force leaders, pastor Bill Elliff of Summit Church, along with his church staff. The plan, adopted by the task force in a Zoom meeting on April 16, uses a prayer focus for each day based on seven truths taken from 2 Chronicles 7:14. Pray714 asks each person to commit in two ways: 1) commit to pray at 7:14 a.m. and 7:14 p.m. each day, using that day's focus; and 2) to fast from at least one meal per day as part of the ongoing commitment.
The plan is easy to teach and follow with any group of leaders or a church family. Simplicity was an important feature of this plan given the current situation for churches during the COVID-19 crisis. Simplicity does not, however, mean a loss of impact for the plan when it creates a platform for hundreds of Arkansas Baptist churches to pray in concern for a move of God.
Besides Elliff, the Prayer Task Force includes Manley Beasley, Jr., Diane Blackwood, Don Moore, Roderick Rogers, Ken Shaddox, Lowell Snow, Larry White, Dennis Wilkins, Warren Gasaway and Jimmie Sheffield.
A version of the Pray714 plan is available on the ABSC website at www.ABSC.org/prayer.
In light of the urgent needs in our nation, the state convention invites Arkansas Baptists to join in "7 Days of Fasting and Prayer," May 1-7. Plan to end the fast the night of the National Day of Prayer, uniting with millions of people across the nation in prayer. The prayer focus is 2 Chronicles 7:13-15.
'Called to Lead,' a free online leadership conference, to be hosted by Cross Church
By Cross Church staff
SPRINGDALE, Ark. (BP) -- Several Southern Baptist leaders are scheduled to headline a free online conference on church leadership. "Called to Lead” will be held at Cross Church in Springdale, Ark., on Wednesday, April 29, at 1 p.m. (CT).
The speakers include: R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.; Steve Gaines, senior pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church near Memphis; Jimmy Scroggins, senior pastor of Family Church in West Palm Beach, Fla.; and Jordan Easley, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Cleveland, Tenn.
Cross Church senior pastor Nick Floyd will host the conference, which will discuss the practical nature of some of the most critical aspects of leadership in the church.
To register go to: calledtolead.live/.