Missions: Think Globally But Act Locally
By Jeff Swart, BMA of America President
The 2020 annual meeting of the churches of the Baptist Missionary Association of America will convene April 27-29 in Waxahachie, Texas. The week will be jam-packed with something for everyone. Please make plans now to attend this very important meeting.
We will meet in a local church for the first time since the early years of our association. Pastor Richard Smith and the members of Farley Street Baptist Church have been preparing for our arrival for nearly a year now. We think you will find the facilities warm, inviting and conducive to worship.
The theme of this year’s meeting will be “Missions: Think Globally But Act Locally.” It seems both scriptural and logical to “think globally” — support missionaries around the globe; and, at the same time, “act locally” — share the gospel with our neighbors next door or across the street. During our time together, we hope to share some ideas that will increase the effectiveness of missions in our local churches that will impact our missions footprint around the world.
The officers of your national association and the Committee on Arrangements were pleased by the way the changes made last year to the structure of the national meeting were received. Therefore, we decided to use the same format for the 2020 BMAA of America national meeting.
We are planning to repeat three of the new features that were introduced at last year’s national meeting — an orientation to the BMA for new pastors and churches, a BMA Town Hall Meeting and a Pastors Table Talk Forum:
At the orientation for new pastors and churches, we will introduce the newest members to our association and our department directors and explain what can be expected during the national meeting.
At the BMA Town Hall Meeting, our directors will cast their vision for the future of their departments and our association. Then your input will be welcomed concerning what you have heard, or you may ask any question you might have.
At the Pastors Table Talk Forum, pastors will choose to sit at a table with other pastors and discuss both the theoretical and pragmatic aspects of a ministry-related topic. Then church leaders will have the opportunity to move to a different table to discuss a different ministry-related topic of their choice. This will be an occasion when we will learn from one another. This was a very practical, helpful and popular session for church leaders last year, and we expect the same this year.
One new feature that we will unveil at this year’s meeting is what we have called the BMA Missions Experience, which will afford attendees the opportunity to see missions in a whole new way! The BMA Missions Experience, located in the Farley Street Baptist Family Life Center, will be designed to allow participants to both see, understand and relate to God’s great mission around the world. We encourage each person attending the BMA National Meeting to check the schedule for times that the Missions Experience will be open and stop by. We anticipate that God’s people will be inspired by God’s heart for the nations of the world.
There will be two special sermons during our meeting. On Monday evening, I will speak on the theme of this year’s associational meeting — “Missions: Think Globally But Act Locally.” On Tuesday evening, the annual sermon will be preached by Luis Ortega, Director of Operations for Lifeword Media Ministries.
The National WMA officers will meet Monday morning, and the WMA business meeting will be held at 3 p.m. Monday. Both meetings will be held at the nearby Heritage Baptist Church. The WMA will host a women’s conference, open to all ladies attending the national meeting, at 9 a.m. on Tuesday morning, also at Heritage Baptist Church.
Tuesday morning at Farley Street Baptist Church, your departments will sponsor eight breakout sessions that will be open to all who desire to attend. You can find these breakout sessions listed on the meeting schedule at www.bmaamerica.org (BMA Conferences/2020 National Meeting), in the January 22 issue of the Trumpet and also on the Baptist Trumpet website at www.baptisttrumpet.com/bmaa2020meeting.
During the week, the Erwins and the Martins will be ministering to us through their music, and we think that you will also enjoy the wit and wisdom of Jason Earle.
Another added feature will occur on Monday morning, April 27. The BMA of Texas is sponsoring a leadership conference entitled “Using Your Edge.” All early arrivals are invited to attend this conference in the facilities of First Baptist Church of Red Oak, located a few miles north of Waxahachie.
We learned last year that it is possible to conduct all associational business in one session of the association; so the business portion of the national meeting will be conducted on Wednesday morning.
Coming by Mid-March
BMAA Clerk James Ray Raines has been warning us for years that we cannot continue our current rate of support and spending out of the Minute and Meeting fund or it will be depleted. Bro. Raines’ warning has gone unheeded, and now we have come to the place where we do not have the funds to print the annual Reports and Recommendations booklet. Therefore by Mid-March, we will make the following avenues available for you to receive this very important information:
• The annual Reports and Recommendations booklet can be accessed online at www.bmaamerica.org.
• The annual Reports and Recommendations booklet can be accessed by downloading the free Lifeword app.
• The recommendations of each department will be printed in our state newspapers.
• A limited number of printed copies will be available during the national meeting.
We anticipate saving approximately $10,000 by not printing the Reports and Recommendations booklet.
As in recent years, we will be offering the extended reports of your departments by way of:
• Video reports by our directors that can be accessed before, during and after the meeting at www.bmaamerica.org.
• A special BMA Town Hall meeting where you may ask the directors any question that you might have.
• And as always, our department directors will be available in the display room at various times throughout the meeting where you may converse with them privately.
Our goal is to share as much information with our churches as conveniently and as economically as possible. After all, these ministries are your ministries.
We look forward to seeing you in Waxahachie on April 27!