Today was the quarterly board meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Missouri. We met at the First Baptist Church in Jefferson City for our gathering. It's a wonderful bunch of folks with great interest in ministry and missions and these encounters are always delightful. There are never any cross words, negative attitudes, or political maneuvering at our board meetings--just sharing of reports on the status of our Great Commission Initiatives which include leadership development, church planting, congregational health, missions mobilization, and resources and relationships, as well as looking at financial reports and other business matters. My fellow staff members of the BGCM are an awesome bunch of men and women and each of us are bivocational. We don't have a single fulltime staffer working for the convention and we consider that to be a big plus. Each team leader serves in the area of their giftedness and strengths, and that makes for a wonderful dynamic.
I was able to share with the group about 3 upcoming trips to Guatemala in the first 4 months of 2009. Four of us will be traveling there Jan. 5-10 for the latest round of leadership training conferences. I received a phone call while I was down in Texas over the Thanksgiving holidays and our partnership liaison asked if it would be possible for us to cover the expenses of some additional participants. Some new missions have been formed and their leaders would also like to attend the training. The result is that we're expecting 82 pastors and leaders for the January event--the largest group to date.
I purchased airline tickets yesterday for 9 members of our church here in Lee's Summit that will be traveling down Feb. 7-14 for a similar project to that which we did last year. We'll be working in the town of San Marcos this time. I've never been there but the pastors of two Baptist churches there have been coming to our training events. We'll be speaking in schools again as we did last year as well as conducting VBS for the churches. This year we'll focus on Adult Sunday School leadership training in the evenings. Our minister of education is joining me and will lead those sessions.
The FBC of Farmington looks like they will be taking 12 or 13 folks to work in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala the last week of April. Their pastor is on the BGCM board and I was able to visit with him a bit today about their progress in preparing for the mission trip.
We also talked some today about a major event here in the Kansas City area on April 2-4 of next year called the Baptist Border Crossing. Baptists of all stripes and varieties will be gathering at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Liberty, MO for a three-day event that's in a sense a follow-up to the New Baptist Covenant meeting of last year in Atlanta. We'll be hearing from Tony Campolo, David Coffey of the BWA, David Goatley of the North American Bapt. Fellowship and Pres. Jimmy Carter among others. It promises to be a great gathering.