Thursday, January 20, 2011

Task Force takes first steps to advance Great Commission in California

Here's the press release from our first SBC Focus 21 Task Force Meeting last weekend. Please continue to keep us in prayer...

BAKERSFIELD—The Focus 21 Task Force, approved to study how California Southern Baptists can best fulfill the Great Commission, had its inaugural meeting Jan. 14-15 at Valley Baptist Church in Bakersfield.

Glen Paden, retired pastor and president emeritus of California Baptist Foundation, said all 12 members of the task force were present for the meeting and “spent time getting acquainted and agreeing on ground rules” by which the task force would operate.

“I don’t believe there was a single member of the task force who knew everybody else. It is amazing how God can take a group of people, weld them together and make them worthwhile. The task force has some incredibly gifted people on it which will serve this task force and California Southern Baptist Convention well.”

Paden said the “broadness of our task – the Great Commission – almost makes a specific agenda difficult to come up with. However, we looked at our assignment and decided our first job is to gather information. Therefore, we want to begin with our key leaders – the heads of our entities – CSBC, CBF and California Baptist University.”

Paden said the task force “plans to go beyond” the three agency heads, but no list has been formulated.

He said the task force will meet Feb. 25-26 and March 18-19 at Valley Baptist, a central location to all members.

The task force issued the following statement about its first gathering.

“Focus 21 Task Force met at Valley Baptist Church, Bakersfield, January 14-15.

“The history of our Southern Baptist Convention and California Southern Baptist Convention were presented and celebrated. We reviewed the Task Force assignment given at our recent convention meeting in Clovis. Roger Spradlin, pastor of Valley Baptist Church of Bakersfield who served on the SBC Great Commission Resurgence Task Force, reported on its implications for California.

“Gathering information and hearing from key leaders was agreed as a “first step.” Invitations have been extended to the Executive Director of the CSBC, the President of California Baptist University and the President of California Baptist Foundation to address the Task Force. A request has been made to dialogue with Directors of Missions at their annual conference in March.

“The Task Force has created an e-mail address to receive comments and questions from California Southern Baptist constituents. Please address these to: Focus21taskforce [at] gmail [dot] com.

“Your prayers are requested as we focus on reaching California for Christ.”

Glen Paden, Chairman

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