Skip to main content

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

Related post:


Popular posts from this blog

Herod who??

I must admit, I still get confused by all those Herods mentioned in the New Testament. To keep them straight, I find it helpful to read the biblical text with a genealogy of Herod's family at my side (here's one from the Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible).

Well, so much for simplicity. Even this chart looks more like an engineering schematic than a family tree. To boil it all down, there are four key members of Herod's family mentioned in the Gospels...

Herod the Great. This is the original Herod of them all. The very name sent shivers up the spine of ancient Jews. Son of Antipater, he was a cunning politician, ruthless dictator, and brilliant architect. He was responsible for constructing the temple mount in Jerusalem, fortress palaces at Herodium and Masada, and a harbor at Caesarea -- all which continue to astound archaeologists and engineers today. In addition to killing several kin who threatened his throne, Herod murdered all the young boys in Bethlehem at the news that…

A review of the HCSB Study Bible

Today, I finally had a chance to browse through a copy of the new HCSB Study Bible.

The HCSB Study Bible is 2272 pages long (plus a few maps). As expected, the translation is the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) version. It ranks well and rivals the ESV in both exegetical accuracy and literary quality. Some of its unique features are:
Its translation of yahweh as "Yahweh" (instead of LORD) in the OT when referring to the personal name of God (e.g. Ex. 3:15)The translation of doulos as "slave" instead of "servant" or "bondservant" in the New Testament (e.g. Rom. 1:1)The translation of christos as "Messiah" in the New Testament, whenever referring to the Jewish expectation of the Messiah (e.g. Matt. 16:16)Capitalized pronouns when referring to GodThe use of contractions in direct discourse (e.g. "let's go" in Mark 1:38)A wonderful feature called bullet notes (small bullets next to key words that may be unfamiliar, poin…

Restoring old photos of Israel

In his latest newsletter, Todd Bolen explains the painstaking process of restoring old photos to create the 8-volume American Colony and Eric Matson Collection. It’s a fascinating project that really makes you appreciate the end result. Here’s his full article…Shortly after producing a collection of modern-day photographs in the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands (initially released in January 2000), I began work on a supplementary collection that would peel back the recent layers of time to reveal the sites of the Holy Land before the changes brought by modernization.  The initial fruit of this work was the release of 8 volumes of Historic Views of the Holy Land in November 2004.About that same time, I learned that the Library of Congress was digitizing the G. Eric and Edith Matson Negatives.  Between 1966 and 1981, Eric Matson and his beneficiary donated this collection to the Library of Congress. But public access was limited and costly until 2004, when the first negatives were scann…