Convention Staff Outline the SCBC Four Priorities
Messengers heard updates from Mark A, associate executive director/chief strategist on the convention staff, and a few members of his ministry team. He presented growth and decline projections for South Carolina to messengers, revealing the state to be the fifth fastest growing state in the country. “We are surrounded by people who are coming to us, which means we’re surrounded by opportunity because we’re surrounded by lostness. If we took 1,000 people from South Carolina, at least 700 would have no relationship with Christ. Every church has the capacity to reach the lost,” he says.
Steve Rohrlack, team leader for church strengthening and discipleship team, shared how his team is ready to assist churches with hands-on assistance to help members take the next step in ministry, with leader care, and helping churches propel into their communities to engage with the lost.
Lee Clamp, team leader for evangelism, gave updates on how his team has worked across the state through women’s ministry, Baptist Collegiate Ministry, and evangelism. He said the one barrier to sharing the hope of the gospel is not having a relationship with someone far from God, as many believers can be surrounded only by other believers. “We believe if conversations go up, conversions will go up. God is on the move.”
Clamp introduced one of the 250,000 students reported to be on college campuses across South Carolina, Kyheem Webb, of Clinton College. Webb told messengers that just a few years ago he was a nonbeliever, who knew nothing of the gospel. “When I started going to BCM and learned about Christ, it helped me move and mature spiritually. As I grew, I spread the gospel to others that I had connections with and it helped them grow too,” he says.
Clamp added that, because of the investment of South Carolina Baptists, Webb is a Jesus-follower who is being sent to start new works. “If every Baptist took the great commission personally, prayed for three people far from God, cared for two and shared ongoing gospel conversation and shared with just one a year – we’d be done with the saturation of the gospel in SC in one decade – it’s not hard. Our business is about people,” Clamp says.
Tim Rice, team leader for the missions mobilization team, reported that 457 volunteer messengers participated in projects related to ‘One Day,’ on Tuesday afternoon. “We want every life in South Carolina to be saturated with the gospel, so that we can send people to every part of the state, nation, and around the world,” he says. Rice introduced messengers to former Burmese refugee Kosu, who is now a local missionary.
In his report of new work, Jay Hardwick, team leader for the church planting team, told messengers that conventions don’t plant churches, churches plant churches. He shared updates on church plants reaching the lost in the Beaufort and Greenville communities, which are among 60 new churches planted in the last year. “The reality in South Carolina is that three out of four people you meet each day are nonbelievers. As our state continues to grow, we have an opportunity to reach them through new work so that we see every life saturated with the hope of the gospel,” Hardwick says.