Published Mar 07, 2023
Hello CSBC Family –
In the last month, we’ve seen some great things in California as we’ve partnered with NAMB’s Send Network as Send Network California. I recently had the privilege of ministering to pastors at the Send Network Gathering in San Diego, where over 300 pastors and church planters came together. I saw the hope in their faces reignite through the preaching. I sat with a network of Southern Baptist churches in the Los Angeles area as they strategized to multiply church plants in Southern California. The meeting reinforced our decision to join in partnership with our national agency.
Immediately following, our Missions Initiative Team partnered with Gateway Seminary to bring the International Mission Board’s (IMB) Mission College to the west for the first time in history. Nearly 350 Southern Baptists registered for this historic event, and I believe men and women were called to the mission field through Mission’s College. The challenges brought by Paul Chitwood, IMB president, Jeff Iorg, President of Gateway, and dozens of missionaries stirred in the hearts of our people.
Our Evangelism Team continues to provide one-day evangelism trainings in partnership with our local Associations, but what I’m especially excited about is our upcoming Ignition Student Conference in Alameda, March 10 – 11. Our state youth leaders (who are engaged through our Youth Collective) have a goal to see one million people experience a gospel presentation. Join me in praying for this objective to be reached as the Gospel is preached and California youth are being encouraged to share their faith.
In national news, the SBC Executive Committee made the decision to disfellowship with six churches that have been a part of our SBC family. I ask that you pray for those churches and their leadership. Continue to ask the Lord for wisdom as we move forward, discerning how to cooperate together for the Great Commission. I pray you continue to have thoughtful wisdom as you read things from the Internet. May we not be distracted from the task that God has given us as a collective of churches and as a Southern Baptist convention. I believe that God desires unity for His church and that we are better together.
Lastly, March is “Women’s Ministry Emphasis Month” for This Week at CSBC. I am grieved that in 2023, 1,990 years after the inauguration of the Church and the great resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, women, who are created in the image of our Lord, still feel out of place in ministry. In our history as Southern Baptists, we have seen the lasting impact of women such as Annie Armstrong and Lottie Moon, just to mention the two obvious ones. We know that there are countless other women who have ministered to many of us, like me, who have been raised in the church. In my role as Executive Director, I have learned these women often feel unappreciated and unequipped to exercise the gifts and talents that God has given them.
The ministry of the Women’s Ministry Network addresses this exact need. It gives women a place to share their concerns and be supported effectively by other women who have experience and maturity in ministry. This ministry is vital for women who lead in churches, pastors’ wives, denominational leaders’ wives, and women seeking to find their role in ministry.
I am thankful for the work that the Women’s Ministry Network is building on to support the women of our California churches. The collective that Cathie and her team have built is beginning to produce fruits of blessing for the women involved. I am praying that more women from our California Southern Baptist Churches would participate and be supported and ministered through the resources of this network, and an effective catalyst in connecting our women to the network.
If you are a male leader or pastor in our state, I would encourage you to connect the women of your church to this network. I believe God has a movement stirring in California, and our women have a significant role to play. Who will be the next Annie or Lottie in our SBC family? She just may come out of California, for the glory of our God and the ministering of the saints.