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‘Advance’ breakouts dive deep into evangelism & discipleship

DEL CITY—Fresh on the heels of the launch of a new brand identity, the New Year will bring another new beginning for Oklahoma Baptists, as the annual State Evangelism Conference (SEC) will be relaunched with a new name and a new emphasis. On Jan. 27-28 at Del City, First Southern, Oklahoma Baptists will experience the SEC as the annual “Advance Conference.”

The conference breakouts will feature a new format and will immerse conference attendees in an important subject—baptism. The conference workshops will take a deep dive into the full spectrum of the meaning of what it means to immerse new believers into the Christian way of life.

Alan Quigley, Oklahoma Baptists associate executive director of the Church Resources Group, elaborated on the Advance Conference’s theme, “Immerse.”

“Instead of looking at baptism as just that moment where we immerse people under the water and bring them back out,” Quigley said, “we thought it was important to help Oklahoma Baptists understand that baptism is more than that brief moment when the new believer is standing in the waters of the baptistery.

“Baptism, in the broader sense, is concerned with how all believers are immersed in Christ, from the moment they hear and respond to the Gospel to the way they walk and live through the leadership of the Holy Spirit. When we baptize someone in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the church has the responsibility to immerse the new believer into the knowledge and relationship of the Father, of the Spirit and of the Son. The church has a responsibility, after the new believer steps out of the baptistery, to disciple them. ”

Quigley said he expects the Advance Conference to be an inspiring and practical event. “We are going to be talking about both sides of the baptistery, the Gospel presentation, the actual form of baptism, and then we are going to come out on the other side, becoming strong disciplers,” he said. “We expect to engage people with some really practical applications that they can take back and implement in their local churches, putting into practice what they have heard and learned.”

The conference will feature 14 keynote speakers who will encourage conference attendees to “immerse” their community and church with the Gospel. In addition, five Oklahoma pastors will share testimonies of immersing their church with evangelism. Twelve breakout sessions will help attendees contextualize what Gospel immersion might look like in their community.

Conference organizer Bob Mayfield, Oklahoma Baptists small group and personal evangelism ministry partner, explained what to expect from the breakouts.

“The Advance Conference will have a new twist in 2020 that I believe people will appreciate,” Mayfield said. “As folks who usually attended the SEC would expect, the conference will take a deep dive into the subject of evangelism. The speakers and breakouts will inspire participants to advance the Gospel in their communities, but there are a few changes to the format that those who are used to attending the SEC of the past will notice.

“In keeping with our convention’s theme of unity, the main sessions are for all ages and ethnicities,” he continued. “Breakout sessions will run concurrently with some of the keynote speakers. A contemporary stage, worship and atmosphere for the entire two days. Keynote speakers include practitioners and thought-leaders from across the nation.”

The Advance Conference is a free event. No registration is necessary. For more information, visit oklahomabaptists.org/advance.

2020 Advance Conference Breakout Sessions

Mon., Jan. 27
9:30 a.m.
Ed Stetzer—”Immersing the Culture”
Randy Lind—”Immersing Worship”
2:30 p.m.
Hance Dilbeck—”Immersing Oklahoma with the Gospel”
Greg Stier—”Immersing Generation”
Charlie Gatton—”Immersing Children”

Tues., Jan. 28
9:30 a.m.
Joe Ligon—”Immersing Rural Oklahoma”
Shane Pruitt—”Immerse the Community: Who’s Your One”
Noe Garcia—”Revitalizing through Evangelism”
2:30 p.m.
Shane Pruitt—”Immerse the Community: Who’s Your One”
Sammy Lopez—”Immerse Your Neighbors”
Bob Mayfield—”Immersing Groups”
Todd Sanders—”Immersing Students”

Author: Chris Forbes

Chris Forbes is staff writer for the Baptist Messenger and branding & marketing partner for Oklahoma Baptists.

View more articles by Chris Forbes.

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