Oklahoma Baptists who are interested in church planting will assemble on April 8, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., at Oklahoma City, Southern Hills for the first-ever Send Oklahoma Gathering.
The gathering, which is organized by the Send Oklahoma Network, will be a time of inspiration and equipping for church-planting couples, sending churches, multiplying churches and those considering church planting.
“It excites me that here in Oklahoma and around the world, God works through His church,´ said Doug Melton, senior pastor of Southern Hills who directs the pastor-led Send Oklahoma Network. “People, especially in this time in our society right now, are looking for answers, and we’ve got to have churches that are ready to impact the lostness in our state and will be willing to engage people with the Gospel where they are living. I am thankful for this opportunity to gather with pastors and churches who have the burden to start new churches to reach them.”
Hance Dilbeck, executive director-treasurer for Oklahoma Baptists, said the one-day gathering will be valuable. “If you have questions,” he said, “if you want inspiration, if you want information about how you and your church can connect either as a mother church, a sending church, or if you are interested in planting, this is a meeting for you.”
Zack Randles, who is lead pastor of Washington D.C., Waterfront, will be preaching, and Denver Duncan, worship pastor at Waterfront, will lead worship at the event.
Melton will be speaking to pastors about the calling to church multiplication and leading a breakout session about the residency programs that are available through the network. Ray Strauss, Send Oklahoma Network catalyst and pastor of Edmond, Edmond Community, will talk about getting started with church planting. Rusty Gunn, who is also a catalyst for the network and is pastor of Sand Springs, Church that Matters, will speak about keeping momentum in church planting. Megan Gunn and Christina Strauss, who both are married to church planting pastors, will lead breakouts about the important role of spouses in church planting.
The gathering will include simultaneous translation into Spanish though the use of radio headsets. Julio Crespo, Send Network catalyst and pastor of Oklahoma City, Central Hispanic, will join Felix Cabrera, executive director of the Convention of Southern Baptist Churches in Puerto Rico, and his wife Denise Cabrera in leading the Spanish-language breakout sessions of the gathering.
“If you are a church who is wanting to plant, a church who wants to support a church plant, or maybe you are curious about church planting we want to invite you to the Gathering,” Crespo said. “We want to help take the next step in the vision of what God is doing in and through us. Therefore, a main objective is to lead people to a decision point about their next steps in both leadership development and restorative action. This vision of this initiative is to see a multiplying church in every community within our state.
“The objective of the Send Oklahoma Gathering is to inspire and equip local churches to know what role Send Network Oklahoma has in the area of church planting in our great state,” he said.
Visit oklahomabaptists.org/send-network to learn more or to register for the free event.