Aligning with a national focus among Southern Baptists, “Gospel Above All” will be the theme for the 2020 N.C. Baptist Disciple-making Conference that is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 25 at Green Street Baptist Church in High Point.
“Gospel Above All” was also the theme for the 2019 Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) annual meeting in Birmingham, Ala., and will be the theme for the 2020 SBC annual meeting in Orlando, Fla. as well. Organizers of the annual Disciple-making Conference said that theme is worth incorporating on a statewide level also.
“We wanted to have a unified voice with our larger Baptist family this year to really emphasize that the focus of all disciple-making is the gospel,” said Brian Upshaw, team leader for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSCNC) Disciple-making team that plans and organizes the event. “If we can bring preeminence to the gospel, everything else falls into place.”
“Our efforts over the past few years with this event have been to demonstrate how evangelism and discipleship go together. This year’s conference will emphasize the power of the gospel both to save us and to sanctify us.”
The event will feature Jimmy Scroggins, lead pastor of Family Church in West Palm Beach, Fla., and more than 40 distinct breakout sessions on a variety of topics related to applying and living out the gospel in our families, churches and communities.
Scroggins developed the “3 Circles” witnessing tool early in his tenure at Family Church, which began in 2008. Since then, the “3 Circles” has become a popular and simple way for Christians to easily engage in gospel conversations. The tool is conversational and visual in that it utilizes three circles that can be drawn on a piece of paper or a napkin to represent God’s perfect design for the world, brokenness that resulted from sin and the hope of the gospel found in Jesus Christ.
The North American Mission Board (NAMB) has produced a variety of resources around the “3 Circles,” which include books, videos, a Bible study and a free mobile app for Apple and Android devices. The BSCNC utilizes the “3 Circles” as the core framework for its Gospel Conversations training events, emphasizing the importance of relationally sharing the gospel.
Scroggins developed the “3 Circles” as a way to equip and mobilize his congregation for personal evangelism. By God’s grace, Scroggins’ vision has caught on in South Florida and beyond, resulting in more disciples being made and multiplied.
“Jimmy has a practitioner’s heart, a theologian’s mind and a winsome spirit,” Upshaw said. “God has changed the culture of the church he pastors through his leadership, which has resulted in revitalization, church planting, multiplication and more. His church embodies the type of culture we’d like to see in our churches across North Carolina.”
In addition to the two keynote addresses from Scroggins, several local church pastors will lead breakout sessions during the event focused on various aspects of disciple-making. Topics will include how to build a discipleship strategy, disciple-making triads, discipling young men, the relationship of worship and church revitalization, doing ministry with excellence and many more. At least two breakout session topics will be offered in Spanish.
“Attendees will get a glimpse of several pastoral leadership styles and the multiple ways that churches are living out a disciple-making culture,” Upshaw said.
This year, a streamlined registration process will allow attendees to select the breakout sessions they want to attend in advance when they register for the event. Attendees will also receive a bundle of resources, including Scroggins’ book “Turning Everyday Conversations into Gospel Conversations.”
Registration is $12 per person and includes lunch. Registration is available online at disciplemakingconference.org.
“We hope and pray that this year’s conference will be a time of refreshment, encouragement and challenge for everyone who attends,” Upshaw said. “Our desire is to add value to the lives of N.C. Baptists through this event.”