Reprinted from Baptist Press (baptistpress.com), news service of the Southern Baptist Convention, posted Monday, May 18, 2020
NASHVILLE (BP) -- While the 2020 SBC Annual Meeting has been canceled for the first time since 1945, Southern Baptists will still be provided with an opportunity to hear from the entities of the Southern Baptist Convention through an online event June 2 hosted by the SBC Executive Committee.
SBC Advance, a two-hour online event, is not designed to be a substitute for the annual meeting, but will provide ministry updates from and interviews with all SBC entity and auxiliary heads, as well as SBC President J.D. Greear. The event will be live-streamed at www.sbc.net/advance starting at 3 p.m. EDT Tuesday, June 2, 2020.
"SBC Advance is about telling the story of what God is doing through our churches and the work we are doing together regionally, statewide, nationally and internationally," SBC EC President and CEO Ronnie Floyd said. "This online gathering will not just be informational, but inspirational for all Southern Baptists. It will also lead us to have a greater commitment and sharper focus on sharing the Good News of Jesus with the whole world. This online experience is for all Southern Baptist laypeople, pastors, church staff members, church leaders, denominational employees, and missionaries here in America and across the world."
Greear will provide a presidential update during the event as well.
"Southern Baptists have always united around the need to see people come to saving faith in Jesus," Greear said. "While we may be apart right now, SBC Advance will allow us to hear about the great things God is doing and will call us to seek His face for the future. While the times are challenging, this event will remind us of who we are: a convention of more than 47,500 churches that stand for the Gospel above all and the need to get the message of Jesus Christ to the nations."
The 2020 SBC Annual Meeting was scheduled to be held in Orlando June 9-10, but the COVID-19 global pandemic forced Southern Baptist leaders to cancel the event for the first time since World War II.
But while Southern Baptists may not be gathering physically, SBC Advance will provide the opportunity to gather virtually and remember the fundamental reason for Southern Baptist cooperation — missions.
"We must not lose connection to one another nor waver in our shared commitment to get the Gospel to the nations," IMB President Paul Chitwood said in a statement. "SBC Advance will help us do what we must do: keep our focus on our mission."
Video updates from the entities, annual reports, audited financial statements, and other updated reporting data will be provided at the time of the event.