ConnectX webinar to address media in missions

By Jim Burton

RICHMOND, Va.—The gospel message may never change, but the delivery systems have been in flux for nearly three millennia.

Oral tradition, the written word and preaching continue to serve humankind well. But how do those commissioned to share the gospel story best disseminate it today?

connectXlogoFinalTo help answer that question, the Southern Baptist International Mission Board (IMB) will conduct a three-day, worldwide interactive webinar called ConnectX. It will meet June 8-10 for two hours each day, from 7-9 a.m., Eastern Daylight Savings time.

Over the three-days, participants will have access to nine seminars. Presenters range from a Pulitzer Prize recipient, an internationally known expert in marketing and a former director of photography at National Geographic magazine.

Topics include ethics, relationships through social media, marketing to the heart to capture the mind and building a picture story. Presenters will speak for 15 minutes, followed by 15 minutes of open dialog by participants.

Individuals, small and large communications teams will benefit.

“The system that we are using is very robust,” said Bill Bangham, IMB’s director for The Academy, a communications training service. “We can connect with a good number of people across the globe…and it is very interactive.

“It’s not just a come and listen event. It is an exchange of ideas within a global community of communicators.”

Participants will be able to access it through iPhones, iPads and computers. Android access is not yet available, but will be in the future.

The IMB has communication personnel scattered around the world. ConnectX is offered to support of their professional growth, nurture and training, Bangham said. But it is also offered to churches, students and other professionals.

“IMB doesn’t do international missions for churches,” Bangham said. “Missions is the responsibility of the church. We see our role as assisting churches in doing that.

“We assist them by helping get their missionaries on the field and supporting them while they are there … and in telling the missions story.”

Gospel communication today is more savvy and diverse than ever before. Keeping up with technology changes, particularly in social media, is critical to reach much of the modern world.

Mass communication is now more akin to mass customization as organizations target their messages. Churches have the possibility of customizing their message to accomplish their mission both locally and globally.

Photography, writing, editing, videography, graphic and Web design, and film were once viewed as separate disciplines. Those distinctions are now blurred. Today two or more media disciplines are often brought together in a converged environment — often by one person — for a story or presentation.

For example: Still photographers now blend their images with video and sound to disseminate information via the Web. Communicators need to be skilled in more media disciplines than in the past.

The unusual format of two hours a day for three days, reflects how technology can change an international organization’s business model. It’s possible for hundreds of people to participate in ConnectX and never leave their home or office, and they don’t have to be in the same time zone.

“Not all our participating personnel are in the United States,” Bangham said. “Most are in other parts of the world. So when we start at 7 a.m. on the East Coast, it’s noon in London. And in parts of Asia it’s 6 p.m. Then there is everyone else in between.”

The cost for participation is $50. For BCA members and IMB personnel it is free. Register online at: https://www.regonline.com/connectx  Registration Deadline is May 27, 2015.

For more information, contact: Bill Bangham (bbangham@globalmailonline.com) or Jullianne Kramer (jkramer@globalmailonline.com).

Jim Burton is a photojournalist and writer based in Atlanta, Ga.

BCA15 Mission Projects

At this year’s workshop in San Francisco, we’ll offer two great opportunities to participate in missions projects. Review these items and make plans to get involved now.

Telegraph Ministry Center

Telegraph Ministry Center, Oakland

Ten BCA members are invited to participate in a BCA mission project at the Telegraph Ministry Center on Thursday afternoon.

Telegraph Ministry Center has been ministering to the poor and disenfranchised of North Oakland for more than 45 years by sharing the love of Christ and meeting the most basic needs of individuals and families who struggle with issues related to poverty.

During the mission project, BCA members will provide needed support to the center and its director, Chris Watson, in unloading pallets of food, setting up the food pantry for the center’s weekly distribution on Friday, helping with the community garden and performing cleaning and maintenance at the center.

Watson, who has been the director of the center since 2010, will provide transportation to/from the hotel on Thursday afternoon for volunteers who want to be involved in this project. He will have participants back in time to enjoy the evening in San Francisco.
You can find out more about the ministry of the Telegraph Center by visiting telegraphcenter.com.

http://www.NepaliBibles.com

You don’t need to leave the hotel to participate in this mission project!

Travis Nichols will share a slideshow of he and his wife Ashley’s most recent trip to Nepal in March where they met with the Nepal Bible Society and visited the printing press in Kathmandu. He will also provide background to the swelling population of Nepali speakers in the U.S. that are very receptive to the gospel and explain the miraculous story behind this new business as ministry.

Then all web masters, graphic designers and creative types will put their heads together to brainstorm logos, layouts and marketing for the new website. This will be a hands-on, interactive and collaborative session, and we need your help!

Don’t be late for the Wednesday evening dinner and city tour of San Francisco

Lombard StreetWe’ll depart the hotel at 6 p.m., make our way through the city passing Lombard Street, the crookedest street in the world; Little Italy and the TransAmerica Pyramid. We’ll stop for dinner in San Francisco’s historic Chinatown at a restaurant with murals, lanterns and décor imported from China at the turn of the 20th century.

After dinner the tour will drive by Union Square, through the Tenderloin District to City Hall which is beautifully lit at night. We’ll then make our way past the San Francisco Symphony Hall and Opera House en route to Nob Hill with stunning views and so named for the mansions built during the heyday of San Francisco’s growth in the late 19th century.

The city’s Financial District will be next as we move to the Ferry Building and make our way along the Embarcadero with views of the iconic Bay Bridge which connects San Francisco to Oakland and the East Bay. We’ll pass San Francisco’s piers and Coit Tower reaching Pier 39, the beginning of the historic Fisherman’s Wharf area.

We’ll end up at our headquarters hotel, the San Francisco Marriott Fisherman’s Wharf for a great night’s sleep before beginning our workshop on Thursday morning at 7 a.m. with breakfast just down the street at Hollywood Cafe!

We hope you’ll join us for this relaxed evening filled with the sights and food of San Francisco while enjoying the fellowship of BCA members!

Hidden Marin tour in San Francisco

Muir Woods

Joe WestburyHow often do you get a trip to one of the world’s most exciting cities? Use this opportunity to explore Hidden Marin on an afternoon drive through the scenic Marin Headlands just across the Golden Gate Bridge with longtime BCA’er Joe Westbury.

Immediately following the end of the annual meeting on Saturday morning, Joe will give a personally guided tour of some of the most beautiful sights just over the San Francisco Bay. It is an experience you will long remember.

  • View thousand-year-old Redwoods in a rare lush old-growth redwood forest in Muir Woods;
  • Stand on the edge of dramatic 20-story cliffs directly above the pounding Pacific Coast at Muir Beach Overlook;
  • Walk down a windy, winding path along cliffs and through a tunnel carved from sold rock before crossing a swinging bridge to an historic lighthouse at Point Bonita;
  • Photograph the Golden Gate Bridge from dramatic viewpoints known only by locals, and
  • Enjoy a 3 p.m. mid-afternoon lunch at the Pelican Inn at Muir Beach, an authentic English pub.

Cost is just $40 per person plus late lunch and $7 admission to Muir Woods on a first-come basis for 11 guests. The fee is strictly based on cost recovery for the van, insurance, gas, bridge tolls, and a bag of Skittles for the driver.

For more information and to reserve your seat call or email Joe Westbury TODAY at (404) 797-4857 or joewestbury@mac.com. Space is limited. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and a light jacket as the temperature and wind can easily be 20 degrees cooler than at the hotel. The eight-hour tour is expected to return to the hotel by 7 p.m. for those catching a red-eye flight that night. The van is being returned to the airport at that time so anyone can ride free if so desired.

Make this decision before booking your flight. You’ll save money on your airfare by staying over on Saturday night — put that savings to your hotel room and this wonderful tour.

September forum will be BCA first

2014 Fall Forum - Nashville, TNThe first BCA Fall Forum will be held in the auditorium of the Southern Baptist Convention building in Nashville, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Friday, September 26. Representing communications teams from across the SBC, presenters will talk about a wide range of topics under the theme,  Making a Difference.

The format of the forum will be fast-paced, with brief presentations followed by short times of discussion. Those presenting are Shannon Baker, national correspondent and design editor, “Baptist Life”; Bill Bangham, director, The Academy, International Mission Board; Tina Boesch, graphic designer for the book, “Along the Silk Road”; Marty Duren, manager of social media strategy, LifeWay Christian Resources; Shawn Hendricks, managing editor, Baptist Press; Eric Murrell, communication director, Long Hollow Baptist Church; Stella Prather, communications director, Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes; Jennifer Rash, executive editor, “The Alabama Baptist”; Ian Richardson, director, communication services, Mississippi Baptist Convention Board.

From life-altering, unexpected moments, to projects that reshaped one’s future, topics will come from the presenter’s own life and work experiences. With the spring workshop still a distant date on the BCA calendar, the forum will provide a mid-year creativity boost and an opportunity to engage with imaginative, breakthrough ideas.

Registration to attend the forum is $25.00, and includes lunch. Payment may be made online. See our website for more information.

The forum will also be streamed live online. Online participants may ask questions via Twitter or Facebook. More information regarding the streaming will be coming soon.

Ready for Ridgecrest!

Logo from BCA 2014 - With Purpose - celebrating 60 years - April 9-12, 2014

Join us April 9-12 for BCA 2014

The BCA planning team is very excited about this year’s workshop April 9-12 at Ridgecrest in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina! We have a great lineup of speakers and activities for our annual gathering. This year is particularly noteworthy because we will be celebrating 60 years of BCA. Our theme is “With Purpose.” As Christian communicators we have a responsibility — and for most of us a calling — to help mobilize fellow believers and communicate messages that really matter and can impact our world for Christ.

We’ll kick off the event Wednesday evening with an easygoing cookout and campfire where everyone will have the opportunity to catch up with old friends, meet new members and enjoy their surroundings and the get-away-from-it-all feel of Ridgecrest.

On Thursday morning we’ll hit the ground running with a new format that features a media panel of personalities who will cover a variety of media-related topics and issues that matter to Christian communicators. Among those on the panel: Warren Cole Smith, associate publisher of WORLD Magazine and author of “A lover’s quarrel with the evangelical church;” Todd Starnes of Fox News & Commentary and author of “Dispatches from Bitter America;” and Roman Gabriel III, a radio host for Sold Out Ministries who has covered Super Bowl week for about 20 years and is a former NFL quarterback. Trennis Henderson, who was program chair of a fantastic meeting in Little Rock last April, will keep the speakers on their toes with questions and a fast-paced discussion. The audience will have an opportunity to ask questions as time allows. Following a panel discussion, we’ll split up into workshops led by several of our panelists.

Later that afternoon we will jump right into this year’s mission project that we hope will change the way you look at missions and help you discover more ways to reach out to the many different cultures in your neighborhood and city.

On Friday morning we’ll head to Samaritan’s Purse in Boone to take a tour of the facility and learn how this organization continues to impact lives around the world. When we get back, we’ll get together for a final affinity group discussion, which has always been a popular session that gives everyone an opportunity to vent, share ideas and talk about ways we can do our jobs better.

That evening, we’ll gather for our annual awards banquet to recognize some of the fantastic work of fellow BCA members. Don’t forget  the deadline for getting your entries in for the competition is right around the corner, January 31!

Trust us; you won’t want to miss this year’s BCA event. See you there!

-Shawn Hendricks and Polly House, your program co-chairs

2014 mission project: Getting to know you

Who do you know?

Southern Baptists in North Carolina, where BCA’s 2014 workshop is being held, have been asking themselves that question a lot lately. They’ve been trying to focus attention on building relationships with people who do not know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.

In North Carolina, the population continues to reflect a growing diversity, with about 280 different languages spoken in the public school system.

The state’s growing diversity provides churches an opportunity to reach the world with the gospel without leaving the state. Yet, in order to engage the people of the world God is bringing to North Carolina, those people groups must first be identified.

The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, in partnership with local churches and associations, is working on a pilot project to help identify different people groups living in North Carolina’s metropolitan areas. Volunteers talk with people and try to learn who they are and where they are from. The information they collect is entered into a database, and when the project is completed, the people group data will be available to local churches.

During the upcoming workshop at Ridgecrest you will have opportunity to see firsthand how the project works and how you can be involved in your state and community. The mission project this year, which will be Thursday afternoon, is all about helping you reach lost people and share the gospel where you live.

This year’s project has great potential for impact beyond the workshop; it’s a project that will give you something to take home for greater engagement than a one-day, one-time event.

During the mission project time you will learn how to better identify and reach people from different people groups as well as take some time to prayerwalk for different people groups in the Asheville area.

Please plan to join to be a part of this year’s mission project!