By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
ALEXANDRIA – The Every People Group Task Force met recently, continuing charting a plan on how Louisiana Baptists can reach those of various ethnicities in the state.
James Jenkins, church planting director for Louisiana Baptists, said the charge of the task force is three-fold:
● Evaluate the ethnic diversity in Louisiana and its implications for Louisiana Baptists,
● Create avenues for input and involvement in LBC life by non-Anglo leaders and congregations,
● Lead Louisiana Baptists in effective engagement with ministry among all people groups in the state.
The task force was appointed as a result of the President’s 2020 Commission, which was affirmed by messengers during the 2013 LBC Annual Meeting in Alexandria.
The President’s 2020 Commission report was crafted collaboratively by 400 Louisiana Baptist pastors, leaders, staff members and laypeople working in 20 subcommittees of 20 members each.
Ten “key actions in reaching our state” – known as KAIROS – were developed to engage two audiences – the next generation and every people group.
As the first step in carrying out its charge, the Every People Group Task Force agreed to outline a missiology for the work of Louisiana Baptists toward every people group in the state.
One of the purposes of the meeting at the Baptist Building in early February was to review the first draft of the Louisiana People Group Engagement Missiology.
The Task Force is populated with Louisiana Baptist representing the major US Census count groups – white, black, Hispanic and Asian. Jenkins and Louisiana Baptists Church Planting Strategist Carlos Schmidt are providing the staff leadership for the Task Force.
Lee Wesley, pastor of Community Bible Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, serves as chairman of the group and presides at the meetings.
During the meeting in February, Ken Weathersby, vice president for convention advancement for the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention gave the Task Force a “national perspective” on people group engagement. Weathersby is an ongoing advisor to the Task Force.
The title of the draft missiology is “A Louisiana People Group Engagement Missiology: Make Disciples of Everyone, Everywhere.” Once the draft is complete, the document will present a missiology in three parts – biblical purpose, biblical philosophy and a biblical process. One basis for the development of this missiology is the Task Force belief that “the ends of the earth are now coming to America and Louisiana,” Jenkins said.
Wesley believes the work of the task force will impact the direction of the LBC for years to come.
“It puts the Great Commission (Matthew 28) and the Last Commission (Acts 1:8) into action,” Wesley said. “The task force is developing a blueprint for living out our Christian faith. To God be the glory.”