The November 2015 Council of 18 meeting may be history in the records, but the agenda was definitely pointing toward the future. Council members arrived on Monday, Nov. 16 with their sleeves rolled up ready to do forward thinking work. Dave Burman Jr. presented a church-planting proposal that was the compilation of a year of aggressive interaction by a design team. The proposal focused on a way to come alongside churches, state and regional fellowships, and agencies to create connections to accomplish the shared objective of multiplying Regular Baptist churches. The input received from the council will enable the design team to make tweaks in the coming months to clarify and enhance the final structure. The desired goal is to trust God and work together to see, by 2025, 100 Regular Baptist churches planted by Regular Baptist churches.
The Annual Conference Committee presented the plans for a conference overhaul that will involve a shift in the schedule for the council meeting beginning on Monday, June 27, at noon, making it easier for observers to be involved. Talents For Christ competition will be moved to Tuesday, with a Wednesday night concert. Conference general sessions will begin with the Tuesday evening service and conclude at noon on Friday. The great time of preaching, worship, and fellowship of the 2016 conference, June 28—July 1, will take place at the beautiful facilities of Harvest New Beginnings, Oswego, Illinois, where Scott Poling is pastor.
The Personnel Committee presented an administrative staff realignment to wisely adapt to the changing ministry opportunities of the future. A succession plan was outlined to ensure that the association leadership remains ready for the road ahead.
The Policy Committee tackled the creative work of devising a strategy to better connect with the various regions of the fellowship in order to ensure the existence of a forum for grassroots input and involvement from all parts of the fellowship. In addition, a review of policies and past decisions was conducted to reconnect with old friends and build future alliances.
Discussion during the sessions was lively and positive, with both serious conversation and good-natured banter. Group members left for their respective ministries with full to-do lists, energized and positive about the future.