By Brian Blackwell, Baptist Message staff writer
ALEXANDRIA, La. (LBM) – Leaders of Send Network Louisiana, a partnership between the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention and the Louisiana Baptist Convention, have mapped out a God-sized vision to see His Kingdom expanded in Louisiana by one percent over the next decade.
If successful, 28,841 of the 4,648,794 Louisianans could turn to Christ through 231 churches planted in the state by 2030 (based on each new church reaching 125 people with the Gospel).
But to achieve this goal, an army of supporting churches and new church planters will be needed.
“This is an exciting God-sized vision for Louisiana,” Send Network Louisiana Director Lane Corley told the Baptist Message. “We want to see churches assess how they can join in helping make this possible. The next 10 years will be a great time in our next chapter of church planting, and I really appreciate [Louisiana Baptist Executive Director] Steve Horn for supporting this important move in our history.”
Corley, who previously served as a Louisiana Baptist church planting strategist, began a new role, fully funded by NAMB, Aug. 1. Joining him as Send Network church planting catalysts are Carlos Schmidt and Jeff Cook, who remain employed by the Louisiana Baptist Convention and supervised as part of the Louisiana Baptist missions and ministry team. Additionally, James Jenkins serves as the Louisiana Baptist missions and ministry team interim director.
Previously, New Orleans was the only metropolitan area of Louisiana in the Send Network, but the new partnership will expand church planting efforts to the entire state.
The partnership will provide four years of monthly supplements for the Send Network church plants, five years of Send Network Planter Care for each plant (the North American Mission Board church planter spiritual and emotional care system), access to NAMB start-up grants and a year of free health insurance and a $1,000 retirement benefit through GuideStone for planters and their families.
Opportunities for Louisiana Baptist churches to become involved with this new partnership are endless, Corley said.
Informational meetings have taken place and are planned in the coming months for churches to learn more about how they can become engaged. All meetings are from noon-2 p.m.:
— Send Network Louisiana informational lunch, First Baptist Church, West Monroe, Oct. 26
— Send Network Louisiana luncheon, Messina’s Runaway Café, 6001 Stars and Stripes Blvd. New Orleans, Nov. 14
Additional resources are available at sendnetwork. com/mobilize, or by email email@example.com.