Posted on : Thursday October 28, 2021

COLUMBIA, Md. — Over 30 youth leaders and pastors gathered at South Columbia Baptist Church (SCBC) on Oct. 26 for the first Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D) event to support youth leaders in a decade. Participants enjoyed a time of fellowship, connection, and encouragement. Representatives from nine of the eleven associations were on hand to hear about resources, opportunities, and new initiatives set forth by the Southern Baptist Convention and BCM/D. Kris Buckman, BCM/D’s youth ministry consultant, organized the event that drew leaders from as far away as Ocean City.

Special guest Shane Pruitt, National NextGen Evangelism Director from the North American Mission Board, encouraged leaders in their mission of reaching Generation Z with the gospel. Pruitt stressed, “The youth are not the church of tomorrow; they are the church of right now.” Pruitt encouraged intergenerational ministry to involve the entire church body in raising youth passionate about Christ and sharing the gospel. That includes older adults, Pruitt told leaders. “If they ain’t dead, they ain’t done!” he quipped.

After sharing a fully catered meal, leaders engaged in 10-minute roundtable discussions surrounding youth baptism, volunteers, and tackling tough issues with teens – all topics chosen by the attendees upon arrival.

Buckman said the BCM/D is committed to the SBC’s Vision 2025 that includes an initiative to reverse the decline of reaching, baptizing, and discipling those under 18. Each group was asked to determine a reasonable goal for youth baptisms in 2022. 2,022 in 2022 — that’s the baptism goal for BCM/D churches as a convention next year! That’s about four baptisms among those under the age of 18 per church. Be praying for our churches as they minister to our young people!

Skycroft Conference Center Director Emily Reedy and Guest Services Manager Taylor Tuel shared information about upcoming youth camp opportunities, including three sessions of ReBoot in January and three sessions of Crossings in the summer. They also offered help in customizing youth events tailored for individual churches. In addition, two youth leaders won a yearlong subscription to Lifeway’s Youth Ministry Booster, a membership that provides monthly cohort meetings, soul care, practical webinars, on-demand training videos, and digital resources.

BCM/D looks forward to supporting those that serve and minister to not the church of tomorrow, but the church of right now, our youth!

Email Kris Buckman or call her at 240-674-1388.

Article by BaptistLIFE Staff

Photo: Shane Pruitt shares with youth leaders at the BCM/D Youth Summit at SCBC (photo by Kris Buckman).