COLUMBUS, OH—The State Convention of Baptists in Ohio (SCBO) soon will begin a three-year initiative to reinvent how the state convention can best serve its member churches.
Pastor Ryan Strother, SCBO president, announced the state’s Mission Council voted unanimously during its July 25 meeting to enter into a partnership with Denominee, a strategic vision process led by nationally known author and vision coach Will Mancini. Goal of the effort is to determine how the SCBO can add significant value to its local congregations.
"Denominee offers a process under the leadership of the Holy Spirit to identify and implement a more effective strategy and structure to assist cooperating Ohio Southern Baptist churches in obeying Christ’s Great Commission,” said Jack Kwok, SCBO executive director-treasurer.
Pastor Strother said Ohio is one of 10 state conventions to participate in Denominee. He said the North American Mission Board (NAMB) will underwrite a significant portion of the funding for the initiative in Ohio.
"I’m thrilled about this momentous decision our Mission Council made to engage our convention in a process that will clarify our vision and inform structures and strategies to best add value to our churches,” Pastor Strother said. “This is an exciting move for Southern Baptists in Ohio.”
Mancini is a Houston-based pastor turned vision coach who founded the consulting ministry Auxano in 2004. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Penn State and Th.M. in pastoral leadership from Dallas Theological Seminary. Mancini is the author of a number of books, including Church Unique: How Missional Leaders Cast Vision and Create Movement; and God Dreams: 12 Templates for Finding and Focusing Your Church’s Future.
Mancini said the Denominee initiative is designed for state conventions to chart a bold new course for the future of denominational life. “The goal is not for incremental improvement, but a complete renewal in understanding how to bring value to each local church,” he said.
The core of the three-year journey is a sequence of full-day, on-site consulting experiences with a state convention “Future Team.” These sessions will feature assessment, training, dialogue, decision-making, planning and implementation coaching. The end result will redefine how the SCBO can best add value to its member churches, including a strategic implementation plan.
The Future Team will consist of approximately 12 members, appointed by the convention president, and drawn from SCBO staff and volunteers, local pastors and other thought-leaders from throughout the state. During the process, a broader group of key influencers will be invited to give input at key checkpoints along the way. Pastor Strother said that in addition to the Future Team’s work, Denominee will include video conferences, regional collaborative events and an annual summit to engage SCBO member churches throughout the visioning process.
The SCBO will invest $25,000 in Denominee over the next three years. Pastor Strother said he is praying through the appointments to the Future Team, and the team will be presented and prayed over at the SCBO Annual Celebration Nov. 4-5. First meeting of the Future Team and Mancini and his staff will be Jan. 27, 2020.
James Risner, pastor of Dayton’s Brantwood Bapjtist Church and a member of the Mission Council, said, “This three-year journey excites me! I hope that this process will catalyze churches across Ohio to pray and strategize together, joining God’s glorious work of strengthening gospel partnerships. If growing in cooperative faithfulness and fruitfulness is a priority for you, let’s work together.”