SBTC’s Yarber clarifies purpose

Editor’s note: The SBTC staff has fielded questions about the nature of the emPOWER Conference. Some have wrongly assumed the State Evangelism Conference is no longer an event on the SBTC calendar. Actually, the emPOWER Conference was formerly called the State Evangelism Conference. Interim SBTC Evangelism Director, Ronnie Yarber, addressed this topic in a question and answer format for the TEXAN.

Q. What is the emPOWER Conference and what is its purpose?

A. The name “emPOWER Conference” is the new name for the State Evangelism Conference. It is a take-off of Acts 1:8 and Luke 24:49 where Jesus instructed his followers to be empowered by the Holy Spirit for the purpose of evangelizing the nations. The emphasis of the emPOWER Conference is the same as it has been; to provide inspiration, motivation and encouragement to God’s people, all of whom have the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Q.. Since the name does not include the word “evangelism,” does it not create some misunderstanding about the purpose of the conference?

A. The focus and heartbeat of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention is evangelism and missions as is conveyed by the annual budget of the SBTC. Therefore, the emphasis of the emPOWER Conference is evangelism and more. It will accentuate personal evangelism and missions born out of victoriously empowered churches and Christian living.

Q.. There seems to be the perception that the emPOWER Conference is only for pastors and evangelists. Is this true?

A. By no means is this true. The fact is that it is designed with laity in mind. After all, evangelism is the responsibility of the entire church membership. Every person who is a believer in Jesus Christ will benefit greatly by attending emPOWER. It is for the pastor, the staff, and the entire congregation. Every person will benefit enormously from hearing those who are on the program.

Q. When and where is the emPOWER Conference to be held?

A. It is scheduled Feb. 9-10 at the Arlington Convention Center, located at 1200 Ballpark Way in Arlington. The first session will begin at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 9 (Monday) with Jim Richards, SBTC executive director, presiding.

Q. What would you like to say in closing?

A. I want to personally invite every pastor, staff member, and every church member of every church in Texas to attend the emPOWER Conference and take advantage of the opportunity God is providing. I look forward to seeing them there.

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