Georgia Baptist Convention's annual meeting centers on 'Calling Out the Called'


SNELLVILLE, Ga. — The next generation of Georgia church leaders are now growing up in the state’s congregations, awaiting a spiritual nudge to step forward.

So says Georgia Baptist Convention President Josh Saefkow who has built an annual meeting of the state’s largest religious group around the theme Calling Out the Called.

The goal is to encourage pastors to identify people the Lord is calling into ministry and to connect them with experienced mentors who can help guide them on their spiritual journeys.

“Whether they would be deacons, whether they would be Sunday school teachers, whether they would be missionaries, whether they would be pastors, I believe they’re in our pews right now,” said Saefkow, pastor of Flat Creek Baptist Church in Fayetteville.

The 1.2 million-member Georgia Baptist Convention’s annual meeting is scheduled for Nov. 12-14 at the Church on Main in Snellville.

“It’s always like a homecoming, a family gathering,” Saefkow said of the three-day meeting. “It’s the one time of year that we come together from the four corners of the state, and we celebrate what we’re doing together for the kingdom of God.”

The get-together includes powerful preaching and singing mingled among an agenda that will include the election of officers as well as a vote on a proposal to update the convention’s 200-year-old governing documents.

Saefkow will seek a second term as president. Four other pastors have said they’re considering running for vice president.

Georgia Baptist Convention presidents are eligible to serve two one-year terms and typically run unopposed for the second term.

Saefkow said  the book Fan the Flame by Jim Cymbala, pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle, inspired him to go with the Calling Out the Called theme.

“People from throughout the state recognize the need for a leadership pipeline into the next generation,” Saefkow said. “I think we’ll see fruit out of it.”

The Georgia Baptist Mission Board began an initiative last year that’s geared toward preparing the state’s next generation of pastors, missionaries, evangelists and other church leaders.

Levi Skipper, who leads the Mission Board’s church strengthening initiative, said the goal is to create smoother pathways into ministry for the next generation.

“I am confident this process will help us raise up a new generation of leaders to help strengthen churches,” he said told Georgia Baptist leaders at the initiative’s rollout. “When it comes time for you to look for a staff member, there’s actually going to be a pond filled with great, great leaders for you to fish from.”

The Georgia Baptist Mission Board offers a tutorial  on how to register for the annual meeting at