SBC21 hosts second annual leadership conference


Submitted by Rev. Earnestine Campbell
Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century (SBC21), a leadership and church development partnership between the National SBC21 and the South Georgia Conference, celebrated its second annual Leadership and Development Conference Saturday, March 10 at Grace Corner United Methodist Church in Macon.
The conference focused on several leadership laboratories facilitated by SBC21 national coaches.
The Christian Education laboratory was facilitated by Rev. Michele Morton, who was informative in sharing the topic, “Small Groups Can Meet Anywhere.” Rev. Morton outlined the need to increase Christian fellowship opportunities to meet new people in new places and expand education beyond traditional methods.
Rev. Dr. Ron Bell addressed issues of outreach and was insightful on the culture and climate of the country along with its impact on the local church. Dr. Bell challenged participants on the new role of leadership, discovering and developing ministries, offering life-skills training, and organizing and planning ways to go where the people are for mission and ministry.
Worship Laboratory was the subject matter for Rev. Ronda Kingwood. Topics included reaching all ages and all walks of life, fostering unity within congregation, building music ministry, planning teams, and spaces for worship. 
Finally, the keynote speaker, Dr. James E. Salley, gave a dynamic and holistic stewardship message, “Bone Marrow Giving,” based on Mark 12:41-44.
Two of the SBC21 partnered churches each received $1,000 scholarships to support their goals of mission and ministry. We continue to find ways to offer leadership development along with strategic planning for mission and vision in local congregations.
Thanks to Grace Corner UMC, Rev. Antonie Walker, and the entire Grace Corner UMC team for hosting and outstanding hospitality.
SBC21 is a collaborative program through Discipleship Ministries.
Rev. Earnestine Campbell serves as an associate director for Connectional Ministries and the staff liaison for the Advocacy Ministry.