Mission Summit Conversations FAQ
Q1: What is a Mission Summit Conversation?
A: A Mission Summit Conversation is an open opportunity for anyone attending the Mission Summit/Biennial to engage in meaningful dialogue about a topic of interest by self-selecting into a small group. The Mission Summit Conversations are the heart of the Mission Summit. Three rounds of Mission Summit Conversations will be held.
Q2: How will the topics be chosen?
A: American Baptist organizations such as regions, national agencies, and seminaries will be invited to suggest topics for discussion. Plus, the Transformed by the Spirit (TbyS) initiative has created a survey for people to prioritize their interests related to mission and ministry. The results of that survey will be used as well. Click here to view a list of Topics
Q3: Can I take the survey?
A: The survey is no longer available, but please submit your ideas through our "contact" form on this website.
Q4: What is Transformed by the Spirit?
A: Transformed by the Spirit is an initiative launched by The National Executive Council (made up of the executive directors of the American Baptist Home Mission Societies, International Ministries, American Baptist Women’s Ministries, the Ministers and Missionaries Benefits Board and the General Secretary) to help us dream about how we could help congregations and pastors address some of the toughest challenges they face. Groups related to Transformed by the Spirit have already surfaced and are working on a number of challenges related to mission and ministry in today’s world.
Q5: How can we hear more about the groups that are already working?
A: As American Baptist organizations suggest possible Mission Summit Conversation topics, they will also be invited to share what they have learned about those topics. Those learnings will then be shared with the Mission Summit participants.
Q6: So, at the Mission Summit Conversations, we will sit and listen to what others have learned?
A: No! The learnings will be shared in written form and be placed on the tables with their corresponding mission topics, but the Mission Summit conversation is about having dynamic, new conversations about real issues, not sitting and listening to a lecture.
Q7: So, then, how will previous learnings intersect with what the Mission Summit Conversation participants bring?
A: Great question. The first question that will be posed to the Mission Summit participants will be, “What can we create together to respond to the call of Christ today?” The group will explore how the learnings from other groups intersect with their own experiences and contexts of ministry.
Q8: How many times will my group meet?
A: The group will meet three times for dialogue, twice on Saturday, June 22, and once on Sunday, June 23.
Q9: How will I know what group to join?
A: Sample groups are posted on the ABCUSA Mission Summit/Biennial website, here. The group titles will also be displayed at the Mission Summit/Biennial Meeting at registration.
Q10: Do I need to sign up in advance in order to participate in the Mission Summit Conversations?
A: No, there is no advance sign up! But, you may want to periodically review the list of topics on the website and come to the Mission Summit/Biennial ready to join a particular group.
Q11: How will I find the group that I want to join?
A: The groups will be divided into three large rooms titled, “Our Leaders,” “Our Witness,” and “Our Future.” The Program Book, to be released nearing the event, will show which room each group is in and there will lobby hosts and room hosts at the Mission Summit/Biennial to help you find the group that you would like to join.
Q12: What if I don’t like the group that I join?
A: Switch. The small group leaders are prepared for new participants to come in and out of each session.
Q13: How do I change groups once the Mission Summit Conversations have started?
A: The group names will be posted on monitors located throughout the Convention Center during the Mission Summit/Biennial, as well as in the lobby.
Q14: Do the groups have to keep the same name and focus that they begin with?
A: No. As God engages us in conversation, the nature of the conversation usually changes. That is fine!
Q15: What should I hope to take away from the Mission Summit Conversations?
A: Another great question! 3 things… (1) An understanding that you are not alone in the challenges that you face in mission and ministry, (2) Contact information from others who are facing similar challenges, and (3) New insights into the ministry challenges that you face.
Q16: What if our group wants to keep meeting after the Mission Summit Conversations officially end?
A: That is what we are hoping for. You will have the contact information of those who would like to continue in conversation and with today’s technology, continuing that conversation should not be an issue.
Q17: Will anyone be leading these Mission Summit Conversations?
A: Yes, these will be guided conversations by a trained small group leader.
Q18: I have heard that there is also a Mission Table. Is that just another name for the Mission Summit Conversations?
A: No. The Mission Summit and Mission Table are two distinct gatherings. The Mission Table will meet at a later date.
Q19: Who is invited to the Mission Table?
A: The Mission Table will include persons from every region, seminary, and national agency.
Q20: What will happen at the Mission Table?
A: Attendees will engage in similar conversation, though their key question will be slightly different, “How can our ABC organizations work together to further advance God’s work among our ABC congregations and Mission Summit participants?”
Q21: I have heard that the Mission Summit Conversations will prioritize items for discussion at the Mission Table. How will that happen?
A: Persons will prioritize the items with their feet, by the groups that they choose to join. Those topics that generate the most interest and discussion will move forward to the Mission Table.
Q22: So, ABC people from around the U.S. and Puerto Rico come together and talk about mission topics and then the national groups do the ministry on their behalf?
A: No, not really. That was an old model that served its time, but really doesn’t work anymore! Now, we are all engaged in mission and ministry together. The role of the Mission Summit Conversation participants is to hear the voice of God and engage in ministry in ways that respond to God’s call. The role of the regional and national agencies is to provide further insights, ideas, and shared learnings that can advance God’s work in our world in even greater ways. But, this is our ABC and we are all in this together.
Q23: What if think of other questions, who can I ask?
A: Go to this link and pose your question: Contact Us