If you attend a church that is in cooperation with the Southern Baptist Convention, then you are already aware that the 2014 Annual Meeting is next week here in Baltimore, MD. From what I understand, this is the first time in decades that it has been held here. At my church, First Baptist Church of Brooklyn, we are pretty excited to see it happening in our neck of the woods this year.
There have been a flurry of comments and discussion in various articles over the past few weeks about the meeting. Some were on the SBC website, some were in the various posts of the many dedicated blogger in the cyber world, even some select news sites offered updates and feedback about the event.
Well, add to these outlets one more resource – the SBC Annual Meeting App. It makes total sense for a resource like this to be offered. The influence of technology is massive…huge. It’s to the point that to not have an app for something is counterproductive in many cases. An organization’s sphere of influence is greatly decreased without an online presence, let alone without having their an app.
The Baptist Press provides an overview of the app here, so I won’t give an overview. However, since I’ve downloaded the app and played around with it a bit, I will provide some user feedback on a few features. First off, the app is available on both the iOS and Android platforms (thank you! – I’ve seen more than a few times the android version of an app be released significantly later than the iOS version – sometimes not at all!), so I will be speaking from the perspective of using the Android version. I wouldn’t think the iOS version is too much different.
A few features of the app that I enjoy include –
The schedule embedded within it. As I was planning for this meeting, I was wondering how I was going to keep track of what seminars/ workshops/luncheons I planned to attend. However, I didn’t want to populate my personal everyday calendar with this information. I guess I could have hand-written a schedule, but who does that today. I could have typed it out on Evernote as well. But, with the built-in calendar, keeping track of my events is a non-issue.
I like the “Attendee Resources” link. These resources include the SBC Pastor’s Conference Program, a Prayer Guide, the 2014 Annual Meeting Program, and many other documents – all of which are available for download in PDF format, so they can be kept for later reading if you so choose.
There is a “Local Churches” directory. This section of the app lists churches located in one of two areas: 1) Inside Interstate 695 Baltimore Parkway and 2) Outside Interstate 695 Baltimore Beltway. My home church is listed in area number two. I like this part of the app because it gives people who are new to the area an idea of what churches are available for them to attend.
A few more features of the app include a link for YouTube videos of some of the speakers encouraging people to attend the meeting and workshops, there is a list of those organizations and ministries who are sponsoring workshops, there is a link to a “database” of attendees (provided the attendee took the time to complete their profile), and many other resources.
So, if you attend a Southern Baptist church or not, whether you are able to attend the annual meeting or not – It wouldn’t be a bad idea to download the app and take a look through it. I’m sure you will find it interesting in some way; either by watching the videos or reading the PDF resources contained or reading a bit about the Pastors and speakers who will be in attendance. Take some time to get the app. I think it’s pretty good – maybe you’ll agree.
Grace and peace to you always.
If you’ve attend annual meetings of your denomination in the past, was there a similar resource for use? Is so, was it useful? If not, do you think it would have made your experience better?