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The Rocky Mountain American Baptist

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Pivot, Adapt, and Learn on the  Go

This year has been the year of transitions, pivots, and adapting to new technology. One pastor shared that they had been talking about moving to online giving for several years. Within a month, they were up and ready to go. Churches that never seriously thought about putting their worship services online are now recording their service and posting it to multiple platforms. 

The 2020 ABCRM Gathering is also pivoting from a face-to-face meeting to an online meeting Sept. 24-26, 2020. What is an “Online Gathering” going to look like? Well we have some ideas, but the reality is that we are learning on the go just like pastors and churches have done for the last three months. 

First, we will offer several workshops. Instead of these being offered during the Gathering, we will offer several workshops in the weeks leading up to the Gathering. These can be watched live with interaction with the leader or watched at another time more convenient to your schedule.

The second major shift in formatting will be the way we interact with our global servants. Each year, one of the highlights of the Gathering is to hear from some of our incredible global servants. We always struggle to give them enough “face time” at the Gathering. This year they will. We will feature a different missionary each Monday in October.


They will be able share a recorded message and we will have time to have a Zoom meeting with them.


We might be overwhelmed with Zoom meetings, conference calls, and online videos, but the Gathering 2020 will try to bring the same emotion and "feel" to the ABCRM Virtual Gathering.


Each year, the highlight of the Gathering is the Friday evening worship. We will have live worship again this year. Rev. Dr. Steve Van Ostran will be sharing his vision for our region and our churches in the midst of a pandemic and as we seek racial justice. And of course we will have a business meeting. This is one of the areas where we are learning on the go. Since only delegates can vote, we will need to make sure that we have procedures in place to make sure everyone’s vote counts.


One of the fun adaptations we will try is for the Clergy Dinner. Each year, we enjoy celebrating our pastors and their spouses with a good dinner and entertainment. After discussing multiple options, we decided we would try to create an online cooking class. I know, nothing like having pastors cook their own dinner! Before the Gathering, pastors will receive a menu and a shopping list. A professional chef will prepare the “instructional videos” for the cooking class. On Thursday, September 24, pastors will join a Zoom meeting from their kitchens. Together, we will watch the instructions, laugh together, and then show off our MAD COOKING SKILLS. For those who join us on Zoom, they will be reimbursed for the ingredients they bought for the dinner.


Will it work? We don’t really know, but we think it will be fun, or a total disaster. Just like many of our attempts in the kitchen. We hope you will join us for this unusual, exciting and a little bit off the wall Gathering.


Mike Oldham

Ministry and Missions Coach

Front Range, Wyoming, and Southeastern New Mexico

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