Springfield | The IBSA Board of Directors met March 27 to vote on the proposed 2019 budget and goals, welcome new members, and hear a report from Executive Director Nate Adams.
Adams reiterated the “Pioneering Spirit Challenge” issued at November’s IBSA Annual Meeting, which calls churches to embrace the spirit of early Illinoisans who took risks to start something new. He referenced Scots-Irish settlers who were often sent to the front lines to forge the path into new territories.
“Only a special kind of person is willing to come in and be a pioneer,” Adams said. “I think that’s what we’re calling churches to do. Remember where you’ve been. This is a new ridge. God will bless you for it.”
The Pioneering Spirit theme (online at PioneeringSpirit.org) will continue this year, culminating with the 2018 IBSA Annual Meeting. Adams said the meeting theme will most likely be “Pioneering Spirit–200 & Counting.”
The Board unanimously approved the recommended 2019 Cooperative Program goal of $6.2 million, which is $100,000 less than 2017. The budget includes forwarding 43.5% of all CP gifts to the SBC Executive Committee in Nashville, Tenn., with the majority to be used for international and North American missions. The 56.5% remaining in Illinois is to be used to strengthen existing churches and to plant new ones in the state.
The budget will be brought before messengers to the IBSA Annual Meeting at First Baptist Church, Maryville, Nov. 7-8.
The Board also approved the 2017 audit report recommendations from the Chicago-area accounting firm of CapinCrouse. The “clean, unqualified audit report” was approved unanimously. An overspend was approved in the 2018 budget of up to $19,000 for collegiate ministries.
Adams’ report included an overview of 2017 with data from IBSA reports and the Annual Church Profile reports completed by IBSA churches. Among the highlights:
- Missions volunteers were up 3.8%
- Children’s camps expanded from three to seven weeks
- IBSA staff consulted with at least 75% of IBSA churches
- 17 new churches affiliated with IBSA
- Missions giving was similar to the previous year.
One area in need of improvement is evangelism, Adams said. IBSA churches baptized about 3,500 people last year, less than four people each, with more than a third of churches reporting zero baptisms.
“Our challenge is to reach and support churches not seeing baptisms,” Adams said. The 2017 IBSA Church Needs Survey showed churches were looking for help in the area of evangelistic outreach. He cited a new evangelism saturation strategy, “Everyone Hears,” which will begin this year. IBSA’s Eddie Pullen will move from his role as a church planting specialist in the Metro East region to a statewide director role where he will link existing churches with church starts to advance the gospel.
New online training resources, training events, and part-time staffing deployments will be available to provide further assistance.
In other business:
- The proposed 2019 IBSA Goals were brought by the Strategic Planning Committee and accepted unanimously.
- Nine new board members were introduced: Cal Callison, Sherrie Harlow, Jerry Higdon, Jeff Logsdon, Alan Newcomb, Bill Simmons, Roger Teal, Rob Windes, and Matthew Woodford.