Marion | The needs of busy and discouraged pastors addressed in the Pastors Conference dovetailed with a new ministry emphasis introduced at the opening of the state convention’s 117th IBSA Annual Meeting. “We believe that healthy pastors are needed for healthy churches,” IBSA Executive Director Nate Adams told messengers at Cornerstone Church in Marion November 8.
Adams told the messengers, numbering 321 when the afternoon session started, that a new website will be a portal to a variety of existing opportunities, such as free pastor’s retreats at the two IBSA camps facilities, and new services including additional Multiply Hubs to bring pastors together next year.
“For the Pastor” was among a half dozen items in the first business session that also included passage of the 2024 Cooperative Program budget, delivery of Buckets of Blessing for six ministries, an interview with a couple serving international missions from a local base, and a sermon by IBSA President Michael Nave detailing his church’s confrontation of immoral actions by a staff member and the lessons they learned.
Credentials Committee chair Don Evans presented six churches for affiliation which were approved by acclamation. The churches are:
– Anchor Church, Palos Heights
– Empowerment Community Church, Chicago
– Life Community Church, Hillsboro
– New Nazareth Missionary Church, Chicago
– Oreana Church, Oreana
– Transformation Church, South Chicago Heights
IBSA Board Chair Jeff Logsdon presented the IBSA Budget to messengers. The 2024 budget is based on a Cooperative Program (CP) goal of $6.1 million dollars with a CP ratio of 56.5%/43.5% (IBSA/SBC). The ratio remains unchanged from the previous year. The budget and ratio were approved by messengers with no dissent.
The 100th anniversary of the Cooperative Program will be observed by Southern Baptists in 2025. Adams told the story of his grandmother, Effie Hooks of Kentucky, who pledged $25 to the SBC’s $75 Million Campaign in 1920. That was a precursor to CP intended to bring the convention out of financial distress. With money she saved from selling eggs, Hooks paid her pledge in three years.
The SBC Executive Committee, which disburses CP funds to mission boards and seminaries, was represented by Brandon Porter, editor of Baptist Press. “This is our day, this is our time, the Lord has given us this opportunity… to be part of his kingdom, to be part of his church,” Porter said. “I would encourage you to ask what your church could do to increase the reach and impact” of the Cooperative Program.
In his report, Adams outlined the network’s engagement with its churches throughout the year. It included the Health and Growth Teams’ direct engagement to revitalize 84 churches and 15 local associations. Adams said by midyear, nearly 1,000 students had been discipled at IBSA camps. Adams shared that one-in-ten kids who went Lake Sallateeska or Streator, or “93 came to Christ at IBSA camps this summer.”
Eleven new churches will be planted by the end of the year, with about 50 plants in some stage of development.
In January, IBSA will again host in Springfield the 2024 Leadership Summit, where more than 1,000 Baptist leaders from across the Midwest are expected to attend. “National SBC leaders frequently tell me that MLS is one of the most practical and beneficial they attend anywhere,” Adams said.
Multiply Hubs will be one the primary gathering opportunities IBSA provides in 2024 for the exchange of ideas, for practical training, and for facilitating transformational leadership groups to help pastors and leaders follow through on their ideas and strategies.
Missions homes and away
Adams announced the Buckets of Blessing ministry project for six Illinois Baptist Ministries had filled 325 buckets, far more than the predicted 100, with more expected. Watch a video about one of the projects at Chicago Migrant Ministries.
IBSA’s Missions Director Shannon Ford interviewed IMB missionaries Scott and Catt Turner* who served the technology needs of fellow missionaries in Europe and Africa. They provide online security for missionaries serving in ever threatening world.
Catt explained how she is in engaged in digital engagement. “I put ads on Facebook with gospel content in hopes of eventually engaging them in person,” she said. Last month, she said “We had 15 digital Bibles given out in Prague” as a result of that engagement.
Scott requested prayer for the digital security work he is doing with the 600 missionaries he is assigned. He has a three-month deadline to accomplish the work that will prevent data leaks and can “prevent people from being sent home from the field.”
(*Not their real names. Protected for security reasons.)
Election of officers
Michael Nave was elected to a second term as IBSA President. Nave is pastor of Cornerstone Church in Marion.
Charlene Moe was elected to serve a second term as IBSA Recording Secretary Moe is a member of Chatham Baptist Church and previously served as Assistant Recording Secretary.
The vice president and assistant recording secretary will be elected on Thursday. All officers serve a one year term.
The guest speaker for the Wednesday evening session is Guidestone President Hance Dilbeck. The evening session will also include reports from church planters and a variety of dessert receptions afterward.