NAMB trustees meet in Chicago for ‘Send’ launch

Meredith Flynn —  October 9, 2012

THE BRIEFING | Posted by Meredith Flynn

Targeting 163 new church plants in Chicagoland over the next five years, the Send North America planting strategy for Illinois’ largest metropolitan area launched Oct. 7-8 with a prayer gathering of local church leaders and a meeting of North American Mission Board trustees.

This visit by NAMB trustees marks the importance of Chicago in the Southern Baptist Convention’s plans to reach the central United States with the Gospel. “With nearly 9 million people in the Chicago metro area, it is our largest, most influential city in the Midwest,” said Steve Davis, NAMB’s vice president for the Midwest region. “The task of penetrating the lostness and conserving the harvest through church planting is enormous.”

Davis joined NAMB President Kevin Ezell, the trustees, leaders from the Illinois Baptist State Association, and a host of missionary planters and local pastors when the Send plans for Chicagoland were presented October 8.

Send North America is NAMB’s strategy to help churches and individuals become active in all regions of North America to lead people to faith in Jesus Christ and start new churches. Chicago is one of 30 highly influential urban centers throughout North America that NAMB is focusing the attention of Southern Baptists on through Send.

With 8.7 million people in the 10 Illinois counties surrounding the city, Chicago is behind only New York City and Los Angeles as the largest Send North America cities.

“Few cities have more impact than Chicago,” said Van Kicklighter, associate executive director for missions and church planting at IBSA. “This is certainly true for Illinois but equally true of Chicago’s impact nationally as well as globally.  Chicago is a wonderful place for Southern Baptists to cover with their intercessory prayer, engage with church partnerships, and spread their missionary wings by sending people who will plant their lives here for the sake of the Gospel.”

For more information on Send North America: Chicago, read the current issue of the Illinois Baptist online, or visit

Eric Reed is editorial consultant for Illinois Baptist media and reported this story with additional information from Tobin Perry of the North American Mission Board.

In other news:

Six-year-old Texan partners with IBSA for ministry in Haiti
IBSA’s Missions Team recently received a check for $516.20 from an unlikely source: 6-year-old Mackenzie Howell, a Texan who has been burdened for Haiti since she first learned of the devastating earthquake that rocked the country in 2010. “She was deeply touched and wanted to do something for the kids who, in her words, ‘lost their moms, their dads, their schools and their homes,’” wrote Mackenzie’s mom Allison Howell in a letter to IBSA. Mackenzie’s donation will be used to help purchase school supplies or books for children who wouldn’t have them otherwise. And the gift may also help a local Haitian church point people to the Gospel. The full story is on page 8 of the newest edition of the Illinois Baptist. Read it here.

Survey: Pastors reject pulpit endorsements
Nearly 90 percent of pastors believe they should not endorse candidates for public office from the pulpit, according to a survey by LifeWay Research. That marks an increase since 2010, when a similar LifeWay survey found 84% of pastors believed they shouldn’t endorse candidates from the pulpit. The new findings, released Oct. 1, also revealed that 44 percent of pastors personally endorsed candidates, but did so outside of their church role. Read more at Baptist Press.

Cooperative Program ends year 3% above budget; downturn may be reversing
The Cooperative Program ended its fiscal year 3 percent over budget and at 99.41 percent of last year’s contributions. Church giving hopefully has dipped as low as it will from the U.S. economic downturn and may be ready to stabilize or climb, Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee President Frank Page said. “We finished 3 percent ahead of our budgeted goal and only slightly under last year’s CP total. This is hallelujah territory! To God be the glory.” Read the full story at Baptist Press.

Tyndale files suit against abortion mandate
Bible and Christian book publisher Tyndale House has filed suit against the Obama administration’s abortion/contraceptive mandate, asserting it is an unconstitutional violation of religious liberty to force the publisher to pay for drugs that violate its faith tenets. The mandate requires employers – with few exceptions – to carry employee health insurance plans that cover contraceptives and drugs that can cause chemical abortions. At least 30 lawsuits have been filed against the mandate. Go to for more.

Meredith Flynn


Meredith is managing editor of the Illinois Baptist newspaper.