Illinois Baptists have a history of strong support for missions—praying for workers, participating in hands-on service, and giving through special offerings. But our missions commitment here in Illinois needs to be elevated to a new level. The number of lost people is increasing quicker than our churches and missionaries can keep up with. The spiritual need in Illinois is great, and so is our responsibility to do something about it.
The Mission Illinois Offering and Week of Prayer supports missions in ways that meet the needs in our state. The annual offering supports missionaries and supplies for a variety of ministries in all corners of Illinois.
Prayer is the starting point. In September worship services, please spend extra time lifting these needs before the Lord:
- Pray for the millions of people in Illinois who don’t yet know Christ. Pray they would begin to acknowledge their need for him, and that God would lead them to seek out local churches where they can hear the gospel.
- Pray for the church planters, campus ministers, associational leaders, and IBSA staff members equipping local churches for the work to which God has called them.
- Pray for local churches, including your own, as they are led to new avenues of ministry and missions, all with the purpose of helping people in their communities find Christ. Ask God for creativity, courage and gospel-centered outreach opportunities as you pray, serve and give.
- Pray for your church and more than 900 others across the state as they enter this time of focus on missions in Illinois. Pray they will set God-sized goals for this year’s offering, and that he will lead us to take even greater responsibility for our Illinois mission field.
Since the IBSA Annual Meeting last November, many churches and associations have adapted the Concert of Prayer for their own mission fields. The materials are suited for a special prayer event on the subject of missions. After all, Illinois’ much needed spiritual awakening is all about missions.
The Isaiah 6 prayer model can be focused on the mission field of Illinois.
- Lament the lostness in our state.
- Repent of our lack of concern for lost people, nearby and in our large metro areas.
- Intercede for their salvation and for God to send workers into his fields.
- Commit to support missions with prayer and finances, and to go into all the places in Illinois that need missions workers.
The four prayer-related videos (Lament, Repent, Intercede, and Commit) can be shown during the prayer service and guide pray-ers in their conversation with God. Each is a quiet meditation on Scripture with images and music, about three minutes long. Participants who have held their own Concerts of Prayer have reported moving and effective worship experiences.
Will you encourage your church to engage in special prayer Sept. 13-20?