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Missions opportunities to highlight gathering in Metro Chicago

Final preparations are under way for the 110th IBSA Annual Meeting November 2-3. The event at Broadview Missionary Baptist Church in metro Chicago will focus on cross-culture ministry opportunities in Illinois. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Jeff Iorg, president of Gateway Seminary of the SBC, called Golden Gate Seminary prior to its relocation from the San Francisco Bay Area to metro Los Angeles this year.

“Dr. Iorg is among the most compelling, thoughtful, and missional voices in Southern Baptist life today, especially when it comes to understanding post-Christian culture in America,” said IBSA Executive Director Nate Adams. “I’m so grateful that he is leading our West Coast seminary into the future, where pastors and leaders will engage values and cultures that are already very different from those of the past century.”

I hope this year’s Annual Meeting will bring to all of us a new vision and higher level of commitment to ‘cross culture’ with the gospel.

Iorg is a former church planter and state convention executive director in the Pacific Northwest. As a leader of Southern Baptist work on the West Coast, Iorg has addressed many of the cultural challenges now facing evangelicals in the Midwest. He has written frequently on theological and biblical perspectives on marriage, sexuality, and gender. His book “Building Antioch” shows from the New Testament how an ordinary believing congregation can become a transformational community.

“Illinois Baptists will come away from Dr. Iorg’s messages challenged and transformed, I’m sure,” Adams said.

The Wednesday evening session, including Iorg, will focus on a four-phase process for engaging ministry across cultural barriers. Adams will outline the plan and share testimonies and videos of Illinois churches carrying the gospel to people unlike themselves.

“My own recent trips to Chicago have reminded me again how diverse our churches are, and even more so how varied and challenging are the cultures that our churches need to reach,” Adams said. “I hope this year’s Annual Meeting will bring to all of us a new vision and higher level of commitment to ‘cross culture’ with the gospel.”

IBSA President Kevin Carrothers, pastor of Rochester First Baptist Church and Vice President Adron Robinson, pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Country Club Hills, will also bring messages.

In addition to the session on the variety of ministry opportunities in Illinois, the meeting will include two business sessions on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. Vision tours of Chicago-area ministry opportunities are available. Seating is limited, so online registration is encouraged.

Visit www.IBSAAnnualMeeting.org to learn more.

With the IBSA Annual Meeting just weeks away, pastors and church members who plan to serve as messengers at the Nov. 2-3 meeting are encouraged to make preparations now. See the checklist below for a step-by-step plan of how to get ready for Chicago.

The meeting at Broadview Missionary Baptist Church is preceded by the annual IBSA Pastors’ Conference, which begins Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 1 p.m. and will feature preachers H.B. Charles, Fred Luter, Scott Nichols, and Jonathan Peters. The Pastors’ Conference also will include breakout sessions on cross-culture ministry and evangelism.

“Cross-Culture” is the theme of the Annual Meeting, which begins at 1:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 2. Jeff Iorg, president of Gateway Seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention, will help interpret the meeting’s theme throughout the sessions, and will join IBSA Executive Director Nate Adams and other guests for Mission Illinois: “Cross-
Culture” on Wednesday evening.

The meeting also will feature preaching by Kevin Carrothers, IBSA president and pastor of Rochester First Baptist Church, and Adron Robinson, IBSA vice president and pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Country Club Hills.

Meeting attenders will have an opportunity to see Chicago missions and ministry sites on vision tours planned for Nov. 1 and Nov. 3. Space is limited; go to IBSA
annualmeeting.org to sign up and choose your route (Northside, Southside, Westside, Suburban, or a Chicago sampling).

IBSA also will offer dine-in meal opportunities during the Pastors’ Conference and Annual Meeting. See details below and order meal tickets at IBSAannualmeeting.org/meal-tickets.

Check the website, IBSAannualmeeting.org, for all other meeting details, including information about travel, parking, and hotel accommodations. And take note of the other meetings also scheduled Nov. 1-3:

Young Leaders Network
When: Tuesday, Nov. 1, 9:30 p.m.
Where: Broadview Baptist Church
Menu: Wings ‘n things

Pastors’ Wives Luncheon
When: Wednesday, Nov. 2, 9 a.m. to noon
(Coffee fellowship begins at 8:30 a.m.)
Where: Broadview Fellowship Hall
Cost: $15; send check made out to IBSA Pastors Wives to Stevi Smith, 1302 W. Robinson St., Harrisburg, IL 62946
RSVP: Pre-registration is not required, but strongly recommended by Monday, Oct. 24. E-mail Lindsay McDonald at lmcdonald_31@hotmail.com.

Church Planters Breakfast
When: Thursday, Nov. 3, 7 a.m.
Where: Broadview Fellowship Hall
Cost: This is a free breakfast for planters and spouses, but pre-registration is appreciated.
RSVP: RachelCarter@IBSA.org, (217) 391-3101

Directors of Missions/Moderators Breakfast
When: Thursday, Nov. 3, 7 a.m.
Where: Broadview Fellowship Hall
RSVP: If you have received an invitation, please RSVP to LindaDarden@IBSA.org or (217) 391-3137.

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A popular hotel chain is running a television commercial that cleverly depicts several groups of people trying to decide whether or not to attend a wedding. One is a group of bridesmaids, who clearly aren’t thrilled about the turquoise dresses the bride has chosen. Another group is former boyfriends of the bride, wondering why on earth they all got invited. And one sad lady simply doesn’t want to see Uncle Joe dance in public again. I think it might be Uncle Joe’s wife.

The musical background for the commercial is a rock song from the 1980’s. Over and over that song chants the simple question, “Should I stay, or should I go?”

Because Chicago is our state’s largest and most diverse mission field, we all need to get more familiar with, and comfortable in, this world class city.

As the November 2-3 IBSA Annual Meeting approaches, I imagine there are Illinois Baptists asking themselves that same question. For the first time in several years, the meeting is being hosted near Chicago, at Broadview Missionary Baptist Church. The drive will be quite a distance for those in other parts of the state, just as last year’s location in Marion was a long drive for northern churches.

And of course some will not want to brave the congestion and the traffic. In fact, I don’t know any Chicagoland natives who look forward to that part.

The message of the hotel chain’s commercial is that their comfortable, affordable hotels give even reluctant travelers reasons to go, rather than stay home. So let me suggest some reasons to go to the IBSA Annual Meeting this year.

We need to see and care about and partner with its churches.

First, the challenging theme of this year’s gathering is “Cross Culture.” The program will intentionally showcase the diversity of Illinois Baptists and also point to multiple cultures in our state that desperately need the gospel. There’s no better place in Illinois to receive the challenge to “cross culture” than in Chicago.

Second, because Chicago is our state’s largest and most diverse mission field, we all need to get more familiar with, and comfortable in, this world class city. We need more practice going there. We need to better understand its neighborhoods, its problems, its needs, and its people. We need to see and care about and partner with its churches.

Third, a lot of advance preparation has already gone in to making your stay in Chicagoland as easy as possible. Broadview is a wonderful, generous church, with lots of parking and lots of practice hosting large events. Catered meals have been arranged on site at the church to make the dinner hour easier and more convenient. Nearby hotels have provided very reasonable rates that include breakfast. And Broadview’s near west suburban location makes it a wonderful home base for seeing more of the city, either on your own or as part of two pre-planned vision tours.

Should you stay or should you go?

I could go on and on, but let me cite just one more reason, one that really applies to every Annual Meeting, regardless of location. It’s just very, very good for our Baptist family in Illinois to be together. Throughout the year, we as pastors and leaders and devoted church members work hard in our various local contexts to fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission of Jesus. As the year draws to a close, it is good for us to assemble, and network, and be inspired, and remember that we are not alone in this mission.

Should you stay or should you go? If at all possible, you should go. It may surprise you what the Lord has done across our state over the past year. And it may surprise you how he and the fellowship of your brothers and sisters in Christ will inspire you for the year to come. I look forward to seeing you there.

For more information about the IBSA Annual Meeting and Pastors’ Conference, visit www.IBSAAnnualMeeting.org.

Nate Adams is executive director of the Illinois Baptist State Association. Respond at IllinoisBaptist@IBSA.org.

pastors_conference_2016As IBSA messengers, committee members, and officers ready for the IBSA Annual Meeting, preparation is busily underway for another meeting that takes place just prior to it. The IBSA Pastors’ Conference begins Tuesday, November 1, at 1 p.m. at Broadview Missionary Baptist Church in Broadview, the site of the Annual Meeting. It finishes Wednesday morning, November 2, before noon and the start of the Annual Meeting later that afternoon.

The Pastors’ Conference is a time for pastors to recharge by listening to inspiring preaching, to learn from their peers, and to renew old friendships as well as start new ones. The president of this year’s conference is David Sutton, pastor of Bread of Life Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago. Other officers are Brian Smith, vice president, pastor of Second Baptist Church, Granite City, and Bob Stillwell, treasurer, pastor of First Baptist Church, Paxton.

The theme for this year’s meeting is “CROSSROADS: Our pathway to reconciliation,” taken from 2 Corinthians 5:14-21.

Conference speakers include H.B. Charles, Jr., pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla.; Fred Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans and past president of the Southern Baptist Convention; Scott Nichols, pastor of Crossroads Community Church in Carol Stream, Ill.; and Jonathan Peters, pastor of First Baptist Church of Columbia, Ill.

Learn more about the Pastors’ Conference

Breakout sessions to cross cultures
Conference speakers will also lead eight breakout sessions, including:

IBSA staff members and former International Mission Board missionaries Dwayne Doyle and Mike Young will teach “On Mission in Another Culture,” offering basic principles to increase effectiveness while sharing Christ in another culture.

In his session, “Coming Together at the Crossroads,” Fred Luter will discuss the need for racial reconciliation and share practical ways pastors can lead their congregations toward biblical reconciliation.

“Crossing Cultures and Building Partnerships,” led by IBSA’s Dale Davenport, will help pastors learn how they can establish a partnership with an IBSA church in a different culture. Pastors can begin to form such partnerships at the conference.

IBSA’s Mark Emerson will lead “Develop Fresh Evangelism Strategy for Today’s Changing Culture.” Participants will learn how to develop an overall evangelism strategy for their churches using practical evangelism tools.

Vision tours of ministry opportunities
In addition to the breakout sessions, attenders can take a “Vision Tour” of ministry opportunities in Chicagoland on Tuesday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The tour includes dinner. Choose from Northside, Southside, Westside, or suburban routes.

A fifth tour on Thursday, starting at noon, will offer a “Chicago sampling.” Lunch is included.

Register for the tours online at IBSAannualmeeting.org. Look under the “Vision Tours” tab at the top of the homepage.

Food and fellowship
A meal will be served Tuesday evening, so attenders can stay on the Broadview campus and not lose their parking spaces. Chicago’s famous Giordano’s will cater deep-dish pizza for $10 per person. Seating is limited. Tickets may be purchased at IBSAannualmeeting.org. Look under the “Quick Links” tab for “meal tickets.”


Pastors’ Conference Speaker Bios

H.B. Charles, Jr. is the lead pastor and preacher at Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville and Orange Park, Florida. He has served there since the fall of 2008 and is responsible for the areas of preaching-teaching, vision casting, and leadership development. Prior to his call to Shiloh Church, H.B. led Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles for almost 18 years, succeeding his late father. Pastor Charles regularly speaks at churches, conferences, and conventions around the country, and has authored or been a contributing author of several books.

Fred Luter has served as senior pastor at Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans since 1986. Luter received his Doctor of Ministry at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and was elected the Southern Baptist Convention’s first African American President on June 19, 2012—holding the position for two years until June of 2014. In 2015, Dr. Luter was named national African American ambassador for the North American Mission Board. His role includes involving more African American churches in the SBC and in church planting.

Scott Nichols is senior pastor at Crossroads Community Church in Carol Stream, Illinois—a congregation he planted almost 15 years ago in October of 2001. Nichols holds a Bachelor’s degree in theology from Southwest Baptist University, a Master of Arts in ministry from Moody Bible Institute Graduate School, and is also currently working towards his Doctor of Ministry degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His loves in ministry include preaching, leadership development, and evangelism. Nichols says his joy will be to finish strong and honor God with all he is and does in life.

Jonathan Peters has served as the senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Columbia, Illinois, since 1998. A native of Chicago, Jonathan came to Christ as a student at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, and then went on to graduate from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth Texas. Peters recently led his church in a multi-million dollar relocation project.

Dr. Shane GarrisonThe IBSA Pastors’ Conference is happening now (Nov. 11) at First Baptist Church in Marion, IL. Dr. Shane Garrison, Campbellsville University, shared about reaching the spiritual orphans in our communities. “The vast majority of kids attending your church don’t come from Christian families, they are orphans spiritually,” said Garrison. “They [and their families] don’t hate the church. They just don’t care.”

Garrison called Vacation Bible School, “the most effective soul-winning evangelistic outreach to children and families that the Southern Baptists have in [their] arsenal.”

He urged churches to reach out to those orphans. “Our churches have become primarily focused on our kids. Fifty-one weeks of the year on focused on children of believing parents. Just five days a year [VBS] are focused on spiritual orphans.

“VBS is not for church kids…If you haven’t done one thing for the kids that are not there, your VBS is a failure.”

The Pastors’ Conference (#BuiltUp) ends at noon Wednesday and the IBSA Annual Meeting (#IBSA15) begins Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. and goes through noon Thursday. Learn more about at www.IBSA.org/IBSA2015.

E-mail Mark Emerson and find out how IBSA can help your church host Vacation Bible School in 2016.

The IBSA Pastors’ Conference and Annual Meeting are next week (November 10-12) at First Baptist Church in Marion. Find out how to make the most of your time there.

  1. Tweet the Annual Meeting. Or Facebook it,  but be sure to use #IBSA15. Share what you’re learning and what inspires you. See something that you may have missed. Tweet the Pastors’ Conference with #BuiltUp.
  2. Go to the Pastors’ Tailgate Party. Grab a bowl of chili or chicken and noodles cooked up by an IBSA Disaster Relief feeding team. Learn what they do, why they do it, and how you can be a part of it. It wouldn’t be a tailgate party without subs, sliders, nachos and other delicious treats. You’ll enjoy food, fun and fellowship Tuesday from 4:30-6 p.m. – all for just $5.
  3. Pray ahead of the meeting, during, and after it. Ask God to bless the meeting and everyone attending. Pray for the pastors and churches in our state. Pray also for people who don’t know Christ – there are more than 8 million of them in Illinois. The prayer room will be open in Room C1, just inside the chapel.
  4. Get the building blocks for church growth – Lego-style. Visit the Church Resources Team in the chapel and pick up resources you can take back to your church to create evangelistic prayer strategies, lead effective witness training, host outreach events, bring a renewed focus on Vacation Bible School, and start new small groups and classes. You might even play a video game build your own masterpiece while you’re there.
  5. Network. You’re at a meeting with 100s of other pastors from cities and churches of all sizes, different backgrounds, full-time and bi-vocational, plus some just like you. Take the opportunity to talk with them about what they’ve experienced, achieved, and hope to do. Talk one child of the King to another about how to help and encourage each other.
  6. Invest in yourself and your church. Attend the Pastors’ Conference, listen to the speakers, and go the breakout sessions. Take notes to help you remember important points to bring back to your church and community for growing  His Kingdom.
  7. Check out the exhibit hall. Want to see what kind of exhibit the Church Planting Team has cooked up this year? Need to know about the services GuideStone Financial Services provides? Interested in the programs of study Baptist colleges and seminaries offer? Plus, there’s an IBSA Dessert Reception in the exhibit hall following the Wednesday evening session. Yum!
  8. Women’s Ministry. Ladies, you’re not left out. The Ministers’ Wives’ Conference and Luncheon is Wednesday morning and will feature powerful testimonies. Come by the Women’s Ministry exhibit for all kinds of sweet treats and resources. Join the Women’s Ministry Sampling Party Thursday morning at 7:45 in Room S100. Plus, the LifeWay Bookstore will be right next door in Room S101.
  9. Participate in democratic process. IBSA is your association. Vote on new board members, budgets, and resolutions (you can even submit one!). Elect association officers and learn how your denomination works.
  10. Welcome newly affiliating churches. Established churches and some that have only recently constituted have gone through the credentials process and will be voted on during the meeting. There are 23 churches asking to join yours in IBSA.

Attenders to share breakouts, ‘tailgate’ dinner

2015 IBSA Pastors' ConferenceHEARTLAND | Inspiring preaching, personal instruction, and a Tuesday night tailgate party are on the schedule at the 2015 IBSA Pastors’ Conference. The event starts on Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 1:30 p.m., preceding the IBSA Annual Meeting. (Get the schedule here.)

In his invitation to pastors, conference treasurer Brian Smith of Second Baptist Church in Granite City asked churches to pray for the gathering and for pastors who need spiritual rejuvenation and fellowship.

The theme “Built Up” comes from Ephesians 4:11-13, with sections titled:

• Built to Lead

• Built to Labor

• Built to Last

Guest speakers are pastors Timothy Cowin of The Rock Church in St. Louis, Phil Hunter of West County Community Church in Wildwood, Missouri, and Jimmy Scroggins of First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach, Florida.

The Missouri pastors are well known in the region for effective church leadership. Scroggins is the featured teacher on NAMB’s 3 Circles: Life Conversation Guide, a video demonstrating how to share faith by drawing a simple diagram.

Joining the pastors is Shane Garrison, a Campbellsville University professor who will share on reaching “spiritual orphans.” Garrison is a frequent speaker for LifeWay Christian Resources. He teaches on connecting with unchurched families through Vacation Bible School.

The speakers will also lead smaller breakout sessions, offering personal interaction and instruction. Breakouts will be offered in three time slots on a variety of topics, including:

• Establishing an evangelistic prayer ministry

• Teaching church members to effectively share
the gospel

• Growing your church through launching new
groups

• Connecting your church to unchurched
families through VBS

• Attracting families through evangelistic
outreach events

• Getting ready for company

Tuesday night tailgate

A “tailgate dinner” of subs and sliders, chips and finger foods, and hot bowls will be available on Tuesday night. The Disaster Relief mobile kitchen unit will be on hand, and a DR team will prepare chicken and noodles and homemade chili.

The dinner will be offered at the church. Cost is $5 at the door. IBSA is subsidizing the meal as an expression of thanks to pastors.