Archives For Jonathan Peters

Do you really believe it?

Meredith Flynn —  November 13, 2013

IBSA ANNUAL MEETING | “Do you REALLY believe that God uses the preaching of the Gospel to save sinful men?” asked Jonathan Peters in his president’s message this afternoon on the prophet Jonah.

“To save sinners, to transform communities, to revive dead hearts and bring them back to life through the preaching of the Gospel? Jonah believed it—he just didn’t want to do it.”


MIO_blogHEARTLAND | More and more, churches in Illinois are responsible for missions in Illinois. This is where we live, work, shop, and go to school. This is where our families, friends, and neighbors live – 13 million of them. And at least 8 million don’t yet know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

In the face of such great spiritual need, some of our denominational partners are focusing on church planting as their main method of evangelism. That is a worthy tactic. But it means that Illinois Baptists must make up the difference in other areas that are still fertile for advancing the Gospel. We must focus on missions that remain vital to us here in Illinois, including compassion and crisis ministries, outreach on college campuses and in inner cities, and the education and mobilization of church members for missions. Children, students, and families in Illinois need the life-saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. And Illinois churches need help in dozens of ways that are funded only by Illinois Baptists.

Many of these ministries and missions efforts would not be possible if not for the Week of Prayer and Offering for state missions each September.

DAY 1: Watch “Partner to Plant”

Pastor Peters is passionate about winning lost people. Perhaps it’s because as a kid growing up in Chicago, he never heard the Gospel. Or because so many family and friends still living there do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ. “We have to win the cities, because that’s where the people are,” Peters says of the teeming metro areas. Pastoring a church near St. Louis, Peters has led his congregation to engage in ministries nearby. And he has led them to partner with several churches in metro Chicago.

Read: Jonah 1:1-9; Isaiah 62:6-7

Think: Is our reaction to big cities and people we don’t know more like Jonah’s opinion of Nineveh, or Pastor Peters’ feelings about Chicago?

Pray for the 200 places in Illinois already identified as needing an evangelical church. Pray for IBSA churches to pray, partner with existing churches, and plant new churches.

DECATUR, Ill. | Where would Paul be if he were around today, asked IBSA President Jonathan Peters in his message during the IBSA Annual Meeting. He’d be at Starbucks, or in a college campus cafeteria. “He’d be anywhere where somebody is talking about something that he believes could point them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ,” Peters said.

And Paul would definitely in the cities. “He wouldn’t discount the towns,” Peters added, “but he would spend most of his time in the cities. And he wouldn’t apologize for it.”

He posed another question to the crowd: Where do the majority of lost people in Illinois live? The answer is obvious, and crowd members called it out to Peters: Chicago. “We need to reach our cities for Christ. We need to be selfless in our churches and not view ourselves as those who demand services from denominations, or to place unrealistic expectations on people to get the job done for us.

“Every believer in Illinois is responsible to reach the people of Illinois. And the people of Illinois, for the most part, still live in large urban centers.”