Archives For week of prayer

The Mission Illinois Offering and Week of Prayer is September 10-17, but there are plenty of opportunities for prayer ahead of that week. In fact, all of September is a good time to focus on God’s work through Baptists in Illinois.

Devote time to prayer every Sunday or Wednesday in September. Share mission facts and videos on the mission stories. Our main focus is evangelism and church planting in Illinois. Review the statistics about lostness in Illinois. These are not just numbers, they are people.

Pray for salvation. Check Wikipedia for the population of your county or town. According to the experts, more than two-thirds (say 65%) of those people do not know Jesus Christ. Do the math. Pray for their salvation. While you’re at it, make a list of people you know who need Jesus.

Pray for the missionaries by name. Use the daily devotions as brief prayer prompts in worship services and in personal prayer. They are in the MIO Prayer Guide/bulletin insert, online, and printed in the special Illinois Baptist wrapper on the outside of the Aug. 14 issue.

Schedule a special prayer meeting for state missions. Some churches use the Wednesday during the Week of Prayer, others use Sunday morning or Sunday night. Or pick another time, day or night.

Spread the responsibility. Ask Sunday school teachers and small group leaders to focus prayer on state missions during September. Ask the missions team or WMU or men’s group to pray for state missions in their September meeting.

Focus on Romans 10:14.
“How, then, can they call on him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about him? And how can they hear without a preacher?” (CSB)

Pray each section of the verse:
• For the Holy Spirit to open hearts to believe;
• for the gospel to be shared; for the church planters;
• for gospel witnesses to respond to the call to
missions and evangelism, especially in Illinois.

We could plant so many more new churches and reach so many more lost people in Illinois if there were more future leaders in the pipeline.

Learn more about the Mission Illinois Offering at

What churches do together

Meredith Flynn —  September 5, 2013

MIO_blogCOMMENTARY | Nate Adams

Editor’s note: This column is the third in a three-part series, interpreting IBSA’s 2013 state mission offering theme statement: Mission Illinois – Churches Together, Advancing the Gospel. Read Part 1 and Part 2 here.

When Beth and I were first married, she was a third grade teacher and I was director of marketing at a Christian magazine publisher. It was always easy for me to explain to others what my wife did for a living; everyone knows what a teacher does. But when people asked Beth what I did, exactly, at Christianity Today, she usually simplified my role quite a bit by saying “You know those annoying little cards that fall out of magazines when you open them? He makes those.”

Now to me, what I did for a living seemed much more important and complicated than that. But I had to admit that, in 20 words or less, Beth gave the average person a pretty clear picture of my job. It was to get subscribers to our magazines.

In fact, my task of creating those “blow-in cards” was very similar to the challenge Beth faced in quickly telling people what I did. In just a couple of square inches, we had to tell prospective subscribers why they should spend $20 or more on a magazine subscription. By the time you printed a picture of the magazine and gave the subscriber space to write their name and address, you only had a sentence or two to describe what the magazine could do for them. It’s not always easy to deliver an important or powerful message in just a few words.

As we looked for just a few words to describe what “Mission Illinois” is and why we should all support the Mission Illinois Offering, we chose the words “Churches Together, Advancing the Gospel.” In two previous columns I wrote about the significance of the words “churches” and “together.” Some churches tend to mind their own business and do their own thing. But Mission Illinois describes churches that believe the same core, biblical doctrines, and that choose to work together for both the fellowship and the effectiveness that cooperation brings. And the noble cause that our cooperation serves is the advancement of the Gospel, both here in Illinois and around the world.

There are lots of good phrases that could follow “Churches Together…” and that would be true heart cries of Illinois Baptists. With equal enthusiasm we could say, “Believing the Bible” or “Seeking the Kingdom” or “Making Disciples of Jesus” or “Growing Stronger and Multiplying.”

But in the phrase “Advancing the Gospel” we have identified, at least for now, the few words that best summarize why we as churches choose, even in our autonomy, to sacrificially work together. We want to see the good news of the Gospel delivered lovingly and effectively to every person in our home mission field of Illinois. We want to see Bible-believing, disciple-making congregations established in every community of our state. And we want devoted Christians from those churches to go boldly into all their Acts 1:8 mission fields. The “ripple effect” image of our third Mission Illinois icon symbolizes the advance of the Gospel from local churches, throughout Illinois, to the ends of the earth.

When we place “Mission Illinois” in front of that phrase, we declare who we are as an association of churches, and what we intend to do together. It is our five-word “blow-in card” to one another, and to the world. We are not independent churches; we are interdependent churches. We are not doing the Great Commission alone; we are doing it together. And even if we do a lot more than can be quickly communicated in a few words, we will seek to do these few words above all others.

We will advance the Gospel.

Nate Adams is executive director of the Illinois Baptist State Association.