SBC EC President Frank Page to speak at IBSA Annual Meeting
Lisa Sergent, Associate Editor
SPRINGFIELD | This year the Illinois Baptist State Association Annual Meeting is moving south to First Baptist Church in O’Fallon. The November 2-3 meeting will celebrate “Churches Cooperating” to reach their Acts 1:8 mission fields.
Speakers, music and worship
Doug Munton will deliver the IBSA president’s message Wednesday afternoon. Munton is senior pastor of First Baptist Church, O’Fallon. He will also preside over IBSA’s business sessions which begin Wednesday afternoon and continue through noon Thursday.
IBSA Executive Director Nate Adams will lead the special Wednesday evening worship service which will highlight Illinois Baptist churches cooperating through IBSA, and call them to even greater commitment in 2012.
Frank Page, SBC Executive Committee president, will speak Wednesday evening. Page was elected president of the Executive Committee last year. Prior to that he served as vice president of evangelization for the North American Mission Board, was pastor of First Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C., nine years and SBC president from 2006-08.
Wes Feltner, pastor, Tabernacle Baptist Church in Decatur, and a member of the IBSA Board of Directors, will deliver the Annual Sermon Thursday morning. Feltner came to Tabernacle from Oak Park Baptist Church in Jeffersonville, Ind., where he served as associate pastor.
Chad Ozee, pastor of the Journey Church in Bourbonnais, will lead the meeting’s worship times along with The Journey Church Praise Band. Special music will be provided by the First Baptist Church of O’Fallon Music Ministry led by Ryan Flint, Worship Associate.
Messengers from IBSA churches will hear reports from three association boards of trustees on Wednesday afternoon, and will consider proposed budgets and other matters of business. Thursday morning will focus on reports from Southern Baptist Convention agencies including the International and North American Missions Boards. Messengers will also elect new IBSA officers. Proposed resolutions may be sent to committee chairman Mark Hutson at pastormark1@ frontier.com or to IBSA at SandyBarnard@IBSA.org.
This year’s exhibit hall will include IBSA ministries, SBC agencies and seminaries. And, the Lifeway Christian Bookstore from Carterville will provide an onsite bookstore.
Childcare at the annual meeting will be provided at no cost. Pre-registration for childcare is preferred. To pre-register, call Kendra Jackson at (217) 391-3111 or e-mail KendraJackson@IBSA.org.
First Baptist Church is located at 1111 E. HWY 50, O’Fallon, IL, 62269.
The convention hotel is The Drury Inn and Suites of O’Fallon, IL (3 miles from FBC) which is located at: 1118 Central Park Drive, O’Fallon, IL, 62269. To make overnight reservations call (800) 325-0720 or go to DruryHotels.com and ask for the Illinois Baptist State Association block of rooms, group #2078546. The rate is $82.99 per night for two queen beds or one king. A complimentary breakfast is provided.
IMO: IBSA ministries help students grow in their faith, develop as leaders
Editor’s note: This year’s Season of Prayer for Illinois missions is Sept. 18-25.
SPRINGFIELD | When Illinois Baptist churches give to the Illinois Mission Offering (IMO) this month, they will help provide ministries to and for future generations. IMO gifts help support IBSA camps and conferences for students, along with collegiate ministries.
One of those initiatives, Super Summer, is featured in one of this year’s IMO videos, available for viewing and download at IBSA.org/IMO. Super Summer is a week of intense Bible study and teaching for students.
Every summer, students who have completed the eighth through twelfth grades are divided into “schools” that spend a week studying topics like prayer, missions and evangelism. The investment of Illinois Baptists in ministries to and for students is helping develop a generation of Christians dedicated to growing deeper in their faith, said Lonnie Trembly, student pastor at First Baptist Church, Columbia.
“Students come here and God enlivens their heart, lifts up their spirit, and you just see them change…and see God’s hand on their hearts. They turn around and look at you and you just look them in the eye, and you know God has changed them.”
Trembly’s son Matt, now 28, heard God’s call on his life during his last summer as a Super Summer student. He now helps lead worship at FBC Columbia and hopes one day to serve as a full-time worship leader.
“God just touched my heart and helped me to realize that music wasn’t just a hobby,” Matt Trembly said. “God had given me a gift to use to lead His people to His throne.”
Along with helping students discover their calling, IBSA student ministries can help them take their faith to the Next level, said twin sisters Ashley and Andrea Dimitroff. The sisters are students at Southern Illinois University (SIU) in Carbondale, where they’re active members of the Baptist Collegiate Ministry group. As members of First Baptist Church, Du Quoin, they attended Super Summer in high school, and have returned during their college years to serve as team leaders.
“When I came here, I saw people my age totally devoted to Christ, leading worship, leading Bible studies...” said Andrea. “It was just really a challenge to take my walk with Christ to the next level.”
The Dimitroffs also have been involved in short-term mission trips to Bulgaria.
“I thought missions was something you did after you retired, like when you had your grandkids and things like that,” Ashley said. As a participant in IBSA student ministries, “I saw people my age going on overseas trips. That just really challenged me.”
Jessica Gaynor is a college sophomore from First Baptist Columbia who also has answered a call to missions. She spent three summers in Bulgaria after sensing God calling her.
“The big thing we learn…is the moment you become a Christian, regardless of your age, you become a missionary for Christ,” Gaynor said.
Student ministries instill that missions mindset in high schoolers and college students, and help them develop into vital members of the church right now, Matt Trembly said.
“A lot of times we look at students as, ‘They’re the church of the future.’ But one of the things we teach them is they’re the church right now…and if they start thinking that way now and continue that through their adult lives, what’s the church going to look like in 10, 20, 30 years?”
For more information about IBSA student ministries, call (217) 391-3127 or e-mail BarbaraHalleman@IBSA.org.
Pastor stays 52 years because 'work wasn't done'
BRAIDWOOD, Ill. |A broken-down car is a nuisance for most people. For George Hendricks, it changed the course of his life.
Fifty-five years ago, he was at home in Texas, spending the summer working for his father’s electrical contracting business. He was scheduled to go back to school at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, but his car broke down. While he was waiting on the part he needed, Hendricks got a call from the then-Home Mission Board.
He had applied to the mission board’s Tentmaker Program, an initiative that sent young pastors and their families to help establish Southern Baptist churches in pioneer areas.He planned to return to school with his wife Geraldine and their children.
But the man on the other end of the phone asked if he would be willing to go to northern Illinois to preach in view of a call at a new church.
“I had already promised the Lord that if He opened something up, I would take that as His leadership. So I told the HMB I would do that,” Hendricks said. “I flew up here, preached in view of a call at the Coal City Mission, and they voted to call me as pastor.”
In December 1955, Hendricks and his family moved to Illinois and never left. After two years in Coal City, he was asked to pastor a mission in Braidwood, just five miles east. That mission became Main Street Baptist Church, where Hendricks pastored 52 years. He retired August 28 after nearly 56 years in ministry in northern Illinois.
Asked why he stayed at one church for so long, Hendricks said, “We just felt like the work wasn’t done.” In his years at Main Street, he saw the church through building programs, community transition, and massive social change in the United States.
“I didn’t really know how long I’d be there,” Hendricks said of his first few years at Braidwood. “But in the back of my mind was some advice my pastor had given me just shortly after I’d surrendered to preach: ‘You’re going to face some difficult times ahead, and when you feel like quitting, don’t.’”
One of those difficult periods came within a year of moving to the Braidwood church. Geraldine Hendricks faced serious health concerns, and in one year’s time, spent seven months in the hospital. When she suffered a heart attack that threatened her life, her husband called on his church and surrounding churches to pray for her.
“I told the Lord I didn’t understand how I was going to manage raising [the] kids,” Hendricks said, “but whatever He wanted to do, I’d accept it.”
Geraldine made a full recovery, and in the meantime, the couple’s church rallied around them, volunteering to prepare meals and clean the house.
Main Street’s members had an opportunity to exercise their generosity again several years later, when refugees began to move to the United States after the Vietnam War. The church turned a portable classroom on their property into a furnished home for a refugee family; Hendricks said his church was among the first to host refugees in Illinois.
Over the years, Hendricks has led Main Street through other “firsts,” including being one of the first churches to invite an African American pastor to preach a revival service, adding new children’s programs to reach their community, and starting a bus ministry to bring more people to worship at Main Street.
Hendricks served as a bivocational pastor throughout his ministry in Braidwood, working as an electrician until he retired in 1993. He was named IBSA’s Bivocational Pastor of the Year in 2008.
Through all of the changes his family, church and community have undergone over 52 years, Hendricks said the main thing God has taught him time and time again is that He does answer prayer.
“Things that seem impossible, take place right before your eyes.”
I remember a few years ago having to explain how yogurt works to one of our sons. It’s not that he hadn’t tasted it before. But the yogurt that he had experienced was the kind already stirred up with fruit, and so of course it tasted better than yogurt alone.
Wherever we were that day, my son had selected a carton with the fruit at the bottom, and the plain yogurt at the top. It wasn’t until he had the first spoonful in his mouth that his face puckered up, and he complained, “Yuck, what’s wrong with this?” When I realized what had happened, I reassured him, “It will be fine, son, you just need to stir it up.” A few seconds later, with the colorful fruit stirred from the bottom of the carton into the yogurt, he was happy again.
In working with churches over the years, I have found that cooperation is something that also has to be stirred.Individual churches, like individual Christians, can grow comfortable and complacent in their own habits and patterns. Like the fruit at the bottom of the yogurt carton, it’s easy to settle in to the same routines, the same relationships, and doing things pretty much the same way.
It’s a commitment to cooperating with other churches that stirs things up and makes them tastier in the Kingdom of God. When churches occasionally worship together or fellowship together, they begin to see things from a broader, richer perspective.
And when churches train and learn together, they sharpen one another, and can even test the truths of one another’s convictions and understandings. How many times has a new voice, a new preacher or teacher, given you fresh insight to a Bible passage you’ve studied dozens of times before? How many times has hearing about another church’s method of ministry helped you make your own methods more effective?
But perhaps the most important reason for churches to cooperate is to multiply and broaden their Great Commission impact. It’s when churches come together for the purpose of evangelism, church planting and missions that their vision of a lost world increases, and their capacity to reach it expands. Churches that cooperate learn to recognize the people that are lost “between the cracks” and “beyond the reach” of their own church fields, and they move together to reach them with the gospel.
Stirring that kind of Great Commission cooperation is the primary reason that Baptist churches gather together so willingly into associations, as well as state and national conventions. Like a spoon that gently mixes the fruit into the yogurt, these entities intentionally mingle churches together in fellowship, worship, church planting, missions and more.
Illinois has more than 30 local associations, and September and October are the months when most of these have their annual meetings. Each year I make it a personal priority to attend at least eight or ten of these meetings, so that I can make my way to each local association at least every three years. I would encourage you to make your association’s annual meeting a priority this year too.
I also encourage you to make plans now to attend the IBSA Annual Meeting November 2-3 at the First Baptist Church of O’Fallon, just east of St. Louis. Stirring cooperation among IBSA churches helps send thousands of missionaries around the world, starts hundreds of churches here in North America, and underwrites theological education for future generations of pastors and church leaders.
Stirring cooperation right here in Illinois last year resulted in 27 new churches, more than 20,000 missions volunteers and 24,000 trained leaders, and almost 5,000 baptisms. At the IBSA Annual Meeting we will celebrate that cooperation, plan for it, and recommit ourselves to it.
For the past three years, our IBSA Annual Meeting themes have been “Churches of Strength,” “Churches for Everyone,” and “Churches on Mission.” This year underscores the reason for all those benefits with the simple theme, “Churches Cooperating.”
I can’t say for sure, but I think maybe when churches get complacent and settle in to their own independent ways, God thinks something like, “Yuck, what’s wrong with this?” That’s when we need to stir some cooperation, and this fall’s Annual Meetings are an excellent place to start.
Nate Adams is executive director of the Illinois Baptist State Association and may be contacted at NateAdams@ IBSA.org.
Praying kingdom prayers for lllinois missions
The 2011 Illinois Mission Offering Prayer Guide (mailed to IBSA churches and available at IBSA.org/IMO) is more than merely a way to petition the Lord for financial resources. It is an opportunity for our congregations, small groups, Sunday School classes, Bible studies and youth groups to pray “thy Kingdom come, they will be done” prayers.
We pray kingdom impacting prayers when we:
Pray for the lost…because our Lord pursues every person with a relentless love. May our prayers rekindle in us a passion to introduce others to the one who is the way, the truth and the life.
Luke 15:1-7: Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. (NIV)
Pray for existing churches…as did Epaphrus when he wrestled (literally, ‘agonized’) for the strengthening of the Church in two nearby cities.
Colossians 4:12-13: Epaphras, who is one of you, a slave of Christ Jesus, greets you. He is always contending for you in his prayers, so that you can stand mature and fully assured in everything God wills. For I testify about him that he works hard for you, for those in Laodicea, and for those in Hierapolis. (HCSB)
Pray for new churches…as we partner with Christ in establishing new communities of believers. The spread of the gospel is not only person-to-person, it is family-to-family, tribe-totribe, community –to-community.
Matthew 16:18-19: I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (NIV)
Pray for mission involvement…so that we live out an Acts 1:8 lifestyle, witnessing in our neighborhoods and workplaces, across our state and nation, and even around the globe. All of us are sent; prayer can take us there.
Habakkuk 2:14: For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD’s glory, as the waters cover the sea. (HCSB)
Practice sacrificial giving. Desperate times demand daring, recessionproof faith.
Philippians 4:18-19: I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. (NIV)
When we pray kingdom prayers, we experience the privilege of partnering with Christ as He brings overflowing joy to all who receive him by grace through faith.
This simple yet strategic five-focus prayer guide serves well for the Illinois Mission Offering but can also be utilized as the template for a church prayer meeting or a small group prayer time or a daily focus for family dinner prayer.
Prayer guides have served us well to promote prayer for a specific need or an important project, but it is time we think about how to use them to teach the Church to pray onward and forward, long past the emphasis concludes.
Pray…without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
Phil Miglioratti is IBSA’s prayer consultant and can be reached at email@example.com.
James Sok, IBSA church planting strategist, announces retirement
SPRINGFIELD | James Sok, who has served with IBSA for more than 14 years, will retire this month. Sok currently serves as a church planting strategist in the Chicago area.
“James has been an important of the IBSA family for some time and has been instrumental in planting many churches in Chicagoland and around the state,” said Van Kicklighter, IBSA associate executive director, church planting. “Beyond this, James has had a significant role in translating materials, training and equipping leaders, and facilitating church planting work among Koreans all across North America.”
After his retirement, Sok will serve the Southern Baptist Convention’s Korean Baptist Fellowship as a consultant and coach.
“I am so encouraged by many of you, whom I have [served with] to build His Kingdom on earth,” Sok said. “I am so indebted to my dear friends on the Church Starting team, as well as the Strengthening team, Sending team and Stewardship team. Mary and I will contribute the rest of our lives for the next stages that God has given us to serve because of His sacrifices.”