Illinois Baptist 01 16 2017 E Edition Page 3

THE TICKER Follow the latest Illinois Baptist news NEWS Springfield Pat Pajak, who has served as an IBSA associate executive director (AED) since 2007, will transition Feb. 1 to a new role directing the Associations evangelism efforts. Pajak, who currently directs the Church Consulting Team, previously over- saw evangelism as associate executive direc- tor of the Church Strengthening Team. We interviewed at least a half a dozen [evangelism director] can- didates over the past year or so, never feeling we had found a great fit, said IBSA Executive Director Nate Adams . And each time, it seems, I found myself saying, 'We need to find someone like Pat Pajak. We believe that Pat assuming this role will elevate the visibil- ity and priority of evangelism for our churches at a critical time, when baptisms across the state have been down for two years, and lat for even longer. Pajak has long been known as an evangelism promoter and practitioner. As a biker, hes led people to the Lord at gas sta- tions and on the side of the road while they waited for a tow truck. Last year, after he underwent open heart surgery, Pajak led eight nurses to Christ during his hospital stay and handed out Bibles in the car- diac care unit. And on Jan. 1, he preached at his former church, Tabernacle Baptist in Decatur, and led more than 160 people to commit to pray for, build a rela- tionship with, and share the gospel with at least one person in 2017. I simply reminded the church that we cannot replace our burden with busyness, our witness with works, and our passion with programs, Pajak told the Il- linois Baptist. Churches do lots of good thingsbut if we are not using those drawing cards and events to proclaim the gospel and reach the unsaved, we are nothing more than a club. In his new role, Pajak will champion evan- gelism strategies and training, Adams said, as well as spearhead new evangelism initia- tives to be piloted in 2017. The IBSA zone consultants previously under Pajaks leadership will move to the Church Resources Team, led by Associate Executive Director Mark Emerson . Pa- jaks responsibilities as a zone consultant for five associations in central Illinois will be assumed by Sylvan Knobloch , who will expand his current territory as a zone con- sultant while also developing leader- ship resources based on his years of experience consulting with IBSA churches. In the future, Adams said, IBSA hopes to hire a director of lead- ership and church consulting to supervise the zone consultants and develop a more robust leadership development program within the Church Resources Team. To help IBSA more effectively re- source churches in the area of stu- dent ministry, Jack Lucas , cur- rent zone consultant and pastor of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Mt. Vernon, will transition Feb. 1 to a new full-time position as director of student and next gen ministries. The role, also part of the Church Resources Team, includes childrens ministry, summer camps, Vacation Bible school, student min- istry and events, and collegiate min- istry. Jack has worked with IBSA for years, both as one of our Va- cation Bible School specialists and trainers, and more recently as a part-time zone consultant, Adams said. He's a great fit on the IBSA staff, and Im excited about having someone who can focus on helping churches specifically with reaching the next generation. The upcoming staff changes reflect needs expressed by churches in recent IBSA sur- veys, Adams said. In all our surveys of churches about their needs, help reaching people and growing their church shows up as the greatest need, followed closely by leadership development and help reaching younger generations. We feel that these adjustments and additions to our staff position IBSA to serve churches even more effectively in 2017 and beyond. 3 January 16, 2017 IB Former IBSA Ex- ecutive Director Gene Wilson , 73, died Dec. 31, 2016. Wilson served from Nov. 1, 1993 un- til Aug. 30, 1995 when he suffered a disabling brain hemorrhage. Current IBSA Ex- ecutive Director Nate Adams extended con- dolences to the Wil- son family on behalf of the association and its member churches. I would like to offer both sym- pathy and gratitude for Bro. Genes time of service and leadership here in Illinois, he wrote. I only met Gene once personally, but he and Virginia are remembered fondly by the Illinois Baptist family that knew them during their brief time here. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during these days. Wilson was born Oct. 20, 1943, in Arlington, Tex- as. Prior to serving at IBSA, he served as director of missions at Calvary-Arrowhead Baptist Association in California. He also pastored churches in Texas, primarily at First Baptist Church in Porter and First Baptist Church in Crowley. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Virginia Lee Wilson; children, Sandy Alford, Eddie Alford, Vicki Sabin, Ty Alford, and Beth Alford; brother, John Wilson; sisters, Lynda Moak and Paula Spencer; and numerous nieces and nephews. The 1995 IBSA Annual was dedicated to Gene Wil- son. According to the dedication, he led Baptists in Illinois to adopt a three-point vision: 1) The people of Illinois will see effective churches of growing Christians; 2) The people of Illinois will see effective churches empowered by the Holy Spirit; and 3) Il- linois will see effective churches on mission. To accomplish this vision, the dedication notes, IBSA set six priorities under his leadership: church planting, leadership, evangelism, marketplace min- istries, associations, and communications. The dedication concludes, His time of service was short, but Wilson helped prepare Baptists in Illinois to minister effectively in the closing years of the twentieth century. Gene Wilson 1943-2016 Former Executive Director dies 22 years after stroke IBSA Pajak to direct evangelism efforts Staffchanges focus on meeting church needs PAJAK LUCAS KNOBLOCH

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