Illinois Baptist 02 15 2016 E Edition Page 1

Illinois Baptist ANNIE ARMSTRONG SEASON S'more for Jesus P. 12 TABLE TALK Why 'Baptist' is still our middle name P. 13 Get news and commentary 24/7. See page 3 for addresses. Nonprofit Organization U.S. POSTAGE PAID Peoria, Illinois Permit No. 325 Seeing your blind spots People who bug you can really help you Carmen Halsey P. 16 Lessons from the Illinois Leadership Summit P. 7-9 FEBRUARY 15, 2016 Vol. 110 No. 03 News journal of the Illinois Baptist State Association Illinois For IBSA churches, 2015 was a year of ups and downs: giving and attendance were up, but bap- tisms were down. It seems clear to me that being a Baptist here in Illinois, indeed being a Christian in America, is becoming increasingly counter-cultural, IBSA executive director Nate Adams said. We no longer reach people and grow churches simply by opening the doors on Sunday morning. A rebounding economy and continued emphasis on missions giving may be behind a 1.53% increase in Cooperative Program fiving to $6,230,082 (reported prior to completion of the annual audit) and a 10% hike in the Mission Illinois Offering last year at $403,595, ac- cording to the tallies of the Annual Church Profiles submitted by IBSA churches. Total membership is up by more than 1,000 in IBSA churches (to 193,972), and worship attendance is up by almost 5,000 (7.3%) over the Annual Church Profiles Tallies reveal challenge Good attendance tempered by fewer baptisms P. 3 in focus A Better Grip Your church's future hangs in the balance. on Leadership

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