Illinois Baptist 03 28 2016 E Edition Page 2

Lessons from Tom Adams NATE ADAMS 2 IBSA.org Illinois Baptist Snapshots from the world of Illinois Baptists the cooperative program Giving by IBSA churches as of 03/18/16 $1,197,331 Budget Goal: $1,332,692 Received to date in 2015: $1,233,081 2016 Goal: $6.3 Million t moves me that so many people in our churches fondly remem- ber my father, Tom Adams, or at least his writing. Dad entered his eternal life with the Lord 10 years ago, just one month after I began my role here as IBSA's executive director. Yet when I visit a church, members often tell me how much my dad or his writing meant to them. In fact, its not uncom- mon for someone to reach into their Bible and pull out a yellowed clipping because it met a need in their lives. Dad wrote for the Illinois Baptist for 34 years. In columns such as Problem Corner and Ask Tom Adams he became sort of a counselor to many. I hoped I would have my dad's counsel for a few more years here. Instead I have relied on the years I had to observe him as father, pas- tor, and associational leader. With his memory in my heart, here are some of the lessons I learned from Tom Adams. 1. Writing broadens and lengthens influence. Dad never pastored a large church, nor held a position of great stature. But because he wrote down carefully considered thoughts at least every couple of weeks for decades, he touched tens of thousands of people he wouldn't have otherwise. 2. Few words can have more impact than many words. Dad was a man of few words interpersonally, and the format of his columns gave him only a little room to express an opinion or idea in writing. But he demonstrated both in speech and writing that a few, carefully considered words can have great impact. Appar- ently they also fit better in your Bible. 3. Readers are better leaders. My dad would be the first to admit that his wisdom didn't come from his own deep intellect or extensive formal education. But he was one of the more widely read men I have ever known. Just ask my mom, whose house is still filled with an incredible variety of books, even after giving many away. 4. Face your fears with faith. I didnt know it until years later, but my dad was scared to death to move our family from Southern Illinois to the Chicago area. My mom tells me he became physically ill over the decision to follow God's call there. What was very hard for him became very good for me, and in their own ways for the rest of our family. But his example helps me face my fears with faith, even today. 5. Invest fully where you are. Dad was never a self-promoter or a ladder-climber. I know he dreamed of another position or two in his life, but he always chose to invest fully where he was called, until God through others beckoned him elsewhere. Me too. I jotted down some other lessons: Do what you know is right, and trust God with the consequences. Marry well and let your spouse be herself. How you say something can be just as important as what you say. Some burdens are best borne privately. Leaders come in all personality types. A few years ago my mom and I helped my dad organize some of his Illinois Baptist columns into a book. If you don't have a copy of Speaking Out, I will be glad to send you one. He would be pleased for you to have it. And I will be pleased for his influence to touch your life as it has mine. Nate Adams is executive director of the Illinois Baptist State Association. Respond at IllinoisBaptist@IBSA.org. Dads been gone ten years, but I still benefit from his example every day. For questions about subscriptions, articles, or upcoming events, contact the Illinois Baptist at (217) 391-3110 or IllinoisBaptist@IBSA.org . The Illinois Baptist is seeking news from IBSA churches. E-mail us at IllinoisBaptist@IBSA.org to tell us about special events and new ministry staff. POSTMASTER: The Illinois Baptist is owned and published every three weeks by the Illinois Baptist State Association, 3085 Stevenson Drive, Springfield, Illinois 62703-4440. Subscriptions are free to Illinois Baptists. Subscribe online at IBSA.org . CONVENTIONAL WISDOM Wages grew in 2015, and inflation and unemployment remained low. Yet the financial picture for many churches did not improve. - Scott McConnell, LifeWay Research Big picture: Economy gaining ground Church: Still grappling with budget questions LifeWay Research asked Protestant pastors: At the end of 2015, church offerings were The share of churches feeling negative impact from the economy has lessened since 2010: 56% 80% 64% The Illinois Baptist staff Editor - Eric Reed Contributing Editor - Lisa Sergent Graphic Designer - Kris Kell Editorial Contributor - Meredith Flynn Administrative Assistant - Andrea Hammond 9 +2+6+3 About what we budgeted Lower than budgeted Higher than budgeted 39% 26% Not sure 3% 32% - LifeWay Research, March 2016 2010 2012 2014 2016 15% I 1930 - 2006

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