Illinois Baptist 04 18 2016 E Edition Page 2

hen the national Southern Baptist Convention convenes in St. Louis on June 14, Im hoping there will be a record number of messengers from Il- linois churches present. Among the cities where the SBC has met in recent years, St. Louis is certainly the most accessible to a majority of Illinois churches. But convenience isnt the main reason Im hoping to see hundreds, even thousands of messengers from Illinois. First, this is an important SBC presidential election year. As President Ronnie Floyd is completing his second one-year term, three pastors have announced their intent to be nom- inated. As in the campaign for U. S. President, there are clear and important differences to be found in the leadership records, public state- ments, and declared priorities of each person seeking to lead the SBC into the future. In fact, this years candidates have notable differences, not just in ministry experience, but in doctrinal conviction and missions cooperation. Messengers will want to study these in advance of the Convention, and arrive prepared to support the nominee who best represents not only their own churches practices and convictions, but also the direction they feel is best for our Great Com- mission cooperation as Baptist churches in the future. Through the Illinois Baptist , IBSA.org, and other channels, IBSA is pro- viding churches with objective information about and from the SBC Presi- dent nominees and other issues anticipated at the Convention. IBSA will host a reception for Illinois Baptists at the St. Louis convention center on Monday night following the Pastors Conference and just prior to the con- ventions start on Tuesday morning. So please, stay engaged and informed! Its also important that represen- tatives from your church arrive as registered messengers, and not just as guests. Remember to elect messen- fers in advance at a church business meeting and register them online if possible. If you need help with this process, contact us here at IBSA. A second important reason for coming to St. Louis is the evangelistic opportunity called Crossover that takes place just prior to the Conven- tion. In fact, many Illinois churches could participate in Crossover on Saturday, June 11, return to worship in their own churches on June 12, and return for the Pastors Conference and Convention the following week. Metro East Baptist Association Director of Missions Ronny Carroll and others have been representing the Illinois side of the river in planning this emphasis, which includes a variety of volunteer opportunities. You can find a complete listing online at meba.org/crossover-st-louis-2016/. The people of the cities where the annual SBC is hosted certainly notice when Southern Baptists come to town. The Southern Baptist Convention is a major event, often covered in the news. Church messengers saturate the convention center, hotels and restaurants, and sometimes outside protest- ers try to step into the spotlight to advance their agendas. This very public setting provides a wonderful opportunity for thousands of evangelistic volunteers to come and bring the host city both sacrificial service and the good news of the gospel. What takes place in the reporting, worship and business sessions of the SBC meeting itself is vitally important, and worth our time as messengers from Illinois churches, especially this year. And what takes place out in the streets at Crossover can be eternally significant to those who may meet Christ there. It's well worth our time, both in St. Louis and in our own communities. And these are two very good reasons why I hope I will see you in St. Louis. Nate Adams is executive director of the Illinois Baptist State Association. Respond at IllinoisBaptist@IBSA.org. See you in St. Louis? NATE ADAMS 2 IBSA.org Illinois Baptist Snapshots from the world of Illinois Baptists the cooperative program Giving by IBSA churches as of 04/08/16 $1,618,238 Budget Goal: $1,696,154 Received to date in 2015: $1,643,998 2016 Goal: $6.3 Million What takes place at the convention is important- in the meetings and in the streets. 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 In a world where the blending of religion and politics is seen as increasingly dangerous and extreme, its not a sur- prise to see young people hesitant about granting political influence to a religious document of any kind. - Roxanne Stone, Barna Group Culture: Bible makes for better politics Millennials: More skeptical than their elders People who think the Bible has too little influence on U.S. society: 51% of Americans say politics would be more civil if politicians engaged in regular Bible reading. The Illinois Baptist staff Editor - Eric Reed Graphic Designer - Kris Kell Contributing Editor - Lisa Sergent Editorial Contributor - Meredith Flynn Administrative Assistant - Andrea Hammond - Barna.org, March 2016 9+1 51% 58% 57% 51% 35% Elders Boomers Gen-Xers Millennials W

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