Illinois Baptist 08 01 2016 E Edition Page ii

Day 2: Monday, Sept. 12 Student ministry Teens and college students today are seeking an authentic faith that leads to real life change. Through discipling events and campus ministry, IBSA mis- sionaries and churches are doing their part to help kids understand that they are loved by God. The biggest IBSA evangelism effort each year is Youth Encounter, held simultaneously at three locations on Columbus Day weekend. Junior high and high school students listen to well known bands, hear the gospel presented by dynamic speakers, and have the opportunity to respond to Christ. At YE 2015, more than 1,500 students attended, with 109 salvation decisions at the Decatur location alone. My hope is that next year we would be able to have even more people, said Erin Willis at the Chicago location. Pray for Mark Emerson and the Church Resources team who lead this work. Pray for the salvation of young people in your church and statewide. Day 3: Tuesday, Sept. 13 Missions mobilization This spring seven Illinois women set aside their daily responsibilities for a week and said yes to a call to South Asia. There they worked with Muslim women. Team member Lindsay McDonald said it was a very dark and oppressed place, but I think in the darkness, we were also allowed to see hope. Even in a place of persecution, women raised their hands wanting to become followers of Christ. We went expecting to see certain things and then God delivers the unexpected! said Carmen Halsey. IBSA aids churches in sending more than 22,000 people each year to serve on mission teams, in their communities and around the world. Pray for IBSA's Carmen Halsey and Dwayne Doyle and the teams they help train. And pray for your church's involvement in missions. Watch Lindsay McDonald's story, Mobilizing volunteers worldwide at missionillinois.org. Day 1: Sunday, Sept. 11 Church planting Ignite Church is a brand new congregation in Breese. In its first three months, more than 20 people accepted Christ and many were baptized in a horse trough, inside the bar where they meet on Sunday mornings. After years of alcohol and drug abuse, Levi Hart encountered Jesus, and now he and his wife are committed to bringing the gospel to where people are. Against a backdrop of neon signs, Christ is preached and lives are changed. More than 8 million people in Illinois don't know Jesus. The IBSA church planting team is commit- ted to working with planters like Levi to reach those people in their unique context. IBSA started 23 churches last year, and about 80 total are in process. Pray for church planters and partner churches, church planting leader Van Kicklighter , strategists Eddie Pullen and John Mattingly, and the rest of the IBSA church planting team. Watch Levi Hart's story, Planting churches in Metro East at missionillinois.org. What is Mission Illinois? And why is our work together so vital today? ello, I'm IBSA Executive Director Nate Adams, and I'd like to tell you why I personally support the Mission Illinois Offering & Week of Prayer. While Illinois is a beautiful place, and it's our home, spiritually speaking it is still very dark. At least 8 million people here don't claim to have a personal relationship with Christ. According to a recent report in the Chicago Tribune , there are now more Mus- lims in Illinois than Southern Baptists. In fact, Islam recently surpassed Mormonism as our state's fastest growing religion. Mission Illinois is hundreds of Baptist churches working together to bring light into that darkness, and to share the gospel with those who don't know Christ yet. We do that by training and equipping thou- sands of local church leaders-in evange- lism, and missions, and effective church ministries. As cooperating churches, we work togeth- er to reach college campuses, and impov- erished urban areas, and to start effective new churches, especially in places where the light of an existing Baptist church doesn't yet exist. Last year we saw more than 4,000 people baptized, 23 new churches started, and more than 22,000 missions volunteers. Our national mission boards are great partners in starting churches, and in send- ing missionaries. But there are some state- wide ministries that are now funded only by Illinois Baptists. These include evan- gelism, women's ministries and missions, men's ministries and missions, collegiate ministries, student ministries, and support of the Christian Activity Center in East St. Louis. The Mission Illinois Offering is a vital way that we keep these ministries thriving. That's why this year's offering is so impor- tant. If you're like me, you have a lot of people and organizations asking for your support. I want my most generous missions giving to truly advance the gospel, and to do it through trustworthy, Baptist churches and missionaries. The Mission Illinois Offering does just that. So I invite you to join me in giving a gen- erous, personal offering to Illinois missions this year. Together, we can push back the darkness. H Let your light So Shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven . Matthew 5:16 IBSA missionaries and staff assist churches in reaching their mission fields with the gospel. By supporting the Mission Illinois Offering, you help our lights of evangelism and missions and church planting shine brighter. VAN KICKLIGHTER EDDIE PULLEN JOHN MATTINGLY MARK EMERSON CARMEN HALSEY DWAYNE DOYLE TIM BAILEY DENNIS CONNER

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