Illinois Baptist 08 14 2017 E Edition Page IFC

Day 2: Monday, Sept. 11 Next generation Reaching the next generation with the gospel is not easy. Those born in 2000 or after are teenag- ers now. The Millennials, who started coming of age after 2000, are giving way to the Centennials, or Generation-Z. They have grown up in a very different world, one where the number of people who claim no religious affiliation at all is about 20% and growing. Jack Lucas joined IBSA as leader of next-gen ministry. IBSA aids churches in reaching children with the gospel, and equipping students as tomorrow's leaders through VBS, missions events, Youth Encounter in three locations, AWSOM for teen girls, Summer Worship University, and a full summer schedule of camps at Lake Sallateeska and Streator Baptist Camps. Pray for next-gen director Jack Lucas , worship director Steve Hamrick , camp managers Philip Hall and Mike Young and their ministry teams. Day 3: Tuesday, Sept. 12 Chicago Bryan and Marci Coble relocated far from their downstate home. Their new neighborhood in Chi- cago, Irving Park, is seven times larger than Marci's hometown, with 77,000 people. The variety of people and languages there is amazing. They are engaged in church planting activities to meet the neighbors and form a core group for a new church. First they will start a Bible study at the community center in the park, followed within a few months by weekly worship services. With the partnership of their home church, IBSA, and national missions partners, the Cobles are committed to sharing Christ in our state's largest mission field. Acts 1:8 missions strategy starts at home, and moves on to the big cities nearby, such as Chicago. Pray for the Cobles , for more church planters in Chi- cagoland with its 10 million residents, and for Dennis Conner , Tim Bailey, John Yi, and Jorge Melendez who lead IBSA's church planting strategy there. Day 1: Sunday, Sept. 10 Northwest quadrant John and Jacki Mattingly have served around the Quad Cities for almost three decades. He has served as pastor, director of missions, and now heads church planting in the quadrant of our state that has captured his heart. This region is a mix of cities, small towns, and rural crossroads, including Quincy, Peoria, and Rockford, with a higher percentage of lostness than any other region in Illinois. Many counties have no Southern Baptist church and little evangelical witness. John continues seeking God's direction in identifying the next location to plant a new church. And he is looking for people who will move here and commit their lives to church planting and pastoral ministry in the Northwest. Pray for John as he helps plant new churches, plus John Sedgwick, Brian McWethy, and Joe Gard- ner who serve here, and IBSA's Church Planting leader Van Kicklighter . Why evangelism is needed now The 'blue map' tells our story his map is becoming familiar around the Illinois Baptist State Association. We call it 'the blue map.' With just a few brush strokes, it clearly illustrates the need for evan- gelism in Illinois. The map shows the percentage of people in each county who self-identify as Southern Baptist. Our strength as a denomination is in the southern half of the state, where in most counties at least 5% of the population is SBC. In some places, the percentage is higher than that, but with so little of this map shaded dark blue, it's easy to understand why Southern Baptists-and evangelicals overall-are in the minority in Illinois. The farther north we travel, the less 'Baptist' the state is, even as the population explodes. The gray circles show our most populous plac- es. And in stark contrast, the white and lightest blue-shaded counties show places where there are few or no SBC churches. The need is great all across Illinois, but espe- cially in the cities and Northwest Illinois. "In many parts of Illinois, Baptists are outnumbered by Muslims, Mormons, eastern religions, and people with no faith at all," Nate Adams, executive director of the Illinois Bap- tist State Association said. "In fact, at least 8-million of our 13-million neighbors in Illinois do not know Jesus Christ." That's why at IBSA, we often say, Evangelism is the point of the plow." As a ministry-support and missions- sending organization, IBSA's mission- aries and staff are engaged in many activities that assist local Baptist churches in Illinois. The partnership we share with almost 1,000 churches, mission congregations, and church plants is vital to strengthening Baptist work in Illinois. But whatever the ministry activity, the reason behind it is equipping IBSA churches, leaders, and members to share the gospel with people who do not yet know Jesus as their personal savior. NOW VAN KICKLIGHTER TIM BAILEY DENNIS CONNER JORGE MELENDEZ JOHN YI STEVE HAMRICK PHILIP HALL MIKE YOUNG BRIAN McWETHY JOE GARDNER JACK LUCAS Continued on page 3 T

Previous Page
Next Page