Illinois Baptist 09 12 2016 E Edition Page 2

ecently my wife, Beth, left town for a few days to visit our sons in the Chicago area and to attend a bridal shower for our soon-to-be daughter-in-law Alyssa. I had a couple of local commitments, and so I agreed to take care of the home front while she was gone. I thought to myself, This wont be that hard. Ill just do all the things she normally does, plus my stuff. There should be plenty of time left over to relax as well. How wrong I was. After a few days of prepar- ing my own meals, doing the laundry, tending to the dog, and a dozen other surprisingly time- consuming duties, I realized the lawn needed mowing. Now before you judge me, let me point out that my wife says she likes to mow the lawn. She loves being outside, considers it good exercise, says it gives her a sense of accomplish- ment, and even uses it as prayer time. So I let her mow. Beth chose to be absent, however, on one of the hottest and most humid Saturdays of the summer. On top of that, our self-propelling mower recent- ly stopped self-propelling. Its handle is held together by little plastic ties. And at least two of its wheels wobble badly. As I forced it up the hills and around the curves of our yard, I seemed to remember Beth saying some- thing about perhaps needing a new one. During the many times I stopped to wipe the perspiration off my brow and out of my eyes, I found myself thinking how much I missed not just my wife, but my life partner. I pictured trying to do both of our jobs all the time, plus parenting and serving in the church, and all the other respon- sibilities that we share. And I realized again that I can only do what I do because of what she does. The following Sunday I was scheduled to speak at one of our states most generous missions-giving churches, though they are far from the largest. In 2015, this faithful church gave by far the state's largest Mission Illinois Of- fering. They are between pastors right now, and I had already planned to try and encourage them from Philippians 1, where Paul says, I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you I always pray with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. As I introduced the text, I found my- self telling them about the unsustain- able few days I had just spent without my wife. I told them those days had really made me appreciate the value of a good partner. And then I thanked them sincerely, from my heart, for their partnership in the gospel, not just this year, but for so many years. Without the partnership of local IBSA churches, we could not have plant- ed 23 new congregations last year, or delivered 20,000 trainings to pastors and church leaders, or mobilized more than 24,000 missions volunteers. Across the state this month, hundreds of IBSA churches will receive the Mission Illinois Offering, focused on reaching more than 8 million lost peo- ple here in our state. Some offerings will total a few hundred dollars, and some several thousand. But together, they help form a powerful partnership in the gospel that gives my prayers joy as well. Beth is back, and this week we bought a new lawnmower. Its one small way I can thank my wife for being a great partner. Our missionaries and staff couldnt do what we do without the partnership of IBSA churches and the generous gifts of Illinois Baptists, especially through the Mission Illinois Offering. Thanks for being great partners. Nate Adams is executive director of the Illinois Baptist State Association. Respond at Great Partners NATE ADAMS 2 Illinois Baptist Snapshots from the world of Illinois Baptists the cooperative program Giving by IBSA churches as of 09/02/16 $3,974,100 Budget Goal: $4,240,385 Received to date in 2015: $4,063,839 2016 Goal: $6.3 Million For questions about subscriptions, articles, or upcoming events, contact the Illinois Baptist at (217) 391-3119 or . The Illinois Baptist is seeking news from IBSA churches. E-mail us at 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 . CONVENTIONAL WISDOM More than 100,000 same-sex couples have wed since last year's Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage. But only a small percentage of Protestant pastors say they've been asked to perform a same-sex wedding. Small numbers so far Most couples, if they want a church wedding, will ask a pastor they know or who they think will support them, says LifeWay Research's Scott McConnell. For same-sex couples, this appears to be an older Presbyterian pastor. Have you been asked to perform a same-sex marriage ceremony? The Illinois Baptist staff Editor - Eric Reed Graphic Designer - Kris Kell Contributing Editor - Lisa Sergent Editorial Contributors - Meredith Flynn Morgan Jackson - LifeWay Research, August 2016 R 8+1+1 88% 11% No Yes 1% Not sure Presbyterian/Reformed Mainline Pastors 55 and older Pastors 54 and younger 7% 14% 18% 26% A few days with my wife out of town made me appreciate the value of a good partner. Who's getting requests? 6% 1% % of pastors who have been asked to perform a same-sex wedding Evangelical Baptist

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