Young congregation's focus is functional gospel

By Sheila Allen

March 17, 2015

Pastor Andrew Arthur (right) celebrates alongside Payton Young after her baptism at The Hallows Church. The three-year-old church meets in the Fremont District of Seattle and is in the beginning phase of adding another campus in West Seattle.

When Pastor Andrew Arthur began considering names for the Seattle congregation he had just started, The Hallows Church seemed a natural fit.


“We took the name from the Lord’s prayer as a worshiping community that hallowed God’s name,” said Arthur, who is originally from Louisiana. “The term also means sanctified, holy and he has set up apart as a missional community. It frames our identity.”


Now over three years old, The Hallows is a thriving body of believers that first comprised missional groups -- centered around fellowship, Bible study and serving the community – and soon will be adding its tenth group.


“In early 2012 we began to gather weekly for worship,” Arthur stated. “Those are the two rails we will ride into the future – missional communities and worship gatherings.”


Arthur and his wife, Kim, moved to Seattle after ministering among students from the Northeast and the Northwest on the Tulane University campus in New Orleans while in seminary. He first came to Seattle in 2004 while leading Centrifuge camps for teenagers.


“There were two things that struck me that summer – frustrated leaders and the difference of the students. Here there were a lot of students marked by conscious unbelief and I found that refreshing.”


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Puget Sound draws church planters from near and far

By Sheila Allen

March 17, 2015

With a notepad beside his bed for nighttime inspiration, Gary Irby has spent much of his ministry honing ways to advance church planting in the greater Seattle area and now across the Northwest Baptist Convention.


“I lay awake and dream about ‘what would happen if…” said Irby, NWBC director of church planting resources. “I’m a third generation church planter, but it was when I was on staff at First Baptist Church in Longview, WA, in the late 80s, and I became frustrated with slow growth that God said, ‘You’ve been adding but you need to multiply’.”


Irby went on to plant his first church in 1994 in Scappoose, OR, without a lot of systems in place to help church planters at that time. Now teaching the mechanics of church planting around the Northwest and the nation, Irby keeps crafting skills for new churches and assisting with anything that is a bottleneck limiting how churches multiply themselves.


“I am always looking for things that other people are doing that we could use, but the one thing I couldn’t find was partnership development,” Irby noted. Partnership development is the name given to solicitation of funds from other churches or individuals to supplement what the Cooperative Program, Annie Armstrong Easter Offering and Sylvia Wilson Mission Offering provides for new churches.


“God has really blessed through the ways we have learned to develop financial partners,” said Irby. “Now, not only people from the Northwest, but others from around the country and the world use this method.”


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Friendships key to evangelism for church planter

By Sheila Allen

March 17, 2015

An Easter egg hunt sponsored by Northcreek Church in Woodinville, Wash., has morphed into a massive community event. Local vendors joined in with booth and approximately 3,000 people attended the 2014 event.

Seeing lives changed through friendship and open dialogue fuels the ministry of Pastor Gary Chupik. 


“Friendship is the most powerful vehicle for evangelism,” said Chupik, who started what is now Northcreek Church in Woodinville, WA, almost nine years ago. “Learn to be a good friend and you will draw them into your world view.”


As a teenager growing up in Saskatchewan, Canada, Chupik was mentored by a youth pastor he deemed the most prolific witness he ever met.


“He would sacrifice zeal over experience and lived that out,” Chupik stated. “Because of that, the church had a disproportionate amount of young men and women going into ministry. I was a recipient of that and it laid the foundation of my ministry. I have a holy desire to return what’s been invested in me.”


After attending Bible college and seminary in Canada, Chupik resisted regular advice to become a church planter.


“I was approved by two different organizations as a planter and then a third and I didn’t like any of those answers,” Chupik said. “I am a very sequential, logical person and did a final assessment with Seattle Church Planting through the Puget Sound Baptist Association. I make the phrase ‘reluctant leader’.”


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Northwest natives making difference in East Asia

By Sheila Allen

March 17, 2015

After 28 years in East Asia, Ken and Christine Young* feel more at home in their adopted country than in the place of their birth, but it was Baptist student ministries in the Northwest that drew them together for a life of serving others in the name of Christ overseas.


“I will be forever grateful to my father for taking me to the Baptist Student Union at the University of Washington even though I was a student at Seattle Pacific University,” said Christine Young. “He took me the first day to meet Margaret Shelton, a Northwest Baptist Convention campus minister, and she discipled me and taught Bible study habits. I learned many personal skills while there, including being fed wherever we are, because the church doesn’t always feed.”


Following her graduation from college, Young continued in campus ministry herself and soon met Ken Young who journeyed to the University of Washington to obtain a masters degree.


“Ken and I led similar but parallel lives and I remember being challenged in the BSU to use scripture to define a life promise,” Young noted. “After hearing Ken’s life promise, I was captured by it.”


The two began dating and soon sensed not only a calling from God for a future in international missions, but also a passionate love for each other. Both served in East Asia during short term assignments and fell in love with the region separately. After their marriage, the duo was appointed by the International Mission Board in 1985 and sent to their first assignment in 1986.


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Legacy church effort aimed at renewing churches in decline

By Cameron Crabtree

March 17, 2015

John March Clifton spoke at a series of Legacy Church presentations held around the Northwest Baptist Convention to discuss revitalization efforts for declining churches.

VANCOUVER -- Churches in the Northwest facing serious decline and possible closure may have renewed opportunities for ministry impact through “Legacy Church Planting,” a joint effort of the Northwest Baptist Convention and the North American Mission Board.


Legacy church planting is the name given to helping a dying church regain a ministry footing in a community by renewing its commitment to gospel outreach, but it also usually involves new leadership and changes in governance and decision making.


“All these changes and all these things you do in revitalization should be seen as an act of worship,” said John Mark Clifton, NAMB strategist for church revitalization.


Clifton joined Gary Irby, the Northwest Baptist Convention’s director of church planting resources, and various NWBC regional staff members for a series of presentations across the Northwest in February to discuss revitalization options for declining churches.


It’s a timely and necessary initiative, Clifton urged. Even with the high profile emphasis on church planting from the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board – seeking to start more than 1,000 churches annually in North America, primarily in metro areas -- the net gain of churches is much lower since about 900 Southern Baptist churches close each year, according to Clifton.


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Conference preapres children's ministry leaders for long haul

By Cameron Crabtree

March 17, 2015

"Children's Ministry 52", hosted by First Baptist Church in Longview, WA, drew more than 160 Northwest Baptist children's ministry leaders from 52 churches across Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

“All kids are important.”


“We teach children from the overflow of our hearts.”


“Remember the purpose for teaching – that they may know Jesus.”


“Each child can belong with their unique gifting.”


“If this is the only Sunday they’re ever in church, will they learn what they need?”


“There must be doctrine – soul-saving, soul-sustaining truth.”


“Only God knows the details we’re preparing them for; The only detail we know is it’s for God.”


Those were a few of the “lessons learned” from a children’s ministry conference sponsored by the Northwest Baptist Convention in early March.


“Children’s Ministry 52,” hosted by First Baptist Church in Longview, WA, drew more than 160 Northwest Baptist children’s ministry leaders from 52 churches across Oregon, Washington and north Idaho.


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Ministry teens share experiences at retreat

By Sheila Allen

February 26, 2015

An impromptu game of red rover developed during a sunny break from sessions at a recent Eagle Retreat. The conference was held for teenagers from vocation ministry families.

VANCOUVER – Unrealistic expectations placed on pastors and their families are common, with the children getting pulled often into extreme negative behaviors or personas that mask their true feelings.


Those and other topics were open for discussion at a recent retreat sponsored by the Northwest Baptist Convention for teenagers whose parents are in vocational ministry. Meeting at the Northwest Baptist Center in Vancouver, WA, 30 participants were on hand for encouragement, according to NWBC youth strategist Danny Kuykendall.


“Preachers’ kids have unique needs and they need to know they are not alone,” Kuykendall said. “When we get them together, they realize they are not the only one going through this. The whole concept of living in a ‘fishbowl’ with all the expectations of a congregation means these students need a place to share their frustrations and be encouraged.”


Kuykendall did not want the conference to become a gripe session, but instead emphasized the positive side of ministry kids.


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Scholarship available to assist young people on mission

A scholarship established in 2012 by a trust with the Northwest Baptist Foundation is again available for high school-aged teenagers and young adults, according to Steve Brock, NWBF chief financial officer.


 Seeking to assist young people up to 25 years old with the financial needs of an international mission trip, the fund is specifically geared toward those engaging in evangelistic mission activities. Applicants must be enrolled in secondary or post-secondary education.


 High school students who receive the scholarship must also be a member or regular attendee of a church affiliated with the Northwest Baptist Convention or college students that are active participants of a local Northwest Collegiate Ministry. Those with a parent who is or was an appointed missionary of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention are also qualified to apply.


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Complete 2015 Jan-Feb Issue
2015 Jan-Feb final.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [44.4 MB]