Northwest women celebrate missions at annual meeting
By Sheila Allen
November 20, 2014
SALEM, OR – Women pursuing God’s purpose were evident at the annual meeting of Northwest Women, held November 10 in Salem, OR, just prior to the annual meeting of the Northwest Baptist Convention.
In a packed room that reflected the diversity of women across the Northwest, a vibrant desire for local and international missions was front and center.
“I took two friends that I lived with at the Purple Door to Thailand on a mission trip,” said Rebecca Harper. “There was something that led us even though we knew it wasn’t possible and God provided, financially and in other ways, through the WMU and the Northwest Baptist Convention.” (The Purple Door is a residential complex owned by the Puget Sound Baptist Association across the street from the University of Washington.)
The trio worked alongside International Mission Board personnel in place in Thailand and taught English classes using Bible curriculum at a Buddhist temple school, among other assignments.
“We were allowed to step into a moment of time where God has been at work for hundreds of years,” Harper said. “We also worked at a Baptist medical clinic and at Thai Country Trim, an artisan group sponsored by WMU through WorldCraftsSM that employs 25 women.” WorldCraftsSM develops sustainable, fair-trade businesses among impoverished people around the world. Their vision is to offer an income with dignity and the hope of everlasting life to every person on earth.
Clear call important when delivering the gospel
By Sheila Allen
November 20, 2014
SALEM, OR – Churches should anticipate and plan effectively for people responding to the gospel, said Oregon pastor Gabe Kolstad during a Nov. 11 breakout session at the Northwest Baptist Convention’s annual meeting gathering in Salem, OR.
“The gospel is worth a response because everyone needs that opportunity,” Kolstad urged. “You must expect someone to respond every time you preach.” Kolstad, pastor of Westside Community Church in Aloha, OR, led the session alongside Barry Campbell, pastor of Highland Baptist Church in Redmond, OR.
We must prepare for many to come to Christ – expecting it,” Kolstad noted. “Are rooms, resources, the church office or prayer team ready? We must consider what’s next after they respond.”
Participants were encouraged to build anticipation throughout the worship experience by announcing the intent to ask for a commitment so that people have time to respond.
“Use illustrations that explain the gospel, like to a child,” Kolstad said. “Communicate at the lowest common denominator to take barriers out. Use terms that people understand like ‘drive a stake in the ground’ or ‘step across the line’ to create a clear call. We must be really clear and consistent. If God brings us a new believer, we must be faithful to answer questions and prove ourselves worthy of his trust and protect new believers like they are your baby.”
Leaders developed at summer collegiate program
By Tobin Perry
November 12, 2014
SAN DIEGO (BP) -- When Arsenia Ivanov came to the end of her freshman year at Washington State University she had a choice to make.
The first generation Russian-American had little background in Christianity before attending Resonate Church on WSU's campus in Pullman. As summer approached the young believer could either go home -- away from her new spiritual support system -- or join some Resonate friends for a summer leadership development program in San Diego called Elevate.
"I knew if I were going to have a deeper relationship with Jesus I would have to pursue it or I'd walk away from it," Ivanov said. "I saw Elevate as an opportunity to be in a place where I could grow and see what my faith would really mean for the rest of my life. When I saw that it was basically work, a vacation, Jesus and community all rolled into one, I was in."
Summer can be hard for collegiate churches. Leaders spend the school year discipling students and preparing them to impact their world for Christ and in three months -- or less -- students fall into bad habits.
That's part of the success behind Elevate, a summer program to develop leaders at Resonate Church, a multi-campus Northwest Baptist Convention collegiate church near WSU, the University of Idaho and Central Washington University. Last summer, about 70 students participated in Elevate.
Elevate allows students to live in a discipleship community, work and witness at summer jobs and serve San Diego church plants in the process. Instead of the summer being a distraction to spiritual growth, it can be an incubator for it.
Iraq war veteran planting central Washington church
By Tobin Perry
November 7, 2014
YAKIMA, WA – Michael Johnson learned a million little things in the U.S. Army. He learned to make his bed Army-style. He learned to march in the Army band. He learned to shoot an M-16 rifle and throw a grenade.
The most important lessons he learned during close to a decade was a how to be a leader and to look at everyday life as a mission field. Those lessons continue to serve him well as a Northwest Baptist church planter in Moxee, WA, near Yakima.
“The Army — really any military service — it is a huge mission field,” Johnson said. “The values that the Army espouses — loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, integrity — are completely things that a Christian would affirm, that the church would affirm, but when you get into the military culture itself, you realize that most of the people are lost.”
Johnson, who had been a music major in college, first considered the Army in 2004 after struggling through a couple of unfulfilling customer service jobs and a part-time worship ministry position that was fulfilling but didn’t provide enough pay to support his family. Married with three children at the time, he not only longed to serve his country but also provide his growing young family more stability.
Collegiate church expands to additional campus
By Lance Lijewski II
October 29, 2014
ELLENSBURG, WA -- More than 380 students gathered September 28 as a team from Resonate Church based in southeastern Washington launched a new church site on the campus of Central Washington University (CWU) in Ellensburg, WA.
Several years of planning, several months of community, and several days of campaigning built a momentum that overwhelmed visitors, students and staff members alike.
With an unmatchable smile of gratitude and tears of joy welling up beneath his eyes, Resonate CWU staff worship leader Luis Cuevas stepped out from the room when the initial music set ended.
“God has been really faithful,” he said. “I’m a bit overwhelmed to be honest.”
Keith Weiser, lead pastor of Resonate, which already hosts four services in Pullman, WA, and Moscow, ID, walked onto the theater’s platform to introduce the church and the gospel to CWU students checking out the new church.