Women's Summit Pursues What Matters

By Sheila Allen

May 28, 2019

Gayla Parker was the keynote speaker for the annual Women's, Summit held in Lake Oswego, OR.

Northwest women across a spectrum of ages and ethnic backgrounds participated in the 2019 Women’s Summit, sponsored by the Northwest Baptist Convention in recent weeks.


Gathering around a theme of “Perspective – pursuing what matters,” the event drew more than 300 women to Lake Bible Church in Lake Oswego, OR, from all walks of life and offered general sessions and breakout seminars designed to help women deepen their spiritual journeys.


Keynote speaker Gayla Parker, an adjunct professor at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkansas and hospice chaplain, encouraged attendees to participate in active compassion wherever they are in life.


Parker, an author with 35 years of ministry experience, including service with the International Mission Board in the Philippines and as a women’s ministry consultant for two Southern Baptist state conventions, is passionate about opening the word of God with women and putting feet to the gospel message.


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Pastors Explore Sacred Journey

By Cameron Crabtree

May 28, 2019

Joe Chambers talks with Northwest church planters.

The “truest thing about you is that you are the beloved of God,” Pastor Joe Chambers told about 60 church planting families convened recently on the Oregon coast for the Northwest Baptist Convention’s annual church planter retreat.


Chambers, pastor of Mountain Heights Baptist Church in Buena Vista, CO, and former NWBC pastor in the Seattle metro area, offered perspectives on “soul care” and disciplines that sustain a believer’s inner life.


Citing stories of Jesus’ baptism and wilderness experience in Matthew 3-4, Chambers outlined a four-part “sacred cycle” of spiritual growth: acceptance, sustenance, significance and achievement.


“Knowing your radical acceptance by God as his beloved is the first place I have to begin in your spiritual journey and your ministry,” said Chambers. “Jesus saw it and heard it after his baptism in the Jordan River.”


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Graduates Impored to Meet Needs

By Cameron Crabtree

May 28, 2019

Mark Bradley, director of Gateway Seminary's Pacific Northwest Campus, prays for Aaronn Nelson, connections pastor at First Baptist Church, Longview, WA.

A growing hunger for God is crucial for the growth of God’s kingdom across the Northwest and around the world, Northwest Baptist leader Randy Adams told graduates of Gateway Seminary during May 10 commencement ceremonies at Crosspointe Baptist Church in Vancouver, WA.


“Seminary is an experience to help create learners who hunger for God throughout their lives,” said Adams, executive director of the Northwest Baptist Convention, a network of about 500 churches in Oregon, Washington and north Idaho.


“We need you and we need more of you,” said Adams, emphasizing the importance of “calling out the called” so that more people come “to know Jesus and to love Jesus and to serve Jesus.”


Seminary president Jeff Iorg echoed that sentiment in his charge to the eight graduates.


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Ethnic Churches Strength English Ministries

By Erin Roach, Baptist Press

May 28. 2019

Celebrating Chinese New Year is among the cultural expressions retained by the English ministry of Chinese Southern Baptist Church in Seattle. The church is one of many navigating the transition from first-generation to second and third generations.

Ethnic churches nationwide are realizing they need to utilize English-language worship services to reach their second and third generations. That has meant, for some, starting independent English-speaking churches or, for others, welcoming English speakers as a group in the larger congregation.


Randy Adams, executive director of the Northwest Baptist Convention, recently highlighted that reality in one of his online posts: "The Northwest has Korean, Russian, Japanese, Vietnamese, Romanian, Burmese and Spanish majority churches that have strong English-language ministries."


Adams said in a recent interview that he has observed this for a long time "to one degree or another" among ethnic churches across the country.


"It depends on the language group, and it depends on when they immigrated," Adams said. "The longer an immigrant group has been here, the more they are moving toward English. Sometimes the kids will have English almost from the beginning in Sunday School classes."


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World at Doors of Mission Focused Church

By Karen Willoughby, Baptist Press

May 28, 2019

Pastor Scott Brewer prepares to baptize a new believer at a lake near Meadowbrook Church in Redmond, WA.

Four years after Microsoft moved in 1986 to a scenic site on Lake Washington in Redmond, WA, from nearby Bellevue, Scott Brewer relocated from a Kentucky pastorate to start Meadowbrook Church.

He did so specifically because he understood Microsoft would grow, adding more residents to the east Seattle suburb.


"We wanted to be where the people would be moving in," Brewer said.


That same strategic thinking has led to Meadowbrook Church expanding its ministry effectiveness over the last 30 years, and to increasing its giving to missions through the Cooperative Program to 10 percent of undesignated offerings. CP is the way Southern Baptist churches work together in state, national and international missions.


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Oregon College Students Minister in Texas

By Sheila Allen

May 28, 2019

Emily Geister of Gresham, OR, gifts Bibles to two local children while serving on a spring break mission trip to Texas.

The Pacific Northwest has long history as a mission field for college students from Texas, but students from Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, OR, traveled to the Lone Star State instead to serve during a spring break mission trip.


A team of four offered their services at Mission Arlington, a faith-based organization that assists people with physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual needs.


“One of our students served at Mission Arlington last summer and when we debriefed with others from Mt. Hood returning from mission trips, she said we have to go back there for spring break,” said Jason Spurlin, the MHCC Northwest Collegiate Ministries director who himself is from Texas. “God has really been moving on our campus this year and we’ve seen three or four salvations and had tons of students being discipled by their peers, which is really encouraging.”


When the Mt. Hood contingent arrived at Mission Arlington, they helped complete multiple tasks left over by hundreds of Texas college students who assisted the organization during their spring break the week before.


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Membership Matters

By Ashley Seuell

May 28, 2019

In our culture, “membership” can seem cheap. People who rarely exercise are gym members. You can join a book club but never read. If the church is different, why define ourselves like shoppers at Costco?


A church can use a different term to communicate the whole-life reality of belonging to a local expression of the body of Christ, such as “partnership” or “covenant membership.” Ultimately, however, the concept of “membership” matters.

First, churches should organize under state law as religious nonprofit corporations. In Oregon, anyone with the right to vote for directors of the corporation (the leadership) is a “member.” In Washington and Idaho, a “member” is someone with rights within the organization, like the right to receive notice of a business meeting, to approve a budget, or to vote before the corporation disbands.


In other words, if the people in your church have a say in selecting the pastor, elders, or deacons or if you won’t close down without a congregational vote, then you have “members” (regardless of your terminology). To claim otherwise disregards the law. It even may involve a false statement in a legal document—Oregon and Idaho specifically ask if a nonprofit has members.  


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Complete May-June 2019 issue

2019 May-June.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [30.9 MB]