Northwest Report Shows Bright Spots

Compiled from articles by Carol Pipes and Aaron Earls of LifeWay Christian Resources

July 26, 2017

The Southern Baptist Convention grew its number of cooperating churches in 2016, according to the latest Annual Church Profile report (ACP). However, other key measures declined in 2016, including membership, baptisms, average worship attendance and total giving, according to the ACP compiled by LifeWay Christian Resources in cooperation with Baptist state conventions

 

The ACP is an annual statistical report churches voluntarily provide to their local Baptist associations and/or their state conventions. National totals are compiled and released after all cooperating state conventions have reported.

 

The number of churches cooperating with the Southern Baptist Convention grew by 479 to 47,272, a 1 percent increase over 2015. The number of Southern Baptist churches has increased the last 18 years. Southern Baptist churches also reported 4,492 church-type missions last year.

 

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LifeWay Releases New Bible

By Lisa Cannon Green, LifeWay Christian Resources

July 26, 2017

A newly released Christian Standard Bible gives Southern Baptists an unparalleled opportunity to uphold the fidelity of God's Word, reported Thom S. Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, to messengers at the 2017 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting.

 

"We, the Southern Baptist Convention, will be the stewards of this translation," Rainer said during his June 14 report. "God has shown us favor."

 

The CSB, released in March, is a revision of the Holman Christian Standard Bible that incorporates advances in biblical scholarship since the original translation.

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Hispanic Ministries Flourish as Leader Gives Back

By Sheila Allen

July 26, 2017

Ivan Montenegro began life among the “pauperrimo,” those less than poor in El Salvador. He was born after his mother was assaulted in a home where she worked as a servant when she was 12 years old.

 

“My grandmother raised me, but we had nothing,” Montenegro recalled. “We all worked just to survive, as work is existence there. Everyone works in El Salvador, even the smallest children. Alcoholism was prominent, as there was no hope.”

 

But to Montenegro’s family, he represented hope. His life took a dramatic turn of events at six years old when he was hired to work in a Southern Baptist missionary’s home.

 

“My life totally changed when I saw another way of living,” Montenegro stated. “I came with no shoes and they provided them for me. They taught me to read and write, and provided me an education. They hired me with a purpose, to introduce me to Jesus.”

 

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Board Approves 2018 Budget, Elects Staff

By Cameron Crabtree

July 26, 2017

The Northwest Baptist Convention executive board will recommend NWBC messengers adopt a $5,462,000 budget for 2018 ministry efforts when they convene in November for the convention’s annual business session.

 

The board also elected two new staff members and adopted a $120,000 regional offering goal for 2018.

The board reviewed next year’s spending plan – up almost $400,000 over the $5,067,600 set for this year – and took up the other business matters during a June 26-27 meeting in Vancouver, WA.

“This budget represents a lot of collaborative ministry,” said Randy Adams, NWBC executive director. “I ask that you pray as we enact this budget. This is a ‘stretch’ budget.”

 

Leaders noted the 2018 spending plan represents the first significant budget increase in several years, even with some challenges ahead.

 

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NW Impact Offering

By Cameron Crabtree

July 26, 2017

Northwest Baptists assist mission efforts across the United States and around the world each week with generous financial contributions through the Cooperative Program, but churches in Oregon, Washington and north Idaho also have opportunity this fall to make a strong impact closer to home.

 

Churches can multiply their missions and evangelistic efforts through the Northwest Baptist Convention’s 2017 “Northwest Impact” offering and its accompanying prayer emphasis.

 

“Northwest Impact” has been the offering’s theme the last several years, but its official designation is the Sylvia Wilson Mission Offering -- in memory of the leader who helped bolster the Northwest Baptist Convention’s early missions work.

 

The 2017 offering has a $120,000 base goal to fund church planting, disaster relief ministries, leadership development and evangelism efforts among children and college students. An additional $30,000 challenge goal will supplement church planting work even further.

 

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NW Chaplain Honored for Years of Dedicated Service

By Sheila Allen

July 26, 2017

Bill Lotz (center) receives an award for a career of outstanding humanitarian service.

A chaplaincy organization based in the northeast has recognized Bill Lotz of West Richland, WA, for nearly three decades of service as a chaplain to firefighters. Lotz received the National Legion of Honor Humanitarian Award in early June from the Chapel of Four Chaplains while attending a training seminar in Hermitage, PA.

 

From his early days as a firefighter in Longview, WA, Lotz felt the desire to serve. After working with the U.S. Forest Service following graduation from Washington State University, Lotz sensed a call to ministry and served on staff as a pastor of Kennewick (WA) Baptist Church and as lead pastor of West Richland Baptist Church.

 

But firefighting was always a part of his personal ministry, first as a volunteer and then paid professional.

 

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Disaster Relief Teams Continue to Serve, Train

By Ben Walker and Sheila Allen

July 26, 2017

Northwest Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers are a valuable resource for communities throughout Oregon, Washington and north Idaho, especially during summer months with a dangerous fire season looming ahead.

 

The Willamette Valley Baptist Association Feed Unit of the NWBDR recently served during a three-day, mid-June event to over 200 search and rescue volunteers and support personnel.

 

Fourteen NWBDR volunteers from three Northwest Baptist Convention churches in Oregon -- Highland Baptist in Redmond, New Hope Baptist in Creswell, and Trinity Baptist in Springfield -- supported the annual California/Oregon Regional Search and Rescue (CORSAR) Exercise at Lake Selmac County Park in Josephine County.

 

In addition to meal preparation, six NWBDR team members received training in Involving Southern Baptists in Disaster Relief and all volunteers received Feeding 1 & 2 training and certification. The combination of classroom instruction as well as hands-on training and mentoring provided opportunity to equip team members to serve in future responses.

 

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2016 Lottie Moon Offering Closes 16 $153 Million

By Julie McGowan, IMB

July 26, 2017

IMB missionary Brian Harrell visits with a Makhuwa Nahara man (right) in Mozambique. Gifts to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering support missionaries such as the Harrell family, who live on the edge of Mozambique's coastal waters solely to reach the Makhu

Southern Baptists responded to the challenge to play their part in helping the gospel resound to all nations through their gifts to the 2016 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering® for International Missions, which neared the $155 million goal when the books closed on the annual offering. Southern Baptists gave $153 million through the 2016-17 campaign to support International Mission Board field personnel.

 

Every dollar given to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO) supports nearly 3,600 Southern Baptist personnel on the mission field, who are sent by their local churches to evangelize, disciple, plant and multiply healthy churches, and train leaders among unreached peoples and places for the glory of God.

 

“As we consider billions of people who have yet to hear the gospel, we as Southern Baptists realize the best way we can play our part in fulfilling the Great Commission is through cooperative effort in praying, giving, going and sending,” said IMB President David Platt. “Thank you, Southern Baptists, for giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering to support a growing mission force working to make disciples and multiply churches around the world. Through the generosity of every single Southern Baptist who gave, the grace of God is resounding to the glory of God among more and more people and peoples.”

 

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