Lead From the Pulpit

By Cameron Crabtree

March 26, 2019

Pastors who learn to “lead from the pulpit” can help their churches become vibrant expression of God’s mission in their communities, Pastor Rick Blackwood told Northwest Baptist church leaders gathered in mid-February for a preaching workshop.

 

Blackwood, who leads what is now the multi-campus, multicultural Christ Fellowship of Miami, highlighted the importance of communicating effectively from the pulpit with about 40 pastors during a two-day “Leading from the Pulpit” workshop.

 

“When you’re fueled up with God’s word and you’ve got a message in your heart that is anointed by God, it’s a message that will change people’s lives, that can change our community, that can change or city, indeed, that can change the world. I want us to embrace the power of the pulpit, to see it for everything that it is.”

 

See more...

IMB, NW Partnership Affirmed

By Cameron Crabtree

March 26, 2019

The new president of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board affirmed the partnership between the Northwest Baptist Convention and the IMB’s largest group of workers in Asia, noting the “significant, hands-on investment” NWBC churches are making.

 

“We continue to see tremendous impact in [the region] and praise God for those who, like our partnering convention of churches, are multiplying impact as they work alongside, pray and give,” Paul Chitwood told Randy Adams, NWBC executive director, after reviewing a 10-page report highlighting results of the partnership on IMB work in Asia.

 

Chitwood became IMB president last November and is the 13th president of the entity which sends and supports about 3,600 global workers worldwide. More than 100 of those are from NWBC-affiliated congregations, estimates Adams.

 

The NWBC’s formal partnership with IMB workers began in early 2015. The convention has record of about 300-400 volunteers from 70 Northwest Baptist churches participating in various efforts in Asia, according to Adams.

 

See more...

Children's Spirital Needs Drive Workers

By Sheila Allen

March 26, 2019

Ceil Alway, of Pathway Church in Sandy, OR, leads participants at CM52 in singing vibrant songs to prepare for Vacation Bible School.

“Relationships with a child starts the moment you lay eyes on them,” said ministry specialist Leigh Ann Stark, as she addressed childhood ministry workers from churches across the Northwest.

 

Participants at “CM52” – shorthand for children’s ministry 52 weeks a year – took part in a plethora of workshop options aimed at enhancing ministry in local churches. The annual Northwest Baptist Convention-sponsored event was held to encourage and promote good practices for children’s workers.

 

“Any high impact event must have a follow-up strategy to be effective,” said Stark, who serves as the NWBC’s childhood ministry specialist. “Begin with a prayer support team and enlist your follow-up leader as a priority to planning your event, including Vacation Bible School. Communicate at your event what your next big happening is.”

 

Stark encouraged leaders to consider starting new Bible study classes or a parenting class for those whose children attend VBS.

 

See more...

Northwest Baptists Respond to Abuse Concerns

By Cameron Crabtree

March 26, 2019

The executive committee of the Northwest Baptist Convention’s executive board is likely to spend more time than usual at its April meeting reviewing the NWBC’s child protection and anti-sexual harassment policies following a Southern Baptist Convention effort aimed at addressing sexual abuse in churches and recent national publicity detailing stories of verified and alleged abuse in SBC congregations over the last 20 years.

 

In mid-February, a series articles in the Houston Chronicle identified about 220 convicted perpetrators and 700 victims.

“That number will grow, and has grown, as others have come forward with their stories of abuse,” said Randy Adams, NWBC executive director, in a statement to executive board members and Northwest Baptist pastors.

 

Four of the 220 individuals compiled in the Chronicle’s report were from the Northwest – two in pastoral roles in Washington, two with looser connections to churches in Idaho and Oregon. They had been identified over the years in various publications, including Northwest Baptist Witness.

 

See more...

'Disaster-Ready' Churches Meet Needsw

By Sheila Allen

March 26, 2019

Before a crisis even began, New Hope Baptist Church in Creswell, OR, made a decision to engage their community, according to Northwest Baptist Disaster Relief director Gary Floyd. The church established relationships with civic groups before winter storms dropped disastrous amounts of snow and knocked out power and roads in surrounding communities.

 

“Property damage occurred from the weight of the snow and falling trees, and Oakridge, OR (population 3,000) was completely cut off until Oregon Department of Transportation cut an emergency route to the town,” Floyd said. “In addition, Drain, OR, to the south was left without power and First Baptist Church pastor Jeff Johnson requested feeding support of 100 hot meals per day.”

 

As he works to help churches look outward and build relationships within their local communities, Floyd has noted people often ask what a “disaster-ready” church looks like. “While there are several examples in Northwest Baptist life, one of them is New Hope Baptist Church,” said Floyd.

 

See more...

Church Planter Meets Needs for Gospel Sake

By Sheila Allen

March 26, 2019

Sahara Chea (right) enjoys time with a local resident at a weekly farmers market attended by many from Southeast Asia.

Sahara Chea learned early in life about the importance of building relationships. As a child in Cambodia, Chea learned how relationships helped maximize limited resources in order to survive. Now as a Northwest Baptist church planter in Tacoma, WA, those critical skills still prove valuable.

 

Born in 1968, Chea was separated from his father at five years old after he trained with U.S. soldiers and joined a liberation army intent on freeing his country from Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge regime infamously known for the Cambodian killing fields. More than 1 million citizens were slaughtered through genocide and Chea’s father was ambushed and killed and one of his five siblings died from famine.

 

“Our family was forced to relocate to a concentration ‘re-educating’ camp by gunpoint and I was sent to work in rice fields at 10 years old and we tried to find anything we could to eat,” said Chea. “I would steal vegetables and dealt with diarrhea and malaria. I finally had a near-death experience after hiding and eating stolen green rice and chewing it like cattle.”

 

Those horrific years included no formal education, but Chea would stand outside classroom windows to pick up what knowledge he could. The family, including his mother, grandmother and siblings, escaped to Thailand by leaving for the border at dark and arriving the next morning at a refugee camp.

 

See more...

Sattelite Phone Donated to Church

By Stephen Floyd

March 26, 2019

Jim Hill (center) and Tim Reimer present Kenji Yokoy (left) with a satellite terminal fo ruse in relief work. Photo by Brandon Slyter

Disaster relief volunteers with Japanese International Baptist Church (JIBC), of Tigard, OR, are grateful to community partners after a recent donation of a portable satellite terminal for use in the mission field.

 

During a presentation Jan. 15, the church received an iSavi IsatHub from Friends of Japan in Oregon, which partnered with groups including Uwajimaya grocery store, Yuuyake Shimbun (Sunrise Newspaper), Sushi Land, Portland Japanese Language Teachers and Portland Imagawayaki Chef’s Association.

 

Jim Hill, with Yuuyake Shimbun, said the goal was to make sure JIBC missionaries have access to resources if they become imperiled during relief work overseas.

 

“I’ve often wondered,” said Hill, “we have this team that goes over there. Are they prepared for something also if something was to happen?”

 

See more...

Pastors to Assist NWBC Work

By Cameron Crabtree

March 26, 2019

Two well-recognized Northwest Baptist pastors are joining the Northwest Baptist Convention staff as part-time evangelism and church health catalysts to assist churches in Region 5, an area comprising central and eastern Washington, north Idaho and northeastern Oregon.

 

The additions to the staff follow the resignation of Richard Kirk, who resigned from a full-time role in that region last fall.

 

Stephen Brewer, who retired in 2016 after serving as pastor of Eastmont Baptist Church in East Wenatchee, WA, for 14 years, will begin working with the convention April 1, according to Joe Flegal, the NWBC’s director of evangelism and church health.

 

See more...

Gateway Marks 75th Year

By Kathie Chute

March 26, 2019

Southern Baptists' seminary to the West was born 75 years ago during a prayer meeting, the dream of a visionary man.

 

Gateway Seminary celebrated the anniversary of that occasion March 14 during a Founder's Day event that culminated in a 10-hour prayer vigil by faculty, staff and students.

 

Jeff Iorg, president of the seminary, noted it is “appropriate that we begin our celebration with prayer, just as the school began” to a seminary audience gathered in the chapel at the school’s Ontario, CA, campus.

 

See more...

Complete March-April 2019 issue

2019 March-April.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [28.2 MB]