Church Staff Find Rest in Sunriver

By Cameron Crabtree

July 21, 2022

Too many Christian leaders get beset by battles they’re not called to fight, author Gary Thomas told a gathering of Northwest Baptist ministers recently.

 

Oasis, a biennial retreat for vocational ministry leaders and spouses serving Northwest Baptist Convention churches, drew about 200 participants to Sunriver (OR) Resort back in May. Thomas urged leaders to focus on priorities God has for them.

 

“We need to make our lives and our hours count,” he said. “Your life matters -- believe that. One of the greatest lies of Satan is that you’re life doesn’t matter, but your life does matter – believe that.”

 

Thomas also emphasized the importance of not getting distracted by the wrong battles.

 

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Collegiate Ministry Provides Student Discipleship

By Sheila Allen

July 21, 2022

Evan Johns began growth in his Christian journey through Northwest Collegiate Ministry at Mt. Hood Community College after coming to faith via social media venues.

Evan Johns began growth in his Christian journey through Northwest Collegiate Ministry at Mt. Hood Community College after coming to faith via social media venues.The positive and negative imprints of social media on the world are well known by now. Oregon student Evan Johns has experienced both extremes.

 

For Johns, 2020 marked the low point of his young life -- isolated by the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, no friends in school, no job and feeling overwhelming social anxiety.

 

At 16 years old, he began a program to complete his first years of college while in high school. He admittedly had trouble keeping up, and after COVID protocols closed on campus learning, he finished high school online. Going back to in-person classes at Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) in Gresham, OR, was difficult for Johns.

 

“I only found a sense of community through online sources, meeting kids from all over the country,” Johns said. “I began joining group chats through TikTok where we played games together. I eventually was part of a group that was cyber-bullying others.”

 

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Pastor, Church Transition for Growth

By Sheila Allen

July 21, 2022

Longtime Trinity Baptist Church pastor Olin Brock will pursue his interest in drones after closing out his 30 years of service to the church.

A church that helped found the Northwest Baptist Convention during the late 1940s is stepping up to an opportunity for renewal this year.

 

Longtime pastor Olin Brock has announced his retirement plans after 30 years leading Trinity Baptist Church in Vancouver, WA, and the congregation is forming a new church this summer by merging with CrossPointe West Church, a campus of CrossPointe Baptist Church, also in Vancouver.

 

Brock first realized a call to ministry as a young boy growing up in a pastor’s home. He met his wife, Linda, when the two were teenagers while his father, Lee Brock, was pastor of Emmanuel Baptist in The Dalles, OR.

 

“We married three days after her high school graduation and I was 19 years old,” Brock said. “Other guys wanted to be policemen, firemen and such, but I knew I was to be a pastor.”

 

The Brocks eventually moved to Florida so he could attend Baptist Bible Institute, a school designed for people with family pursuing vocational ministry.

 

While first serving as interim pastor at Trinity, Brock accepted their pastoral call in 1992 and for many years worked on a bi-vocational basis, allowing the church to achieve many accomplishments that would have not been possible otherwise. Brock credits that for allowing him to keep in touch with “regular folks.” He and Linda, who passed away in 2021, have three adult children, one of whom still attends Trinity.

 

 

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NWBC Board Sets 2023 Financial Course

By Cameron Crabtree

July 21, 2022

Construction proceeds on a new facility in Vancouver for the Northwest Baptist Convention, the Northwest Baptist Foundation and Gateway Seminary's Pacific Northwest Campus. Occupancy is slated for the end of the year.

The Northwest Baptist Convention Executive Board approved for recommendation to the NWBC annual meeting in November a $3,900,000 budget for 2023 and a $150,000 goal for that year’s Northwest Impact mission offering.

 

The spending plan for missions in the Northwest anticipates $2,990,000 – more than 76 percent of the budget -- in Cooperative Program gifts from the NWBC’s 500-plus churches. The total is down $80,000 from the current year’s budget.

 

Besides mission gifts from churches, the budget revenues include $150,000 from the Northwest Impact Mission Offering (see pages 11-15), $100,000 in evangelism grants from the North American Mission Board, about $135,400 in restricted funds, about $415,580 from sources such as event registrations and investment earnings.

 

It also includes $109,000 from convention reserves, which is down from the $450,000 in reserves included in the 2022 budget.

 

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SBC Begins Steps to Track Sexual Abusers

By Lonnie Wilkey, Baptist & Reflector

July 21, 2022

Southern Baptist Convention messengers took a “good first step” in dealing with sexual abuse issues within the denomination, said Bruce Frank, a North Carolina pastor and chairman of the convention’s Sexual Abuse Task Force.

 

During the June 14 session of the SBC Annual Meeting in Anaheim, messengers overwhelmingly approved the two recommendations proposed by SATF to appoint an Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force and develop a Ministry Check database of the “credibly accused.” The approval came after lengthy discussion and one amendment to tweak the wording to change “Guidepost recommendations” to “best practices.”

 

“The first step is the hardest,” Frank acknowledged during a press conference following the vote. “This was an opportunity for messengers to take a step down the right road. I am proud of them for doing it,” he said.

 

Responding to a question on how history will view what happened, Frank said, “You could sense in the room [messengers] wanted to do the right thing. It was not even close.”

 

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Abuse Survivor Details Healing Journey

Author's Name Withheld

July 21, 2022

Abuse Survivor Details Healing JourneyEditor’s Note: A former Northwest Baptist pastor shares his personal story of abuse and the necessary healing journey in order to bring awareness about the impact of abuse and ways churches can help victims who have suffered from it.

 

Nine years ago I came face to face with my deepest fear. For years I knew that I had a difficult time connecting emotionally with others. My relationships were shallow and I would only allow them to go so far. This was especially true in my marriage. Though I had been married for more than 20 years, because I didn't know how to connect emotionally, I hurt my wife numerous times.

 

I was distant, avoiding any real meaningful conversations and ran at the first sign of conflict. Being a pastor, I was constantly around people, but no one really knew me. After years of living in emotional solitary confinement, I had learned to fake it well. But I lived in loneliness and it started taking its emotional toll on me. At that point, I began to realize I could continue to live in loneliness and pain, killing my relationship with my wife, or I could face why I so alone. It was a turning point in my life, one I wished I had faced many years ago.

 

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Keep VBS Reasons Central

By Melita Thomas, Lifeway Christian Resources

May 25, 2022

Churches across the Northwest Baptist churches kicked off summer outreach efforts with Vacation Bible School, with others hosting the evangelistic emphasis for children later this summer.

 

Statistically one of the most effective programs churches use to evangelize children, VBS is one of the Northwest Baptist Convention’s mission efforts supported by the Northwest Impact Mission Offering.

 

Planning for VBS usually involves long, detailed lists. With some VBS taking place later this summer, Melita Thomas of Lifeway Christian Resources has helped train multiple children’s ministry leaders in Northwest Baptist churches. Here, she offers tips for turning any “last-minute madness” into fun for those involved.

 

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July-August 2022 Complete Issue

July-August 2022 Complete Issue
July-August Witness.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [28.6 MB]