NWBC Celebrating Love's 'Excellent Way'

By Cameron Crabtree

October 1, 2019

Messengers attending the Northwest Baptist Convention annual meeting Nov. 12-13 in southwest Washington will adopt a $5,315,000 missions budget for 2020, elect a new president and celebrate ways God is working through members of NWBC-affiliated churches.

 

Messengers are those members elected by their churches to participate in the convention and deliberate on business matters.

 

This year’s meeting theme – “A More Excellent Way” – invokes the Apostle Paul’s admonition for love to motivate all aspects of the Christian life. It’s the way he introduces what’s referred to often as the New Testament’s “love chapter” -- I Corinthians 13. That passage and others will be highlighted throughout the gathering in various sermons, testimonies, readings and presentations.

 

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Gateway's NW Campus Launches Classroom Innovation

By Sheila Allen

October 1, 2019

Innovations are marking a new academic-year for students at Gateway Seminary’s Pacific Northwest Campus in Vancouver, WA. Campus director Mark Bradley recently rolled out a “hybrid option” for students who need to minimize travel time, but still want to enjoy face-to-face classroom dynamics.

 

Bradley, who’s served almost 10 years at the seminary’s regional campus, has seen the advent of online courses affect the pursuit of seminary education in various ways.

“A high percentage of our students are immersed in ministry while enrolled in classes,” Bradley said. “I continually encourage people to continue to sharpen the stone while they are cutting. Online courses have lessened our seated enrollment, which has had a big impact on our campus.”

 

Northwest students taking strictly online courses can log in at times convenient for them, but they are not counted in the financial tally of the Northwest campus, according to Bradley, who teaches online courses himself. Online professors teach in front of a recording webcam or in a studio setting and then post for students to access and then give online discussion prompts. Bradley and other professors have a weekly live chat session with those students.

 

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NW Baptists in Asia Working Together to Impact the World

By Sheila Allen

October 1, 2019

Ruthie Streett of Northwest Contexture Church in Beavercreek, OR, utilized her skills in the hair salon while serving field personnel in an overseas mission opportunity sponsored by the Northwest Baptist Convention.

Advancing the gospel globally often seems out of reach for many church attenders. But a cooperative effort among Northwest Baptists in partnership with the International Mission Board’s East Asia workers has afforded opportunities for hands-on skills of everyday people.

 

Over 100 Northwest volunteers from 23 churches joined forces to support a conference for field personnel and their families in Asia in recent weeks, many of them using their abilities in less than traditional ways. While many taught children or led them in worship, others cut hair, gave manicures and massages, provided event security or assisted with needed technology support.

 

A conference highlight was infusion of Northwest roasted and brewed coffee, a staple of life in the Pacific Northwest. Lines snaked toward the barista station daily before sessions and during breaks for iced and hot drinks provided by Northwest Baptist Convention-affiliated churches.

 

 “Our team loved the trip and was deeply impacted by our experience,” said Joshua Moore, pastor of Driscoll Boulevard Baptist Church in Spokane, WA.  “One of our team members, Jocelyn Picker, is 13 years old and surrendered to missions last summer at Fuge youth camp.”

 

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Japan 2020

By Sheila Allen

October 1, 2019

The opportunity to make an eternal difference abroad is on the horizon for Northwest teenagers and their leaders next year. The mission trip to Japan during the 2020 Summer Olympics is for students who have completed the ninth grade, according to Northwest Baptist Convention student ministry specialist Lance Logue.

“The NWBC has partnered with East Asia for the past few years, which has been a healthy way for churches to establish partnerships and individuals have also served with the convention in short-term mission opportunities,” Logue said. “The NWBC student ministry has a great opportunity to be part of missions in East Asia in a coordinated trip to Japan.”

The 2020 Summer Olympics will take place in the spectacular city of Tokyo, Japan and the NWBC will partner with the International Mission Board and International Sports Federation by special invite from Japanese churches to participate in this international mission project.

“The main focus of the trip is for students and adult leaders are encouraged to attend,” noted Logue, “but it is still open to other adults that meet the requirements. While plans are still in formation, we know we will help Japanese churches engage their nation by putting on dozens of open crowd festivals, which can be described as a great big party in the local park for kids, youth and adults.

 

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NWBC Policy Strengthens Child Protection

By Cameron Crabtree

October 1, 2019

For anyone working with children in a Northwest Baptist Convention-sponsored event or ministry in the future, at least one reference will now be required before participation is okayed, according to an updated child protection policy approved by the NWBC executive board during its summer meeting back in June.

 

No particular incident prompted the change. Rather, it was part of the board’s routine review of both the child protection policy and the convention’s anti-sexual harassment policy. However, the board spent more time than usual considering updates in light of stories of verified an alleged abuse in Southern Baptist congregations from about 700 victims over the last 20 years.

 

The NWBC’s new policies – developed in consultation with Northwest Baptist Foundation attorney Ashley Seuell -- took effect earlier this summer, beginning with Centrifuge, the annual camp for teenagers from Northwest Baptist churches.

 

Several updates to the protection policy were added, but the reference check is one of the more significant updates, likely requiring additional time for planning and involvement than in the past. It requires NWBC planners to ask for and check at least one reference for all potential adult workers and at least two references for any potential workers under 18. Those under 18 will require two references since national background checks cannot be performed on minors.

 

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Opportunities Abound for Church Staff

By Cameron Crabtree

October 1, 2019

Northwest Baptist church leader have multiple opportunities to refine their ministry skills and refresh their souls for ministry next year.

Beginning in January, a new slate of Pastor Clusters begin. The clusters are regionally-based gatherings of pastors that provide personal, spiritual and professional development. They offer a safe place for pastors to experience community, encouragement, prayer an accountability.

 

In terms of specific study content this time around, participants will learn how to develop a “transformational small group ministry” that strengthens people and help grow churches. The groups begin in January and meet monthly for five sessions.

 

For worship leaders, a new online Equip Worship Collective begins in February. Currently, more than dozen ministry leaders are involved in one already underway. The collective is a focused 12-week course of online training and community. It is designed for worship leaders seeking to learn and grow in their leadership and musicianship skills. Being a part of the group provides access to live Zoom sessions, online training videos and content, along with the opportunity to interact and grow with other worship leaders from all over the Northwest.

 

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Evangelism Needsto be Top Priority

By Kathie Chute

October 1, 2019

Go Church Baptism Celebration, Ridgefield, WA

Southern Baptist churches must prioritize personal evangelism in order for the Southern Baptist Convention to survive and play a part in advancing God’s kingdom, declared Jeff Iorg, president of Gateway Seminary.

"The factors undermining personal evangelism," Iorg noted, "have often resulted from a positive theological conviction, ministerial practice or leadership perspective taken to an extreme or applied in an unbalanced way."

 

Iorg shared the warning with students, faculty, staff and local pastors at Gateway Seminary's Ontario, CA, campus at a fall convocation to begin the school’s 2019-20 academic year, which begins his 16th year as seminary president. Previouslym, he was executive director of the Northwest Baptist Convention.

 

He said that in many ways the SBC shows many signs of strength, with 3,600 international missionaries despite reductions in global personnel several years ago, increased enrollment across the six-seminary system, starting more than 600 churches annually across the U.S., as well as operating various ministries such as one of the nation's largest disaster relief networks.

 

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Complete September-October issue

2019 September-October.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [25.7 MB]