Heeding the Call

By Stephen Floyd

May 18, 2017

(Left to right) Tokyo-based missionary Mark Busby, NWBC team volunteer Paula Adams and team leader Ronny Cooksey travel to the Akihabara district of Tokyo. Busby is part of ten IMB teams currently active in Japan.

Northwest Baptists bolster mission efforts in Japan

 

Northwest Baptists have a unique opportunity to support missionaries in Japan — a country open to Christians but hesitant to accept Christ.

 

The International Mission Board is encouraging stronger relationships between missionaries and Japanese churches. To support that goal, the Northwest Baptist Convention sent a volunteer exploration team in late March and early April to visit different regions of the country.

 

Less than one percent of Japanese people are Christians and missionaries are challenged by extreme social and cultural barriers. NWBC executive director Randy Adams said this resembles Northwest attitudes among non-Christians and local churches are better-positioned to help Japanese ministry efforts.

 

See more...

Missions Connections Strengthened in Myanmar

By Randy Adams

May 18, 2017

Editor’s Note: Randy Adams, the Northwest Baptist Convention’s executive director, traveled recently to Myanmar to speak Chin Baptist Convention’s annual meeting. Following are reflections about the “missions miracle” he encountered.

 

The Northwest Baptist Convention, a network of about 480 churches in Oregon, Washington and north Idaho includes about 140 congregations that worship in languages other than English, including the Chin Burmese language. Through one of these churches, I received an invitation to teach. I knew nearly nothing about Chin Baptists in Myanmar, but to preach in the nation where the first American missionary, Adoniram Judson, served over 200 years ago made this invitation particularly intriguing. It turns out that the evangelization of the Chin people is one of the great mission stories of the past century, and it’s a story few know.

 

See more...

Church Soars to New Locations

By Sheila Allen

May 18, 2017

When Andrew Arthur first visited the Northwest, he met many people with a conscious unbelief of Jesus that he found refreshing, compared to students he knew in southern states that grew up in church and may be “cultural Christians” without fully knowing the gospel.

 

Several years later, he was commissioned by his home church in Alabama to plant a church in Seattle, WA. The Hallows Church recently celebrated its fifth anniversary. The church is thriving and expanding in surprising ways.

 

“We started in a couple of homes and those groups grew into a worship gathering,” Arthur said. “We laid two rails down that guide our church – missional communities and worship gatherings.”

 

See more...

Bi-Vocational Pastor Leads Change

By Sheila Allen

May 18, 2017

A mind for finance coupled with a heart for ministry is a natural recipe for bi-vocational ministry, a life Jonathan Johnson has embraced wholeheartedly.

 

Firmly ensconced in the financial world as a registered investment advisor, Johnson worked his way through college and an MBA program.

 

“I worked full time at a bank, then became a manager at a credit union while going to school full time at night,” Johnson said. “I married my wife, Kristen, at 18 years old, after we met at a youth camp at age 13.”

 

But Johnson also felt called to ministry at a young age and started a Bible study as a student at Centennial High School in Gresham, OR, that drew up to 30 people. He has since served alongside Troy Pound at The Crossing Baptist Church as worship leader and preached occasionally at various churches throughout the Portland, OR, metropolis.

 

See more...

Terminal Illness Sparks New Life

By Sheila Allen

May 18. 2017

Natalie Sligar prepares to be baptized at Eastmont Baptist Church in East Wenatchee, WA. Performing the baptism is Cameron Lewis, an Eastmont youth leader and son of Carol Lewis, who inspired many in recent months to follow Christ and be baptized.

Less than two weeks into duties as new pastor of Eastmont Baptist Church in Wenatchee, WA, Dallas Stringer faced difficult news – doctors gave deacon Carl Lewis a terminal health diagnosis.

 

“Carl went to be with the Lord less than a month later, but he made the most of that time,” Stringer said. “The Lewis family are active members of our church and he wanted to bring as many people to the Lord as possible.”

 

Lewis filled rows in the church’s auditorium with family and friends he had known for years during his work as an orchardist. God began to move in an unbelievable way, according to Stringer.

 

“He told people in his life he was going to be with the Lord and he wanted them to come to church with him,” Stringer stated. “By far the majority of people he brought were adults and many of them were saved and baptized.”

 

See more...

2017 NW Women's Summit

By Cameron Crabtree

May 18, 2017

Maintaining a strong relationship with God on the inside is crucial for integrity in ministry and shining his light to the world outside, a women’s ministry leader insisted to more than 200 Northwest Baptist women gathered in late April for their annual summit.

 

“If the light that is on you is brighter than the light that is in you, the light that is on you will destroy you,” said Debbie Stuart, ministry initiatives director for Hope For The Heart based in Texas.

 

Event organizers chose “Shine through real stuff” as this year’s summit theme, encouraging women from churches across the Northwest Baptist Convention to “shine” in every circumstance. The April 21-22 event took place at the Northwest Baptist Center in Vancouver, WA.

 

A key to remaining faithful witness to God is not only to study Scripture, but to be a “doer of it,” Stuart said: “What people see in you is the application of Scripture in your life. We already have more knowledge than the level of obedience we’re demonstrating.”

 

See more...

Group Resources Available

May 18, 2017

How can a church get more people connected relationally, serving in a ministry, involved in interactive Bible study and caring for one another?  To help answer those questions, The Northwest Baptist Convention hosted a Groups Matter workshop at the Northwest Baptist Center in March.

 

Carter Shotwell, executive pastor of ministries for Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall, TX, led the workshop to help participating churches increase their ministry impact for Christ. 

 

Carter shared that “groups are how we do church and not just an optional program.” They are one of the growth engines of the church and essential to the process of making disciples. One of the primary purposes of “big church” (worship services) is to get people into “little church” (small groups) because that is where real life change happens.

 

See more...