This is the heartbeat of the “Mile Marker 2025” emphasis. How can we help each other for the sake of the gospel and His kingdom? There are many ways to do this (you can see the first four below). My prayer is that even though we have designated eight possible ways, that each believer, each leader, each pastor and each church will find ways to influence this with the creativity of the Holy Spirit. As Henry Blackaby wrote, that we would “find where God is at work and join Him in that work.”
The main emphasis of this plan is “cooperation.” How can we choose to work together for the sake of the kingdom? The first four components serve under the main emphasis of cooperation which is “Churches helping churches” through the:
- Revitalization Marker – our emphasis in 2019. SCBI held four revitalization seminars last year. There is a growing discussion in our churches and associations about this important issue. Keep seeking ways to help another church toward health.
- Evangelism Marker – we were encouraged to hear early last year that the North American Mission Board and SBC President, Dr. J.D. Greear, were partnering for the evangelism emphasis “Who’s Your One?” Churches all across Indiana have been engaged and praying for the Lord to bring a harvest. Lostness is all around us. Rick Hillard worked to bring Johnny Hunt and others to Highland Lakes at the end of our annual convention last October for the E24 Conference. I am excited to see what the baptism number is for 2019. How many lives were touched and transformed by Jesus?
- Cooperative Program Marker – Our emphasis for 2020 deals with the value of giving through the Cooperative Program (CP). Our goal is for each church to take the 1% CP Challenge. Increase your churches giving through CP by 1% this year. The God goal would be a total in 2020 of $3,000,000 in CP giving through the State Convention churches.That means that we are also sending more to the national convention for international and national missions, seminaries and the ERLC.
- Equipping Marker – Our second emphasis for 2020 deals with the value of churches helping churches by helping each other equip the saints for ministry (Eph 4). Our goal is to enlist our healthiest congregations who will commit to being a mentoring church for other churches in their association or area and open up training opportunities in their association or regional area. The God goal is to have one mentor church in each association as a lighthouse church for equipping, planting, support and encouragement.
Our greatest strength as a convention of independent, autonomous churches is to choose to work together. We either choose to be autonomous and do things alone or we choose to help others with our strengths and be willing to choose to receive help from churches who are stronger in particular ministry areas.
We can learn from each other. We can bring our network of churches in associations, regional areas and affinity groups and help each other to be stronger and to be a light on a hill in lost communities all over Indiana.
One last thing for now! Let us hear the God stories in your life or ministry or church. We want to share your stories so that we can be an encouragement to others.
This year’s annual meeting theme is “Encourage Each Other Daily” (Heb 3:13). Share your stories and testimonies – send an email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until Next Time,