2018 is a “Marker” year for Indiana Baptists. This October in our annual meeting, we will celebrate our 60th year as a convention. Much has been accomplished and much has been done in those 60 years. We stand on the shoulders of some great, godly men and women who have led our convention. Now, it is time for this current generation of leaders to take those accomplishments and lay the groundwork for generations to come.
We are in a unique time in our history. A time when many existing churches have lived their “hey day” and now find themselves in decline and even closing their doors. New churches are popping up all around our state in new church plants. The work of our mission continues when we choose to work together for the sake of the gospel (Matt 28:18-20, Acts 1:8).
The following “Mile Markers for 2025” are a way for us to work together in strategic areas of ministry to continue our work and build on the shoulders of those who have come before us.
“Mile Markers 2025”
The following goals will help us become a stronger, healthier convention for the future. Listed below is how you, your church and association can be engaged and how we can work together for the sake of the mission HE gave us. I recognize that every church and association will connect with different aspects of these markers, so choose where you see God is working in your church or association and help the Lord in His work.
- Revitalization Marker – Goal – all of our 14 associations prayerfully seek out at least two churches per year to help with revitalization efforts. This could be done through the associational church health team or a strong church helping a struggling church. That would be 28 churches each year helped with revitalization efforts. So by 2025 we can together help 224 of our churches.
- Planting Marker – Goal – plant at least 20 churches each year, which would be 160 new church plants over the next eight years.
Marker Champion – Nathan Millican and our church planting team.
- Churches Helping Churches Marker – Goal – 14 associations enlist 1-2 of our healthiest congregations who will commit to being a mentor church for other churches in that association. This will help us help each other. It’s “Churches Helping Churches.” That is what an association and convention is supposed to be about – helping each other.
- Leadership Development Marker – Goal – to develop ministry leaders in our churches who will help strengthen our churches and church plants. This goal has four layers. Proverbs 27:17 “Iron Sharpens Iron”
- Layer 1 – Associational Leader Labs where area pastors meet monthly to talk about best practices and they help each other pastor and lead their churches.
- Layer 2 – Churches Helping Churches by offering training through what you are already doing. Churches Helping Churches!
- Layer 3 – Equip-U training events where we drill down into a specific area of training in a one-day equipping workshop.
- Layer 4 – HILL (High Impact Leader Lab) a four day intensive training for pastors to help them learn, explore and develop their own Personal Leadership Development Plan.
- Wives in Ministry conference – our goal is to develop a network of ministry wives who can support and encourage each other through the challenges of ministry.
- Goal – Pastor’s/wives retreat. We need to find a way to make this fundable so we can encourage our pastors and their wife in fulfilling their calling as a pastor.
- Mission Partnership Marker – Goal – to see that “the sun never sets on the work of SCBI mission work.” Engage SCBI churches in mission projects. Champion – Rick Hillard.
- Highland Lakes Camp Marker – Goal – to see God bring salvation to students and leaders through our camps. To continue to expand our facilities by adding beds, bunks, recreation features and staff. To see the day when we can house 400 campers at one time? To see HLBC used more and more for equipping opportunities during the week and for weekend retreats, workshops and seminars. Champion – Jim Shields.
- Cooperative Program Marker – Goal – at least 40% of churches take the 1% CP Challenge. To see our budget move from $4,005,174 per year to $4,600,000 so we can staff the ministries that can better serve our churches (ex. add four SCBI funded regional strategists who deal with church health related opportunities. Champion – EVERYONE.
- Evangelism Marker – Goal – to see 50% of our 450 churches take the ESP 2020 Challenge. To develop an evangelism strategy. To implement that strategy and see every church in Indiana baptize at least one person every year. To witness the day when every church baptizes one person every month and ultimately, to see a person come to know Jesus as their savior every week in every church. Champion – Rick Hillard and our entire staff team.
- Cooperation Marker – Goal – to see our churches “choose” to find ways to help each other. Find one thing that your church can do to help another church this year. To see “Churches Helping Churches.”
AND – the ultimate goal and prayer is that we build a convention DNA that believes and lives out that, “The world will know we are Christians by our love.” May this be a common goal that all of our churches seek to achieve.