In its meeting on February 23, 2013 the Executive Board of the Baptist Convention of Iowa instructed the Executive Director/Treasurer Search Committee to begin the process of looking for the next Executive Director/Treasurer for the Baptist Convention of Iowa. Their task will be to discover the person God has already chosen to give leadership to His strategy for reaching Iowa through the Baptist Convention of Iowa.
In Matthew 28:18-20; John 20:21; and Acts 1:8 Jesus laid out His strategy for reaching the world with His love and salvation. These verses are clear: “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth’. So Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you. You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.'” Our role is to seek applications and implementations that are appropriate to the context in which we find our ministries.
Early last year, six men, chosen by the Executive Board of the Baptist Convention of Iowa, developed applications of Jesus’ strategy which they felt specifically responded to the current reality and needs of Iowa. Three of these men were born in the state (Mike Carlson, Tim Lubinus, and Dan Wiersema) and three have long tenures in the state (Roger Graves, Jim Perkins, and Gene Stockton). All six of these men have vested interest in seeing God’s Kingdom expand through the Baptist Convention of Iowa. The strategic applications they developed grew out of prayer and seeking God’s will for this Convention and Iowa. They included developing smaller, more numerous, relationship based associations they called “clusters”; helping churches become “equipping (stack pole) churches” who are more intentional in developing disciples who make disciples who make disciples; and reaching not only our Judea but the ends of the earth through missions outreach.
Can these strategic implementations be improved? Certainly. Will the applications need to be modified? Most probably. Are there elements that will need to be adapted and changed? Absolutely. Can God use these applications to bring about His Kingdom expansion in Iowa? He already is.
In the last year, over 50 new church planting conversations have begun focused on starting new churches in Iowa. A new partnership has developed with Missouri Baptists and they are adopting counties and communities in Iowa to start new congregations where no Baptist Convention of Iowa presence existed before. This has given the Missouri churches a new sense of cohesiveness within their associations as they work together to reach Iowa. New and different kinds of churches are being developed to reach the ever changing cultural landscape that is now Iowa.
Churches are now seeking out other churches with whom they can partner for exciting new initiatives. Churches are learning new ways to work together to impact their communities, their counties, the state, the nation, and the world. Equipping (stackpole) churches are developing a heart for their communities and training up leaders to meet the spiritual needs of those around them. It is an exciting time to be in Iowa. God is at work and we, the Baptist Convention of Iowa, have joined Him.
Please pray for the Search Committee (Dan Doolin (Chair), Mike Carlson (Vice Chair), Christina Estes (alternate), John Faulkner (alternate), Eugene Guthrie, Ted Keys, Jerome Risiting, Chuck Spindler, and Bob Stout) as they work through the process of finding the next Executive Director/Treasurer of the Baptist Convention of Iowa who will continue to implement Jesus’ strategy for Iowa. Pray for their families and their congregations during this time. Finally pray for them personally.