IBC Inaugurates New Structure
The International Baptist Convention, in its 53rd Annual Convention Meeting, held 24-26 October in San Jose, Costa Rica, inaugurated its new strategic plan and structure. The plan is composed of five core strategies — multiplying churches, strengthening churches, empowering leaders, building connections, and developing resources. The meeting in Costa Rica was the first outside of Europe.
Messengers also approved changes to the constitution concerning the structure. The structure had been approved last year but not changed in the constitution.
The convention also approved a 348,387.98€ budget for 2017. This budget is a 7% increase over the 2016 budget. The budget is in line with the projected giving for this year.
General Secretary Jimmy Martin in his report to the convention referenced the new beginnings the convention was facing. Change is a challenge, he said. We have to carefully and prayerfully consider how we can be involved. The core strategy directors need your prayer, your support, and your personal involvement. Everyone of us should be involved in some way, Martin said. We have an opportunity to impact the world in many different ways.
The convention also heard presentations from each of the strategy directors concerning their strategy and plans for the coming year. Darryl Evetts (multiplying churches), Gary Preston (strengthening churches), David Fresch (empowering leaders), Scott Corwin (building connections), and Judith Lynn Maxwell (developing resources) shared their vision for 2017.
During the final business session, Scott Chadwick, pastor of the International Baptist Church, Munich, Germany, was elected president. Jim Goforth, pastor of Faith Baptist Church, Kaiserslautern, Germany, was elected 1st vice-president. Carsten Lotz, pastor of International Christian Fellowship, Oberursel, Germany, was elected 2nd vice-president. Each will serve a one-year term.
During his presidential challenge to the convention, Chadwick spoke on the challenges facing the convention. There are five things to focus on, Chadwick said:
- Greater dependency on Jesus Christ
- Greater disciplined life for Jesus
- Greater determination to run the race for Christ, no matter the cost
- Dependable at home and in the society in which we live
- Devoted to Christ, the local church, and the convention of churches.
The evening sessions were worship services feature preaching and testimonies from Latin and South America. The musical worship times were led by the worship teams of the host church, IBC San Jose. Messages were given by Nathanael Fawcett (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and Lyle Watson (Tamarindo, Costa Rica). Testimonies were given by Dave Bollenbacher (Brasilia, Brazil), Werner Swart (Buenos Aires, Argentin), Paul Dreessen (San Jose, Costa Rica), and Cleide Cooper (Panama City, Panama).
Forty-four messengers representing 21 churches were part of the business sessions.
The ACM also featured a mission project on Monday morning. Four teams helped mix and pour concrete floors and walkways in a poor section of San Jose. A fifth team painted an outside wall of a home in the same area.
That evening featured a welcome dinner by the host church and a question & answer time with seasoned pastors. Sitting on the panel were Bob and Myra Marsh, John and Lucy Helveston, Doug and Martha Beyers, Larry and Linda Jones, and Denton and Janice Lotz.
Next year’s ACM will be held 23-25 October in Oberursel, Germany.