STATE MEET: Nevada; Kansas-Nebraska | Baptist Press

Nevada Refocuses on Discipleship

By Karen L. Willoughby

RENO, Nev. (BP) — Messengers to the 43rdrd The annual meeting of the Nevada Baptist Convention was met with a strong emphasis on unity and a strong call for evangelism, discipleship and church planting.

Messengers learned that the new state congressional offices in Las Vegas should be ready for occupancy in early November; that Nevada Baptists entered into formal partnership with the Southern Baptist Convention of Texas; and that the state is working on a statewide church planting strategy and announcing “Send Nevada.”

Tim Royal (right), pastor of The Bridge Church in Spring Creek, Nevada, was re-elected president. Steve Witt, pastor of The Well Church in Henderson, was re-elected vice president.

The annual meeting drew 92 messengers from 40 of Nevada’s current 182 churches (two new this year) and about 60 guests to Life Church in Reno on Oct. 17-18, with the theme To shine that he may be glorifiedbased on Matthew 5:16.

“To shine requires us to take our faith seriously,” CEO Damian Cirincione told messengers. “Our purpose in shining is to proclaim the praise of God. As Christians, we are responsible for lighting up the world because we are bearers and reflectors of Christ’s light.

Cirincione emphasized the importance of unity among churches throughout Nevada and highlighted the growing relationship between the three state associations.

The executive director expressed his excitement about the state’s recently announced partnership with the Southern Baptist Convention of Texas.

“A huge win for our 2022 convention was the launch of a partnership with the Texas Southern Baptist Convention,” Cirincione told messengers. “Together, we are committed to creating a culture of discipleship in our congregations, and we believe this partnership will help us better equip Nevada pastors and congregations for the work of evangelism and discipleship.

The two-way partnership should last at least three years.

One of the highlights of the meeting was the announcement of a new national emphasis on church planting created in partnership with the Send Network.

“The Nevada Baptist Convention will now cooperate with church planting [the North American Mission Board’s] Send Network to have a church planting strategy for the entire state,” Cirincione said. Congregations in Nevada have planted three new churches this year and four more are “in the pipeline,” he added.

Cirincione told Baptist Press that his vision is to “create a culture of church planting that will result in Nevada church planters being developed in Nevada churches. It will be a natural result of a greater focus on discipleship in our congregations.

“Nevada is the fifth fastest growing state in the country and the third most diverse state,” Cirincione said. “With more than 100 countries represented and more than 200 languages ​​spoken here, we have the opportunity to bring the gospel to the nations in our own backyard.”

Cirincione talked about the addition of Bradley Linkins to his team this summer as an assistant principal with an emphasis on discipleship. “Bradley met with pastors, developed discipleship strategies for churches and brought a level of expertise, fun and variety to our staff,” the executive told messengers.

Messengers approved a 2023 budget of $1,477,300, an increase of $293,000 over the proposed 2022 budget. This includes a projected surrender of $1,184,300 in the Church Cooperation Program, up from an expected $832,477 in 2022. Nevada is sending 50 percent — $592,150 in 2023 — to the SBC executive committee to be disbursed based on percentages approved by messengers at the SBC’s annual meeting last year. June.

Tim Royal, pastor of The Bridge Church in Spring Creek, Nev., was re-elected president. Steve Witt, pastor of The Well Church in Henderson, was re-elected vice president.

Nevada Baptists also learned earlier this year of the sale of their Reno office space and the purchase of a new one in Las Vegas. The new premises are currently being upgraded to five offices, a conference/multipurpose room and a resource area. It passed all inspections in September, but the cast will only begin after final approval.

“If all goes well, we will move into the new office in November,” Cirincione said. “We want to have a space where we can plan, hope, dream and realize new endeavors to reach our state because of Jesus.”

Two resolutions were approved by the messengers. The first was to thank Life Church for hosting the annual meeting. Second:

“Our culture is running woefully into unimaginable sin. Whereas the order of God’s creation is being turned upside down, since our culture places no restraints on depravity, since our culture will require the church to follow, Therefore … Resolved, That the Nevada Baptist Convention shall stand in the gap between worldly passions and godly principles as described in the Scriptures.’

The next annual meeting of the Nevada Baptist Convention is scheduled for October 16-17, 2023 at Green Valley Baptist Church in Henderson, a suburb of Las Vegas.


“Church Forward” begins a new season of ministry for Kansas, Nebraska

Author: Kevin Ferstl

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (BP) – The 2022 annual meeting of the Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists was hosted by the First Southern Baptist Church of Garden City on 10-11. October This year marks a fresh, new season of ministry ushered in with the launch of a new brand identity for the state convention – “Church Forward” that speaks to the focus and heart of all strategic efforts at the convention.

David Manner, executive director of the Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists, addresses delegates at the group’s annual meeting.

“We wanted a brand identity that not only said who we are, but also expressed what we do,” said David Manner, executive director of Congress. “The hero of our brand is not the organization; it is our churches and their leaders.”

Kevin Ferstl, the convention’s director of communications and worship, said Church Forward exists “to serve churches, energize leaders and maximize partnerships. This identity signifies the value of collaboration and partnership across our nearly 460 congregations.”

The meeting attracted 238 messengers and 70 visitors who heard guest speakers Mark Clifton (Pastor, First Baptist Church of Linwood, Kan., and Senior Director of Rural Renewal and Strategy at the North American Mission Board); Mark Cress (Lead Pastor, First Southern Baptist Church of Liberal, Kan.); and Doyle Pryor (lead pastor, First Southern Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan.). Services for all major sessions were led by Kevin Ferstl and Metro East Worship (Metro East Baptist Church of Wichita, Kan.).

The 2023 budget was approved at $4,432,008, a 2.5 percent increase over 2022. The Convention Cooperative Program allocation, which transfers money to the Southern Baptist Convention’s national and international missions and ministry purposes, also increased from 30.5 percent to 31 percent.

Officers elected were President Doyle Pryor, Vice President David Gibbs, Recording Secretary Voyt Lynn, Assistant Recording Secretary Vicki VanMeter, Rep. Sandy Peterson, and Secretary of History Tony Mattia.

The 2023 Church Forward Annual Meeting will be hosted by Westside Church of Omaha, Neb. 9-10 October 2023.

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