Click here to order the free printed MIO prayer guide/bulletin insert for your church.
John and Jacki Mattingly have served around the Quad Cities for almost three decades. He has served as pastor, director of missions, and now heads church planting in the quadrant of our state that has captured his heart. This region is a mix of cities, small towns, and rural crossroads, including Quincy, Peoria, and Rockford, with a higher percentage of lostness than any other region in Illinois. Many counties have no Southern Baptist church and little evangelical witness. John continues seeking God’s direction in identifying the next location to plant a new church. And he is looking for people who will move here and commit their lives to church planting and pastoral ministry in the Northwest.
Pray for John as he helps plant new churches, plus John Sedgwick, Brian McWethy, and Joe Gardner who serve here, and IBSA’s Church Planting leader Van Kicklighter.
Reaching the next generation with the gospel is not easy. Those born in 2000 or after are teenagers now. The Millennials, who started coming of age after 2000, are giving way to the “Centennials,” or Generation-Z. They have grown up in a very different world, one where the number of people who claim no religious affiliation at all is about 20% and growing. Jack Lucas joined IBSA as leader of next-gen ministry. IBSA aids churches in reaching children with the gospel, and equipping students as tomorrow’s leaders through VBS, missions events, Youth Encounter in three locations, AWSOM for teen girls, Summer Worship University, and a full summer schedule of camps at Lake Sallateeska and Streator Baptist Camps.
Pray for next-gen director Jack Lucas, worship director Steve Hamrick, camp managers Philip
Hall and Mike Young and their ministry teams.
Bryan and Marci Coble relocated far from their downstate home. Their new neighborhood in Chicago, Irving Park, is seven times larger than Marci’s hometown, with 77,000 people. The variety of people and languages there is amazing. They are engaged in church planting activities to meet the neighbors and form a core group for a new church. First they will start a Bible study at the community center in the park, followed within a few months by weekly worship services. With the partnership of their home church, IBSA, and national missions partners, the Cobles are committed to sharing Christ in our state’s largest mission field. Acts 1:8 missions strategy starts at home, and moves on to the big cities nearby, such as Chicago.
Pray for the Cobles, for more church planters in Chicagoland with its 10 million residents, and for Dennis Conner, Tim Bailey, John Yi, and Jorge Melendez who lead IBSA’s church planting strategy there.
Pat Pajak can share Jesus with anyone anywhere, even the rehab unit where he recovered from heart surgery. He tells how he was able to share Bibles and the gospel with nurses who cared for him during his recovery. Pat is a terrific example. This beloved pastor from central Illinois has served in a several capacities with IBSA. Now Pat is leading evangelism training, helping churches and pastors grow as witnesses. Pat will train more than 200 churches this year, and develop an evangelism network with over 100 pastors.
At least two-thirds of the people in Illinois do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The need for believers to boldly share their faith has never been greater. IBSA has made advancing the gospel the main reason for all we do.
Pray for Pat, Sylvan Knobloch, and for IBSA churches to grow in personal evangelism.
If the Christian faith is to grow stronger in Illinois, it will require stronger churches, in particular stronger Southern Baptist churches in cities, towns, and rural areas across the state. IBSA focuses on leader development and coaching ministry by equipping pastors and lay leaders in more than 20,000 sessions annually. And at the church’s request, IBSA offers personal consultation from experienced pastors and church leaders in overcoming growth barriers. IBSA is one of just a few state conventions to provide such customized ministry for its member churches, offering insight on site.
At events such as the Illinois Leadership Summit, pastors can learn from practitioners who know the rigors of ministry. They can be refreshed and return home to lead invigorated, effective ministries.
Pray for Mark Emerson and the Church Resource Team, and 11 zone consultants including Joe Oliver and Steven Glover in metro Chicago.
Derrick and Ailee Taylor have a heart for their small town, reaching into the community by meeting needs. The Net Community Church shows how missions and evangelism work together. Soon after the new church started, they became active with the food bank in Staunton. Participating with the local fire fighters and other congregations, the church help refurbish the facility. Now they help staff the operation, which is open twice weekly. The food bank is filling a great need for people in the community.
Many new churches use this compassion ministry approach. It puts them in contact with people who need Jesus, in the way Jesus would serve them. Every compassion opportunity becomes a faith sharing opportunity.
Pray for the Taylor family and their new church, downstate church planters, Eddie Pullen and Ken Wilson who lead IBSA’s church planting strategy there.
Mission trips are excellent opportunities for evangelism. In fact, sharing Jesus is the primary reason 22,000 Illinois Baptists personally engage in missions each year.
Supported in part by the Mission Illinois Offering, IBSA’s Church Resource Team equips missions leaders in Illinois churches to lead mission trips and to engage their churches in Acts 1:8 mission strategy. From just next door to the other side of the world, IBSA churches share Christ with many people and people groups. Missions Spectacular, Children’s Ministry Day, ChicaGO Week for Students, and GO Weeks on international mission fields are just a few ways IBSA helps mobilize Christ-followers for missions.
And with 1,600 trained volunteers, Illinois Baptist Disaster Relief brings aid after natural disasters, while chaplains witness to suffering people.
Pray for Dwayne Doyle and Carmen Halsey who lead missions mobilization, and the teams who equip and send thousands of Illinois Baptists each year.
Today churches will collect the Mission Illinois Offering, which supports the ministries in this prayer guide and more. It is so important that we reach the $475,000 goal. Consider your own gift for state missions.
In worship and prayer today, consider all the things that IBSA churches achieve together. We are grateful for God’s blessing on missions and ministry that reach lost people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. But with a little more than 70,000 people worshiping in Southern Baptist churches in Illinois today, we are far outnumbered. And with at least 8-million lost people in our state, the task before us is monumental—but not insurmountable.
God can bring a spiritual awakening to Illinois. And Baptists can stand ready to join in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Faithful prayer and missions support make God’s work strong and growing.
Pray for all our partner churches to give today, and for Executive Director Nate Adams and the missions support staff of IBSA.