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Hawaii Pacific Baptists endorse 5-year strategy, SBC seminaries

HONOLULU (BP)–A “Sharing God’s Heart from the Heart of the Pacific” strategy was adopted by messengers to the Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention’s Nov. 9-10 annual meeting, outlining the values and focus of convention resources for the next five years.

A resolution in support of the six Southern Baptist Convention seminaries also was passed and notice was given of amendments to the convention’s constitution regarding the Baptist Faith and Message to be voted on next year.

The sessions at Honolulu’s Waialae Baptist Church drew 271 registered messengers and 114 guests.

Among the aims of the convention’s “Sharing God’s Heart from the Heart of the Pacific” initiative are:

— Encourage Hawaii Pacific churches to have daylong prayer meetings quarterly and to develop ongoing prayer ministries. Baptist associations and the convention’s staff also are encouraged to have two prayer retreats per year.

— Implement intentional pastoral and lay leadership development processes, as well as a development process for individuals sensing God’s call to the ministry.

— Encourage the beginning of eight new congregations and 120 outreach initiatives per year for the next five years.

— Urge giving by individuals to their churches to increase by 50 percent over the next five years and develop a program on estate planning and planned giving through the Hawaii Foundation Board.

— Develop a website for the Hawaii Pacific convention and utilize evangelistic TV spots produced by the Southern Baptist North American Mission Board.

In support of the SBC’s seminaries, the Hawaii Pacific resolution voices “thanks to the Lord for the six seminaries for their faithful ministry,” pledging “continued financial and prayer support for their staffs, faculties and students.”

The resolution describes the seminaries as “faithful stewards of the mission entrusted to them — the mission of training, educating and preparing ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ … . They are committed to hold fast to the faith ‘once for all delivered to the saints’ and have established themselves and all they teach upon the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ and the total truthfulness of Holy Scripture as the inerrant and infallible Word of God.”

The resolution also notes that the 12,000-plus students in SBC seminaries “are involved in personal evangelism, church planting and missions as an integral part of their seminary experience,” and the large majority of Hawaii Pacific Baptist churches are staffed by graduates of the seminaries.

A budget of nearly $2.5 million was adopted, up from the current year’s $2.2 million budget. The Cooperative Program portion of the budget anticipates gifts from Hawaii churches of $947,335, 31.5 percent of which will continue to be forwarded to Southern Baptist national and international missions and ministries.

George Iwahiro, a layman from Nuuanu Baptist Church, Honolulu, was elected convention president; Ted Goslen, pastor of First Baptist Church, Waimea, Hawaii, first vice president; and Dan Van Alstine, associate pastor of Mililani Baptist Church, Central Oahu, second vice president. The executive board of the convention was authorized to name a recording secretary.

The convention also heard reports from the Southern Baptist International Mission Board, North American Mission Board, LifeWay Christian Resources, Annuity Board, the six SBC seminaries and the California Southern Baptist Convention that began a partnership with Hawaii this year.

Next year’s meeting will be Nov. 8-9 at Olivet Baptist Church, Honolulu.

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  • O.W. Efurd