SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (BP)–Illinois native and Southern Baptist missions leader Nate Adams is the unanimous choice of the Illinois Baptist State Association’s executive director search committee to become the IBSA’s next executive director. The committee will present Adams to the association’s executive board at a special meeting in January called by board chairman Jerry Day.
“From the outset, our committee has believed we were in more of a ‘recognition’ process than a ‘search’ process,” said search committee chairman Jim Rahtjen. “We earnestly sought the Lord and prayed that He would allow us to recognize the man He had already set aside for this position. The committee believes Nate Adams is that man.
“Nate is passionate about the local church. He has a heart for reaching lost people, for starting and growing churches and he brings the experience and gifts to help us do that,” Rahtjen said. “We have been particularly impressed with Nate’s profound walk with the Lord, his passion for serving God with all his heart, and his love for the local church. Nate is a strategic thinker, a visionary, an effective leader and a gifted communicator. God has blessed him with a great sense of humor, an engaging personality, and yet a genuine humility that is refreshing in a man with his abilities.”
Adams has served the past eight years as vice president of mission mobilization for the North American Mission Board, leading the work of more than 80 fulltime employees responsible for recruiting and mobilizing the Southern Baptist entity’s national missionary force, its vast network of mission volunteers including disaster relief ministries and World Changers; creation of the denomination’s mission education resources; and NAMB’s corporate communication strategies including On Mission magazine.
He is the author of four books including, “The Home Team: Spiritual Practices for a Winning Family” and “The Acts 1:8 Challenge.” He also has written numerous articles and columns for national magazines including Decision, Christianity Today, Campus Life and New Man.
Prior to joining NAMB, Adams served as corporate vice president of publishing for Christianity Today, Inc., in Carol Stream, Ill. He has been a bivocational church planter, starting New Hope Community Church in St. Charles, Ill., and a youth minister at First Baptist Church in St. Charles. He also served as interim pastor for three churches in Georgia.
Adams shared with the search committee that returning to Illinois would be “coming home” for him and his family. Nate grew up both in downstate Illinois where his father, Tom Adams, pastored First Baptist Church in Johnston City, and in the Chicago suburbs where his father pastored First Baptist Church of Des Plaines (now Golf Road Baptist Church) and served as director of missions of Fox Valley Baptist Association. Tom Adams is also known to Illinois Baptists as a longtime columnist for the Illinois Baptist.
“I see this as coming to a mission field in which 12.5 million people reside and yet where 8.2 million of those don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ,” Adams said. “Through stronger churches, more churches and missional churches, I believe Southern Baptists in Illinois can welcome many people into the Kingdom of God.”
Adams and his wife, Beth, have three sons, Caleb, 17; Noah, 15; and Ethan, 12.
Dennis E. Dawson is associate executive director of the Illinois Baptist State Association and editor of the Illinois Baptist.