LAS VEGAS (BP)–The Nevada Baptist Convention welcomed seven new affiliated congregations and transitioned to a one-day meeting format at its 31st annual meeting at Spring Valley Baptist Church in Las Vegas.
Thane Barnes, the convention’s executive director, said the condensed format was an experiment.
“We learned how to do some things better and clearly recognized things that need improvement,” Barnes said of the Oct. 20 gathering. “The executive board and staff will evaluate the format. Overall, the response and attendance were encouraging. Not bad for a trial run.”
A total of 140 registered messengers represented 49 churches at the meeting. The seven new congregations are Life Baptist Church in Las Vegas, South Fork Community Church in Spring Creek, La Familia de Dios in Las Vegas, Chapel of Improvement Fellowship in Las Vegas, Iglesia Bautista Caribeña in Las Vegas, Iglesia Bautista Henderson in Henderson and Emmanuel Baptist Mission in Las Vegas.
This year’s theme was “ONE,” based on Ephesians 4:4-6, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you also were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.”
Guest speakers at the Nevada convention included Jeff Iorg, president of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, Calif., and Ed Stetzer, director of LifeWay Research in Nashville, Tenn.
Iorg led a study on the church at Antioch in the Book of Acts, a congregation he said was the best biblical example of a healthy church. He explained how the Antioch church managed conflict, matured believers and evangelized the world through a commitment to missions.
The church at Antioch demonstrated how a strong congregation can be built, can mature, can make a difference and can handle conflict, said Iorg, who is in the process of writing a book on the church at Antioch.
Stetzer used Acts 17 to focus on engaging and evangelizing different cultures.
“Whether young or old, Southern Baptists need to ask the question of themselves, ‘How do we take the timeless truths of the Gospel and seek to engage the culture so that men and women will be saved and transformed by the power of the Gospel?’
“I don’t think this is an age issue, a contemporary or traditional, emerging church or denominational issue. I believe this is a Bible issue,” Stetzer said. “We need to look to what the Scriptures have to say about engaging today’s culture with the life-changing message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in ways that are old and true and new and relevant.”
Also at the annual meeting, breakout sessions addressed the topics of church finances, evangelism, church security and discipleship.
Messengers adopted a 2010 budget of $2,381,719, down 15.5 percent from the current budget. The budget includes anticipated Cooperative Program giving of $896,531 from Nevada Baptist churches. The convention will continue to allocate 29.5 percent of CP receipts to national and international missions and ministries.
“Our nation has been hit hard by the recession and Nevada has taken the brunt of the downturn in the housing market, massive foreclosures and high unemployment,” Barnes said. “Receipts from Nevada churches have been down nearly 29 percent from last year. However, we will continue to offer our total resources to helping extend the Kingdom of God throughout Nevada.”
Frank Bushey, pastor of Fellowship Community Church in Reno, was re-elected president of the convention; Ron Trummell, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Pahrump, was elected first vice president; and Chris Miller, associate pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Fallon, was re-elected second vice president.
The Nevada Baptist Convention has 179 churches and missions with more than 32,000 members.
Next year’s annual meeting will be Oct. 18-19 at South Reno Baptist Church in Reno.
Based on a report by the Nevada Baptist Convention staff.