|DES MOINES, Iowa (BP) -- Iowa Baptists planted more than twice as many churches in the state this year than last, messengers to the group's 2012 annual meeting learned.
Church planters and others from across Iowa shared stories of their successes and evidence of God's power in their ministries.
"We are developing a culture in Iowa that understands that reproduction is natural and something every individual believer, church, association and cluster should be involved in doing," said Tom Law, Baptist Convention of Iowa interim executive director.
Iowa Baptists anticipate they will have planted more than 25 churches by year's end, compared to 10 in 2011, Law said.
Messengers adopted a BCI budget of $1,589,031 for 2013, anticipating $505,000 in Cooperative Program receipts from its churches, down from $540,000 budgeted for the current year. Iowa Baptists will continue to send 20 percent of CP receipts, or $101,000, to national and international Southern Baptist Convention causes. No shared BCI/SBC shared expenses were designated in the budget distributed to messengers.
The BCI's annual meeting at the Holiday Inn and Suites attracted 157 messengers and 49 guests from 54 churches across the state.
After extensive discussion, messengers accepted the proposed BCI Strategy Plan designed to "reap the harvest of the Great Commission," Law said, by utilizing church clusters to support each other, work on common problems, pool resources, plant churches and further God's work.
Law expressed amazement at God's work within the state and challenged Iowa congregations to ask themselves, "What does God want me to do in His Kingdom?"
"God is blessing us and giving us a tremendous opportunity to expand His Kingdom," Law said. "It is our responsibility to join Him in His work and do what He has asked us to do." Continued...