"Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain."
~ 1 Corinthians 15:58, ESV
2019 is a year of beginning the implementation of the new purpose developed through last year’s pastor listening sessions. We are laying a foundation that encourages greater engagement towards pastors and churches helping one another. We see the gospel advancing and…
“In 7 years we envision 200 of our 300 PSBA churches transforming neighborhoods and communities by making Christ known through disciple makers who multiply spiritually vibrant groups, model goodness, and advocate peace. We see people celebrating God’s grace as a transforming power in their homes, schools, and places of work.”
~2019 Admin. Team draft vision
To help concisely communicate our values, purpose, and vision the Executive Board Council developed the PSBA Essential Values & Beliefs (see pages 6-9). This draws from but does not replace the Baptist Faith & Message.
The Administrative Team is working towards developing specific strategies and spending plans to facilitate pastors and churches helping one another. Our current teams are Care & Connections, Church Strengthening, and Church Planting. Our goal is to serve as a catalyst and to resource churches pursuing their own purpose and vision.
One of my motivations in coming back to the PSBA full-time was a concern for existing churches. Within as little as three years, new churches are dealing with many things common to existing churches. Some newer churches are not continuing. Starting a new life cycle or transitioning are good solutions for many, including those less than ten years old.
We are adding a part-time church strengthening director staff position in 2020 to help us form and work with the Church Strengthening Team. This team will implement the requests made by pastors, drawing from the pastor listening sessions (see the executive summary on pages 35-41).
We are providing a unique training in 2020: the “Proclaimer’s Place” seminar on contemporary and contextual homiletical issues. The setting of Regent’s Park College, Oxford, England, the oldest Baptist institution in the world, helps participants embrace English Baptist roots.
The PSBA provides “Right Now Media” to pastors and their families, as well as the Revitalize Bundle from Revitalize Network. Both NAMB and LifeWay Resources help fund the Revitalize Bundle. We provide coaching for Natural Church Development (NCD) and the Spiritual Assessment and Renewal Process. These are just some of our initial offerings while the Church Strengthening Team is forming and while we seek a PSBA Church Strengthening Director.
We are in partnership discussions with the IMB for global evangelism in Kenya or Brazil (perhaps both), with the first trip projected for early 2021. Both countries are seeking pastors to work with national churches in preaching and basic discipleship. These churches are connected with IMB field staff to ensure alignment with us and for follow up after/between our presence.
NAMB and the NWBC continue to be strategic partners. In addition to staff, they offer several training, group, and assessment resources for both new and established churches.
Over the past year, we have seen eight churches close, two merge, and 14 new plants begun (see pages 21 to 25). The PSBA (Seattle Church Planting) helped plant three of these. In addition, NAMB and the NWBC assisted in planting six new churches. Five of the plants came from reproducing PSBA churches: Vision of Missions Cooperative Ministries, Living Spring Fellowship, Resurrection Church, and MOSAIC. We went from 173 to 178 churches this year which includes a new church starting October 6.
Silver Lake Baptist (Everett) has gone through a reconciliation and restoration process leading to the Executive Board Council unanimously and enthusiastically welcoming them back on December 3, 2018 as a member church. It is our intention in the coming months to gift them the property deeded by their church documents to us in the past. Pray for them as they currently seek a new pastor.
Resurrection Church (Tacoma) was recommended by the Executive Board Council as a member church on May 16, 2019. Resurrection is new to Baptist life and approached PSBA membership thoughtfully and prayerfully over the course of nine months. Resurrection Church (Federal Way) is a PSBA church plant from the Tacoma church.
The PSBA currently has 11 churches regularly using our properties. We are also in discussions with a church that is considering giving us their property to develop a PSBA campus that can house multiple churches and church plants on the east side. The PSBA provides strategic debt-free properties for church use. Churches pay for the operation and maintenance costs including deferred maintenance. Jim Anderson has done a good job helping in this area the past years.
As shared in the August Pastor Update Meeting, the Council recommends selling the current east-side house in Newcastle and purchasing a northern east side ministry house up to $850,000.00. The association will vote on this tonight.
The PSBA is fiscally conservative and we continue to minister within our means. We closed the 2018 calendar (fiscal) year in the black (see pages 26-28) and are on track to do so again in 2019 (see pages 28-29).
We have been implementing recommendations in keeping with new regulations and standard accounting principles identified in the 2018 procedural audit. Bob Lowe helps with accounting and voucher approvals. We continue to have at least three, and normally four different people approve all expenditures.
The 2020 budget includes increased bookkeeping hours, a new part-time church strengthening position, a 3% cost of living salary increase, plus increased health insurance costs. The budget is slightly decreased and calls for realistic giving from our member churches.
The PSBA needs increased giving by our churches. Recognizing the struggles of many churches, the leadership does not want to burden churches by pressing for increased giving. Therefore, as reported in the August pastor update meeting, the budget reflects the Council’s decision to continue using some of the return on investments income for the budget. The Administrative Team is in full support of this decision.
We encourage all churches to give on a monthly basis. The amount given is always determined by the church, though we suggest 3-5% of the church’s budget income. We also encourage 6% or more for the Cooperative Program through the NWBC.
Partners are attracted to our churches through the PSBA’s fiscal responsibility and the regular giving of PSBA churches. Your church’s PSBA gifts leverage and generate church partnership gifts.
Jim Anderson Retirement
As you know, Jim Anderson is retiring tonight and will soon be moving to Colorado Springs, Colorado. Jim served as the Executive Pastor for Trinity Baptist in Renton since 1999, and as the PSBA Facilities Director since 2014. Previously, Jim served on the Executive Board Council, and then four years as the PSBA moderator. He has managed our properties, producing growing trust from our churches and partners. He has also done extensive work with our accounting. Jim has a true servant’s heart. He is an encourager and helps pastors and churches avoid making sometimes costly mistakes. Jim is a true friend of Jesus, pastors and churches. Both he and Nancy will be missed.
From January through August, I had 202 face-to-face meetings with pastors, not counting Council and other regular meetings. There were 69 extended phone calls with pastors. My sense is that our pastors are immersed in, and find strength from, God’s Word and prayer. Some pastors carry great burdens, from family challenges to brokenness over lostness in their communities. Pastors and churches connected to one another do better and seem more hopeful and less burdened.
2019 has been a foundational work year. More churches are effectively engaging their neighborhoods and the workplace. Biblical teaching and discipleship training characterize churches that are growing stronger. Bigger is not better. Churches that teach and train members, equipping them to reflect the character of Christ and be engaged in His mission, is better.
Patty and I regularly pray, morning and night, for pastor couples and churches, pressing into prayer on the weekends. It is an honor to serve and pray alongside you in the Gospel ministry.