Hawaii Baptists challenged to embrace missions call

HONOLULU, Hawaii (BP) -- Messengers to the 2019 Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention (HPBC) annual meeting welcomed into their fellowship five congregations from Oahu, Hawaii Island, Guam and Japan.

Hawaii Baptist convention gathers over 150 churches from 11.9 million square miles to combine efforts for the cause of Christ. Centered on unity and the power of the Gospel call, messengers were encouraged to work together.
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Gathering around the theme "The Power of the Call: We're Better Together," 168 messengers representing 50 churches and 93 guests met Nov. 8-9 at Olivet Baptist Church in Honolulu.

Over 150 cooperating congregations in addition to the churches in Hawaii include churches in Guam, Saipan, American and Western Samoa, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, and the Philippines.

Business

Messengers re-elected Steve Irvin, senior pastor of Pali View Baptist Church, Kaneohe, Hawaii, as president; Sterling Lee, senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Pearl City, Hawaii, as first vice president; and Alan Krober, senior pastor of Mililani Baptist Church, Mililani, Hawaii as second vice president.

They also elected Grace Poei, member of University Avenue Baptist Church in Honolulu as recording secretary.

Messengers also approved an HPBC 2020 budget of $1,853,500 which marks a 22 percent decrease from the current year.

The change is attributable largely to an anticipated decrease in North American Mission Board (NAMB) support and restructuring of the budget to reflect HPBC directed ministries.

Officers for the Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention are (from left) Chris Martin, executive director/treasurer; Steve Irvin, president; Sterling Lee, first vice president; Alan Krober, second vice president; and Grace Poei, recording secretary.
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Anticipated receipts include $1,250,000 in Cooperative Program (CP) receipts from churches, $245,000 from NAMB, $65,000 from LifeWay Christian Resources and $100,000 from gifts to the Sue Nishikawa Offering for Hawaii Pacific Missions.

The convention will continue to forward 20 percent of CP receipts to Southern Baptist Convention missions and ministries and retain 80 percent for funding Hawaii Pacific missions and ministries.

The budget does not include any shared ministry expenses.

Hawaii Pacific churches' giving through CP increased from 2017-2018 and is currently on pace in 2019 to exceed gifts in 2018.

For the 2018 calendar year, Hawaii Pacific churches exceeded giving goals for CP, the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for international missions, world hunger relief, the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions and the Sue Nishikawa Offering for Hawaii Pacific Missions.

Executive director's report

Chris Martin, HPBC executive director and treasurer, spoke on the vision for the future of HPBC in a message based on 2 Corinthians 5:16-21.

"We must rise in the power of the call to follow Christ -- to be led by the Holy Spirit and instructed by the perfect Word of God for the glory of the Father. Now is our time -- and we do this better together," Martin reminded messengers. "The HPBC covers an area of 11.9 million square miles, so working together among churches, with various gifts and skills, is crucial to reach the lost for Christ."

Martin encouraged messengers to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and to be aware of where God is working in the larger area surrounding Hawaii seeking to obediently follow God's leadership.

In sharing the new vision for Hawaii Pacific Baptists, Martin said "We see every Hawaii Pacific Baptist Church working together to be leaders in impacting God's Kingdom throughout the Pacific and Asia."

Martin challenged Hawaii Pacific Baptists to continue to work together with the support of the SBC network of state conventions, seminaries, and entities.

Missions call

Steve Irvin, HPBC president and senior pastor of Pali View Baptist in Oahu, preached a message on the second part of the annual meeting theme, "We're Better Together" from Acts 16.

As part of his message, he challenged messengers by reminding them that "while we often talk about my call, my church, my plan, my vision, it's not about us. If we are answering God's call, it's all about Him."

Paul Chitwood, IMB president, spoke on Revelation 22:20-21, focusing on "The Urgency of the Mission."

"The day of the Lord's coming is going to be a great celebration. A day we've looked forward to and longed for. But what if the church looks at that day and says, 'God, you don't mean today, do you?' What does that say about where the love of the church rests? Have we fallen in love with created things rather than the Creator?" Chitwood said.

Chitwood challenged messengers to embrace and worship the soon-coming Christ and work together to share the good news of Jesus with all the world.

Worship leadership and special music was provided by the California Baptist University worship team.

The 2020 HPBC annual meeting will be held on Nov. 5-6 in Kona on Hawaii Island at the Kona Courtyard Marriott.

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