The partnership, SBTC Executive Director Nathan Lorick said Tuesday (Aug. 9), will provide financial support and various resources to help Southern Baptists in Nevada strengthen existing churches, plant new churches, reach the lost and develop leaders.
In July, the SBTC Executive Committee approved funding of up to $150,000 to be disbursed to the Nevada Baptist Convention in three annual installments of up to $50,000 each beginning this year. A fourth installment may also be given with Executive Committee approval.
“We are excited about [this partnership] and ready to get going with them,” Lorick said. “We want to give them full access to what we do, tell them to take any resources we’ve printed or created and use them in their own context and brand it as if it’s their own, give them backstage access to our events … and say to them, ‘What we have is yours.’”
Damian Cirincione, executive director of the Nevada Baptist Convention, told the SBTC Executive Board on Tuesday that Nevada is the 5th-fastest-growing state in the nation with a population of 3.1 million people — 2.2 million of which live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. Even so, there is great need to encourage and equip churches in all areas of the state, he said.
‘Light to pastors’
The Nevada convention has 182 affiliated churches, comparing that to the 2,707 churches that are affiliated with the SBTC, Cirincione noted. Over the past six months, the Nevada convention has celebrated the launch of two church plants, and Cirincione said three more potential church planters will be assessed in the coming weeks.
“Our congregations need encouragement, our pastors need encouragement and as a convention we need help in giving that encouragement,” Cirincione said.
“Our heart’s desire … is to be a light to our pastors, and we need help and resources so that we can do that,” he said. “We know this partnership with [the SBTC] is going to be profound. We’re excited to learn and grow with you.”
Nevada, like Texas, is becoming increasingly diverse.
More than 100 countries are represented by the residents of Nevada, who speak 200 languages, Cirincione said. Those demographics have created an environment where, again, much like Texas, a great opportunity to reach the nations exists “right in our own backyard.”
“We may be a small convention, but there’s so much work that needs to be done within our state,” Cirincione said, “and I believe with all my heart that we are truly poised for much growth in the coming years. We’re excited to see what God is going to do.”