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nternational Mission Board (IMB) leaders announced in an Aug. 27 press release an organizational restructuring plan that will reduce personnel expenses and balance their budget. IMB's 2014 fiscal goals fell $21 million short. Deficits

SEPTEMBER 12, 2015 News Journal of North Carolina Baptists VOLUME 181 NO. 19 BRnow.org

Page 11


Phillip Davis

dies while cleaning gun

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Merida calls Christians to 'ordinary' life, gospel focus


organizational 'reset' will ease budget woes

By SETH BROWN BR Content Editor


s the daytime sky melts into deep shades of orange and purple, more than 21 million Americans embark on their nightly com- mute to work. These are shift workers, and they make up nearly 18 percent of the workforce, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. You can find shift workers in factories, ware- houses, power plants, 24-hour stores and now in a growing number of white-collar industries, like computer programming and financial services. Mike Klapp, lead church planter of Third Shift Church in Fayetteville, wants to find them in an- other location as well: corporate worship. Klapp and his family recently moved back to Fayetteville after living in Wake Forest for more than four years, where he pursued two degrees at The College at Southeastern and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Klapp plans to start a church that is uniquely oriented to serve shift workers. To reach that goal, they are currently planning a weekly Bible study set to begin Sept. 10. They are also making efforts to meet their neighbors and others in the city with the intent of sharing the gospel. So far, Klapp said, outreach is going well. He passes out informational cards about the upcom- ing church plant everywhere he goes, and he's made a special attempt to get to know his closest neighbors. "There are people who have lived in this neighborhood for 15 years," he said, "that have never had a neighbor come to their door to introduce themselves." You can imagine their surprise when the Klapp family knocked on the door with a fresh loaf of Panera bread and a warm introduction. As he ministers to his neighbors, Klapp carries a unique burden for a group of people that are often overlooked in church pro- gramming simply because of vocational time constraints. "We are reaching out to an unreached people group," he said. Shift work makes it difficult for many people to attend traditional, Sunday morning worship gatherings. Employees often work on weekends or nights. Many Christians are faced with the de- cision to either go home for much needed rest, or shuffle bleary-eyed into a church gathering after working the previous night. Klapp sympathizes with shift workers because he is one of them. He works weekends at the Walmart Distribution Center in Hope Mills; Klapp recently transferred from the Henderson location,


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totaled more than $210 million in the last six years. The plan includes two personnel reduction phases that will be enacted through early 2016. The first phase in- cludes a voluntary retirement incentive for qualifying employees through the end of 2015. The second phase will involve a resignation incentive for all employees along with a possible reduction of IMB personnel in 2016. IMB leaders said in a frequently-asked-questions document also released on Aug. 27, "It is expected that the 600-800 people who step aside from the IMB in the next six months will not be stepping 'onto the sidelines of mission,' but instead will be moving into a new phase of involvement in mission." IMB President David Platt said in a conference call that previously enacted budget reduction plans - like reducing the number of new missionaries sent through IMB - are "no longer viable in

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