SPOTLIGHT: SUMMERTIME GOOD NEWS: GROWING AND SHARING THE GOSPEL PG. 15
Vol. 5 Issue 3 Healthy bodies, healthy churches pg. 8
5 steps to make the most of your camp leadership experience pg. 20
11 maneras efectivas para alcanzar a su comunidad pg. 26
TEXAS BAPTISTS EVENT CALENDAR Sun
Summer Institute on Basic Immigration Law, San Antonio Disaster Spiritual Care Training, San Antonio
BOUNCE Summer Mission 1, Dallas Super Summer 1, ETBU Super Summer 2, HSU
Super Summer Session 3, UMHB
BOUNCE Summer Mission 2, Bartlesville, OK Singing Women of Texas Lone Star Tour
Singing Women of Texas Lone Star Tour
Hispanic Education Fair
Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas, San Antonio Camp Fusion, Aquilla
TBM Disaster Relief Day
Camp Exalted, Denton Super Summer 4 & 5, DBU and HPU
BOUNCE Summer Mission 3, Louisiana
Independence Day 9
African American Fellowship Conference, Tyler Super Summer Session 6, HSU
BOUNCE Summer Mission 4, Louisiana
Introduction to Interim Ministry Training, San Antonio BOUNCE Summer Mission 5, Waco
Annual BSM Director and Staff Retreat, Dallas
TEX AS BAPTISTS LIFE / VOLUME 5 • ISSUE 3 / MAY 2017
F E AT U R E S
IN E VE RY ISSU E
Healthy bodies, healthy churches
Truth to be obeyed, not advice to be heeded
Letter from Executive Director Impact: Texas Baptists News
Texas Baptists mobilized to influence lawmakers at 2017 Advocacy Day
Fearfully and wonderfully made: Empowering a new mother to celebrate life 15 STAYING POWER PG.SP OT LIG SPOTLIGHT: TEXAS BAPTISTS CHURCH STARTING: UNRIAVLED SUCCESS THROUGH
SUM GH T:
NEW GO OD
OW S: GR
D ING AN
E NG TH
15 L PG .
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NS pg. 15
Vol. 5 Issue 2
Keys to a Gospel-centered summer: Q&A with Great Commission Team
dies, hy bo Healt churches hy healt
E5 . ISS UE
ke to ma 5 steps st of your as the mo perience ex camp r a leade pg. 18
g the Makin ry of the myste known at el Gosp Summer r Supe
5 steps to make the most of your camp leadership experience
Embracing local culture: County Church thrives in East Texas pg.22
Go Now students reaching the border for Christ
The im instit pact of ut giving ional story : Natalie’s
Tried and true: Six steps to planting a church pg. 18
Care + Share: 11 effective ways to reach your community
HPU stude leads nt to be teammat es tter unde rstan of Ch ding rist’s love
Miss ion Adop ar y tion Pr open ogram s expa doors for nded minis try
Making the mystery of the Gospel known at Super Summer Cuidar + Compartir: 11 maneras efectivas para alcanzar a su comunidad
WE ARE SENDING ENOUGH TO SHARE!
P U B L I C AT I O N T E A M
Joshua Seth Minatrea, Director of Communications Kalie Lowrie, News Director Jeremy Honea, Art Director Jordan Parker, Multimedia Specialist Brittany Thomas, Communications Assistant
You are receiving a free copy of Texas Baptists Life because of your generous support of the Cooperative Program. To subscribe, call 214.828.5232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. M AY 2 0 1 7
Hello, Texas Baptists!
¡Hola, Bautistas de Texas!
Summer is here! There are a couple of things all Texas Baptists know about the summer. First, we know it will be hot. And, if winter was any indication, it might be really hot! But there is something else we know (or should know) about Texas Baptists during the summer season and that is our unique emphasis on evangelism, discipleship and missions.
¡Llegó el verano! Hay varias cosas que todo Bautista de Texas sabe acerca del verano. Primero, sabemos que será caliente. Y, si el invierno fue de algún indicio, ¡será bastante caliente! Sin embargo, hay algo que también sabemos (o debiéramos saber) acerca de los Bautistas de Texas durante el verano y es nuestro énfasis particular en el evangelismo, el discipulado y las misiones.
Of course, as is the case with most of our Texas Baptists ministries, it all starts with, in and through the local church. Many, maybe most, of our churches will have some kind of event that highlights the three ministries I mentioned above. For example, Vacation Bible School is coming soon and every year our churches share the Gospel to VBS attendees and every year hundreds of boys and girls are saved. Also, many churches nowadays provide hands-on mission trip opportunities for their members. This summer, Texas Baptists will be all over the world, meeting human needs, sharing Jesus and training believers in spiritual disciplines.
Por supuesto, como con la mayoría de los ministerios de los Bautistas de Texas, todo comienza con, en y a través de la iglesia local. Muchas, y tal vez la mayoría, de nuestras iglesias celebran algún tipo de evento que enfatiza los tres ministerios que acabo de mencionar. Por ejemplo, la Escuela Bíblica de Vacaciones viene pronto y cada año nuestras iglesias comparten el evangelio con los que participan y cada año cientos de niños y niñas son salvos. Además, muchas iglesias proveen oportunidades de ministrar en viajes misioneros. Este verano, los Bautistas de Texas estarán por todo el mundo, supliendo necesidades humanas, compartiendo a Jesús y entrenando a creyentes en disciplinas espirituales. Al igual que la iglesia local, el personal ministerial de nuestra convención estatal dirige y participa en evangelismo, discipulado y misiones durante estos meses del verano. A través de los esfuerzos de nuestros Ministerios de Estudiantes Bautistas y las Misiones GoNow, cientos de estudiantes universitarios son enviados por todo el estado de Texas, los Estados Unidos y alrededor del mundo. ¡Estos serán nuestros futuros misioneros y ministros! Por favor, oren conmigo por un gran verano.
Like the local church, our state convention staff leads and participates in evangelism, discipleship and missions during these summer months, as well. Through the efforts of our Baptist Student Ministries and Go Now Missions, several hundred college students will be sent out all across Texas, through the U.S., and around the world. It is a great work. These will be our future missionaries and ministers! Please join me in praying for a great summer. BOUNCE, our Youth Disaster Recovery ministry, will have another full summer of work. Students will participate in manual labor and construction for several weeks in the summer, concluding each day with a worship service at a host church. In addition to the work they accomplish, they will be nurtured in and have many opportunities to share their faith. If your church is not involved in BOUNCE, contact David Scott in our offices soon.
BOUNCE, nuestro ministerio para jóvenes adolescentes de Recuperación de Desastre tendrá otro verano muy ocupado. Los jóvenes participarán en proyectos de trabajo manual y construcción durante varias semanas durante el verano, concluyendo cada día con un servicio de adoración en una iglesia anfitriona. Además del trabajo que realizan, tendrán muchas oportunidades para compartir su fe. Si su iglesia no participa en BOUNCE, no vacile en comunicarse con David Scott en nuestras oficinas.
Super Summer, led by Jason Richards, has a great summer ahead. Our future Texas Baptists church leaders will be developed during these impactful weeks. I know this to be true because so many of our current church leaders spent time each year in Super Summer.
Super Summer, dirigido por Jason Richards, tiene un gran verano por delante. Nuestros futuros líderes en iglesias Bautistas de Texas se desarrollarán durante estas semanas impactantes. Sé que esto es cierto porque muchos de nuestros líderes de iglesias en la actualidad pasan tiempo cada año en Super Summer.
Even though our staff will be taking breaks with family and friends for some time away, as they should, our work of training and development through conferences and seminars continues all summer long. When you see an event in your area, please try to attend. These folks are experts and you’ll not be disappointed.
A pesar de que nuestro personal ministerial tomará períodos de descanso con sus familiares y amigos, como debieran hacerlo, nuestra labor de entrenamiento y desarrollo por medio de conferencias y seminarios continúa durante todo el verano. Cuando sepa de un evento en su área, por favor, asista. Estos líderes son expertos y usted no será decepcionado.
The summer of 2017 will be a time of fruitful harvest, Christ-like personal development and hands-on mission work. Together, we most certainly will work to fulfill the Great Commandment and Great Commission this summer. Let’s pray, participate and celebrate in God’s work through our BGCT family.
El verano del 2017 será un tiempo de cosecha fructífera, desarrollo personal en semejanza a Cristo y labor misionera. Ciertamente, trabajaremos juntos para cumplir con la Gran Comisión y el Gran Mandamiento durante este verano. Oremos, participemos y celebremos la obra de Dios por medio de nuestra familia de la Convención Bautista General de Texas (BGCT).
BLESSINGS AND BENDICIONES,
D AV I D H A R D A G E E XECU TIVE DIRECTOR DIRECTOR E JECU TIVO
TEXAS BAPTISTS LIFE
IMPACT: TEXAS BAPTISTS NEWS
BOUNCE STUDENT DISASTER RECOVERY IMPACT
STUDENTS SPEND SPRING BREAK ON MISSION Texas Baptist junior high, high school and college-age students were mobilized over spring break in missions endeavors across the state and on several international trips. More than 1,000 college students served with Beach Reach in South Padre Island and 264 junior high and high school students served with BOUNCE in the Houston area. In addition, Texas Southern University BSM led Backyard Bible Clubs in Galveston, Lamar BSM students helped with Champs Camp at First Baptist Church of Brownwood, Houston Week brought students from multiple college campuses to serve and learn about social ministries, and many more students participated in Gospel-centered trips.
BEACH REACH IMPACT ON SOUTH PADRE ISLAND
TEXAS BAPTISTS LIFE
AFRICAN AMERICAN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE FOCUSES ON MISSIONAL LEADERSHIP
P I C T U R E D : DAV I D H A R DAG E , T E X A S B A P T I S T S ( T X B) E X E C U T I V E D I R E C TO R ; B O B BY S M I T H , T X B D I R E C TO R O F C H A P L A I N CY R E L AT I O N S; TO D D C O M B E E , V I RG I N I A B A P T I S T S C H A P L A I N ; A N D S T E V E V E R N O N , T X B A S S O C I AT E E X E C U T I V E D I R E C TO R .
CHAPLAINCY FORMS PARTNERSHIP WITH VIRGINIA BAPTISTS A recommendation was approved by the Executive Board to begin a partnership for chaplain endorsement on behalf of the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV). Todd Combee, a retired military chaplain from Virginia, was present at the meeting to affirm the partnership. “Virginia Baptists are very excited about this partnership allowing us to minister to chaplains in our area, as well as BGAV chaplains who will be a part of this process,” said Combee, pastor of New Bethesda Baptist Church in Mechanicsville, VA. During the Texas Baptists Chaplain Endorsement Council meeting on Feb. 21, Combee was the first BGAV chaplain endorsed through the new partnership. Combee will also serve on the Chaplain Endorsement Council and will work as an associate endorser for Virginia Baptists.
The African American Leadership Conference was hosted at Truett Seminary on March 3-4, providing training opportunities in Missional Leadership for the Kingdom-based church. Featured speakers included Dr. Robert Smith, Rayford Malone and Dr. Wanda Taylor-Smith.
INSTRUMENTAL CONVERGENCE More than 100 attendees enjoyed the Texas Baptists Music and Worship one-day training event Instrumental Convergence at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler this spring. Featuring clinician Kenn Hughes from the University of Mobile, instrumentalists were able to attend master classes, reading sessions, massed playing and more.
ANTHONY COBBS JOINS TEXAS BAPTISTS CHURCH STARTING STAFF Anthony Cobbs is serving as the new church starter for Area 3, covering Southeast Texas from Houston to Beaumont to Galveston. Cobbs is the former executive pastor at Higher Dimension Church in Houston and also served as a church starter with Texas Baptists in San Antonio.
To read more Texas Baptists news stories, visit texasbaptists.org/news.
TEXAS BAPTISTS WELCOME NEW AREA REPRESENTATIVE TIM MARROW Texas Baptists welcomed Tim Marrow to the staff as the new Area Representative for Area 6 in Central Texas. Marrow has served in the ministry since 1981, including his most recent pastorate at First Baptist Church of Plainview.
M AY 2 0 1 7
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TH RC H I S
WITH THAT IN MIND, we should be able to determine the health of a church, much as we can determine the health of our own bodies.
Scripture provides some characteristics of healthy churches that we can use when performing spiritual check-ups on the Body of Christ.
ORGANS AND APPENDAGES The healthy person has a heart that beats, lungs that breathe, arms and legs that move, etc. Likewise, the healthy church has organs and appendages that do what they are intended to do. Paul taught, “But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be” (1 Cor. 12:18 NIV). The Creator knit together the human body in wonderful ways so that each part has been put in exactly the right place to fulfill its purpose. In the same way, He has placed each believer in the church and gave him spiritual gifts that enable him to fulfill his assigned function in the Body. The church is healthy when all the believers are in their correct places and doing the tasks for which they have been equipped by the Holy Spirit.
MUSCLES AND JOINTS Often, we hear of knees or hips being replaced because they have grown unhealthy over time. In the case of a “bad knee,” the problem is not with the upper portion of the leg or the lower portion, but with the joint that links the two. Similarly, the church can become unhealthy if care is not given to the relationships that link the members. Paul taught, “From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does it work” (Eph. 4:16 NIV). In a healthy church, not only do the parts do their work, but they are joined together in the right way. Our relationships are the muscles and joints that keep us working together and growing in healthy ways.
STRONG VITAL SIGNS Only looking at church growth is like a pediatrician who only measures the height and weight of your child without checking the internal aspects of her health. You want a doctor who is going to thoroughly examine your child, including her vital signs. Vital signs evaluate functions that cannot be seen on the outside, but can cause very clear and obvious problems if they are not as they should be. Various local churches may have different signs they consider “vital,” but there are at least three signs that are vital for every church, regardless of size or setting. A healthy church will experience: 1) The presence and power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:31), 2) Worship that is relevant and sincere (John 4:23), 3) Real prayer (Isaiah 56:7).
REPRODUCTION Healthy organisms reproduce in one way or another. Healthy churches reproduce through evangelism. They make disciples who make new disciples (Matt. 28:19). There may be no greater demonstration of a church’s health than its ability to give birth to new disciples, new groups or perhaps even new congregations.
GROWTH Healthy bodies grow. Even after we stop growing taller, cells produce new cells and muscles continue to develop as long as the body remains healthy. Healthy churches grow, as well. Growth is not our goal, but it can be one of many signs that we use to determine our church’s health. Growth by itself is not enough, because some growth is unhealthy. Some bodies grow into obesity because of unhealthy habits, and some churches grow because of unhealthy habits, as well. Therefore, we do not only look at growth, but when taken along with the other characteristics of church health described above, growth can be a helpful means of determining how healthy a church is. Fortunately, the Body of Christ is not on its own when it comes to being healthy. The One Who created the Body gave us a book full of instructions for staying healthy. He gave us His Spirit to empower the Body. He even gave us His Son to be the Head of the Body (Col. 1:18). Jesus leads His own Body! Let us keep it as healthy as we can for His glory! M AY 2 0 1 7
TRUTH TO BE OBEYED, NOT ADVICE TO BE HEEDED B Y J . N I C K P I T T S , D I R E C T O R O F C U LT U R A L E N G A G E M E N T, D E N I S O N F O R U M O N T R U T H A N D C U LT U R E
Some people have a sweet tooth; I have teeth made of sugar.
We prefer encourage to command, should to shall. Such
My grande white chocolate mocha with extra whip and an
absolute injunctions go over about as well as healthy desserts
extra pump of white chocolate epitomizes this. When the
at Thanksgiving. Commands are hard sells in today’s world,
barista announces my coffee-flavored sugar drink before
especially because of the lack of trust in institutions. According
the morning rush crowd, a tinge of shame comes over me.
to a recent Gallup poll, Americans’ confidence in institutions
However, this shame subsides when she announces the next
registers at historic lows. Seventy-three percent of Americans
order – a no foam, soy milk latte at 91 degrees with two packets
have little or no trust in banks. Eighty percent with newspapers.
of Splenda and a light sprinkling of hazelnut.
Fifty-nine percent with the church.
Who would have thought warmed bean water could be so
A generation ago, almost half of Americans felt they could
trust the people around them, but now less than a third think
Such is life in 2017. We know what we like, how we like it, and we expect the barista to serve our drink to us our way. We welcome suggestions, entertain options, but at the end of the day, it is our decision. We are the captains of our highly caffeinated ships. With Yeti tumbler in one hand and smartphone (with customizable cases) in the other, we join the saints of old in supporting, not forsaking, the gathering together of believers. We open our preferred Bible app – whether this is Logos or YouVersion – and read from a translation of our choosing. But is there ever a point when we give over control and yield to an authority higher than ourselves?
other people are trustworthy. Only 19 percent of millennials believe other people can be trusted. Distrust breeds isolation. Half of all people don’t know their neighbors’ names. In 2004, 25 percent of people said they had no close friend to discuss important matters. That number was 10 percent in 1985. From this isolated, skeptical position, there are some who enter into the church knowing they want the best for themselves but wondering if church leaders want the same. As people of the Good Book who teach the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27), the answer is a resounding “Yes.” His Word is a lamp for our feet (Psalm 119:105) and His Spirit is a guide on the journey (John 16:13). This journey ends in the fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11) and along the way is filled with joy (Romans 8:18). We have been commanded to rejoice (Philippians 4:4). Unlike my extra whip, this is not optional.
TEXAS BAPTISTS LIFE
God died so that we might live (1 Peter 2:24). We don’t survive
Some commands are not easy to swallow, like those nutritious
through life; rather, God wants us to thrive in life (John 10:10).
Thanksgiving desserts. This is where the Church adds
In order to thrive, He has given us His Word filled with
sweetness to our flavor palette (2 Corinthians 2:14-15). Contrary
commands and His church to obey those commands.
to the child’s hand gestures, the Church is more than people
Reading the Bible reveals some crazy stories (Ezekiel 4), interesting instructions (Exodus 28), and obvious commands (Matthew 22). Typically, commands function as invitations for
gathered under the steeple. Rather, the Church is the scattered people of God blessing their community and encouraging their sisters and brothers (Hebrews 3:13, 1 Thessalonians 5:11).
rebellion. “Don’t look at the sun” quickly brings black dots and
Life is tough, God is great and His commands are for our
impaired vision. “Don’t touch this” precedes a new scar. Each
good. The encouragement from a brother can clarify moral
transgression painfully reminds us of our parents’ wisdom and
ambiguity in the messiness of life and the life-giving words
our naiveté. The commands were not given to squelch life but
from a sister buoys the spirit of a weary soul.
to protect the fullness of it. In the same manner, God’s commands are not burdensome (1 John 5:3). The Author of Life knows how to get the most out of it, just like Jonathan Ive knows how to get the most out of an iPhone. Not using your iPhone underwater may not
Thank God we have options at Starbucks. But at church, the Bible is not filled with advice to be heeded but commands to be obeyed. VISIT DE NISONFORUM .ORG TO SUBSCRIBE T O N I C K P I T T S ’ D A I LY B R I E F I N G .
sit well with you in the moment, but it allows you to use your iPhone past the moment. God’s commands are not a killjoy but the straightest path to lasting joy. When we hide the commands of God, we also hide opportunities to experience the joy of God.
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TEXAS BAPTISTS MOBILIZED TO INFLUENCE LAWMAKERS ON 2017 ADVOCACY DAY Christian engagement in politics and culture should be directed by a love of God and practice of discipleship, attendees learned on the Texas Baptists Christian Life Commission Advocacy Day on February 28 and March 1 in Austin. The event, held at Hyde Park Baptist Church, featured keynote speakers Gabe Lyons, founder of Q and co-author of Good Faith, and Vincent Bacote, associate professor of theology and director of the Center for Applied Christian Ethics at Wheaton College. “The purpose of Advocacy Day is to help Christians and particularly Texas Baptists engage in public policy and politics from a biblical worldview,” said Kathryn Freeman, the CLC’s director of public policy. “I think this is critical because politics affect our lives and the lives of our neighbors, which means our lives as disciples should reflect this reality. We ought to be equipped to speak faithfully to the challenges of our age – and that includes politics.” Conference participants attended various workshops on a variety of pivotal policy issues including religious liberty, immigration, education, payday lending, foster care and more. Through the workshops, attendees learned of important legislation and how to engage with legislators on those issues. Visit texasbaptists.org/clc to learn about public policy priorities. 12
TEXAS BAPTISTS LIFE
“PEOPLE’S LIVES, AS DISCIPLES, OUGHT TO M AT T E R E V E RY H O U R O F T H E W E E K .” - VINCENT BACOTE
C L C D I R E C T O R G U S R E Y E S ( L E F T ) A N D C H A I R O F T H E C L C M I C H A E L E VA N S ( R I G H T ) P R E S E N T E D R E P. T R E N T A S H B Y ( C E N T E R ) W I T H T H E 2 0 1 7 M I C A H 6 : 8 J U S T I C E A W A R D .
M AY 2 0 1 7
SPOTLIGHT / TEX AS BAPTISTS CHURCH STARTING
Summertime Good News: Growing and sharing the Gospel
KEYS TO A GOSPEL-CENTERED SUMMER: Q&A WITH THE GREAT COMMISSION TEAM Great Commission Team members share their perspective on church evangelism, discipleship and ministry in the summer.
5 STEPS TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR CAMP LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE Whether at youth, kids or family camp, these five tips will help you make the most of the Christian camp experience for yourself and your campers.
CARE + SHARE: 11 EFFECTIVE WAYS TO REACH YOUR COMMUNITY Ryan Jespersen, director of Urban Missions, shares practical ways your church can serve and reach out to your community during the summer months.
MAKING THE MYSTERY OF THE GOSPEL KNOWN AT SUPER SUMMER Read about a recent training event for Super Summer leaders where they were inspired to make the Gospel known to those around them in preparation for upcoming camps.
CUIDAR + COMPARTIR: 11 MANERAS EFECTIVAS PARA ALCANZAR A SU COMUNIDAD Ryan Jespersen, director de Urban Missions, comparte ideas prรกcticas que su iglesia puede usar servir y alcanzar a su comunidad en el verano.
M AY 2 0 1 7
SPOTLIGHT / SUMMERTIME GOOD NEWS
KEYS TO A GOSPELCENTERED SUMMER: Q&A WITH THE GREAT COMMISSION TEAM Summer church ministry may look and feel a little different than other times of the year. From camps and kids programs to sports clinics and block parties, opportunities to engage your community with the Gospel are endless. We sat down with our Great Commission Team leaders to ask their perspective on all things evangelism and discipleship. Here's what they shared:
D E LV I N ATC H I S O N
J O S H UA D E L R I S C O
D I R E C T O R O F T H E G R E AT COMMISSION TEAM
A S S O C I AT E D I R E C T O R A N D DISCIPLESHIP LEAD
J O S H U A . D E L R I S C O @T E X A S B A P T I S T S . O R G
D E LV I N . AT C H I S O N @T E X A S B A P T I S T S . O R G
P H I L . M I L L E R @T E X A S B A P T I S T S . O R G
TEXAS BAPTISTS LIFE
E VA N G E L I S M L E A D
SPOTLIGHT / SUMMERTIME GOOD NEWS
Q What summertime ministry made the biggest impact on you as a young person? A It was Vacation Bible School. I came from a small town and small towns didn’t have a lot of camps, mind you this is 40 years ago, but we did have Vacation Bible School. It was as though churches coordinated to have different weeks. It became for us both our spiritual formation and also our day care. Each church in the community would have it. It was the first example I saw that churches were connected. It was my first image of the Church universal. It impacted me profoundly and gave me a sense of community, of family.
Q How can we remain intentional about discipleship during the summertime? A There is always the tendency to "take a vacation" from discipling during the summer months, because families are
spending time away from home (and church) and the summer schedule of VBS, camps, mission trips, etc. squeeze out their portion of the 24/7 that we all share. But this is also a great opportunity to teach the greater lesson of being a disciple. Namely, that the real test of being a follower of Christ is that we do not take a vacation from our faith. We serve a God who never slumbers, nor sleeps, so that we may have complete access to His presence whenever we need it.
Q What summertime ministry have you most enjoyed as a church leader and why? A Summertime, for me, means a time to be outdoors enjoying the beauty of God’s nature; yes, that includes the heat! One of my favorite summer outreaches was celebrating a soccer clinic in a multi-ethnic neighborhood. It brought the
community together around food and sports, while enjoying the diversity of our neighbors. Kids were trained in soccer fundamentals, with the opportunity to showcase their talents in friendly, yet competitive games. The parents supported their children during the games over food and music. Throughout the three-day event, the Gospel was shared oneon-one, as well as in a large group setting. A special memory was the awards ceremony for all the participants and their families. It was at this ceremony that many made public decisions for Christ. The event revived a church and transformed the community.
Q Summer is a busy season and it’s easy for people to lose focus. What are some ways to keep Christ central during our busyness?
A The important thing for parents is to be intentional. To make an effort to say, just like I don’t want you to lose what you learned in school, I want you to maintain a spiritual sharpness. To say, with this busyness I do not want you
to forget the things that are significant. Perhaps consider getting your youth a devotional. To say that even when I am vacationing from everything else, this is as significant as breathing.
Q How important is VBS today, and how can churches be sure to bring in unchurched families from the community?
A Vacation Bible School is still the most evangelistic thing that we do as Southern Baptists. It has remained so for
decades. For many churches, their VBS is the closest thing they do to having a revival event. It has been encouraging to see more and more churches taking advantage of VBS to genuinely go beyond the four walls of the church to reach their community. One of the simplest ways for a church to become reconnected with their community is to "go for a walk." Rediscover who lives within walking distance of the church. Surprisingly, many churches have lost sight of the "trees of the Great Commission" by concentrating on the forest.
Q How would you encourage church leaders to make the most of the summer months for evangelism and discipleship?
A I have a conviction that evangelism isn’t an activity of the church, it’s an attitude of the church. More than just a labor, it
has to be a lifestyle. When the church’s very core is evangelistic, then you don’t have to make that many changes. For me, discipleship is the natural extension of evangelism. The church has to see its job as not merely making converts, but making disciples. At conversion, we don’t stop. It’s not to just affect what they believe, but how they behave.
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SPOTLIGHT / SUMMERTIME GOOD NEWS
Q How can the Texas Baptists Evangelism Team help churches over the summer months? A The Evangelism Team assists churches with the planning and preparation phases of their outreach events. This can include consultation on strategy development, training in the various phases of preparation, and implementation.
There are many ways to reach a community during the summer months. Any church, regardless of size or budget, can celebrate effective community outreaches. Our Evangelism Team stands ready to assist all Texas Baptists churches.
Q During the summer, kids tend to forget some of what theyâ€™ve learned in the classroom. Does that happen to church folks, too?
A If our focus in discipling is a classroom format based on how well we memorize and recall certain facts, then the
answer is "yes." If, however, our focus is living out our faith in a day-to-day real world environment, then summer is the "lab" where we have the opportunity to put into practice all we have been learning. A great reminder for us is the example of the disciples when they first heard of Jesus' death. The human part wants to go back to what our life was like before we met Christ. Summer for a disciple can be the time we learn new things in Christ because we are in new classrooms.
SAVE THE DATE Join the Great Commission Team this summer for the Great Commission Team Summit An all church staff training event in evangelism, discipleship, preaching, and music & worship. August 11-12, 2017 at Dallas Baptist University Visit texasbaptists.org/greatcommission to learn more.
TEXAS BAPTISTS LIFE
M AY 2 0 1 7
SPOTLIGHT / SUMMERTIME GOOD NEWS
BY JENNIFER DE IBEL , CONTRIBUTING WRITER
car washes are complete, the spaghetti dinners
Whether youth, kids or family camp, the following five tips will help you make
served, funds raised and you’re ready for camp.
the most of the Christian camp experience for yourself and your campers:
For many youth and children, a week at camp each summer is the highlight of the year. It’s a time to get away from the mundane daily routines, meet new people and have lots of fun. It can, however, be much more than that. Camp can be a truly life-changing experience. Danny Dawdy, executive director at Highland Lakes Camp and Conference Center, says, “The power of Christian camping is one of the greatest tools a church has. Coming away from a student’s regular routine into an environment of fewer distractions offers students the opportunity to hear from God through the Holy Spirit.”
children’s leaders and the hands of the volunteer counselors and sponsors that come with each group. As a counselor, you will be spending concentrated time with your students, which will open doors to usher them into a more meaningful
relationships,” Dawdy recalls. “Those relationships are rich, and they’re demanding.” While it can be tempting to sit on the sidelines and watch, getting in on the action of a bungee race, a rousing bout of tug-of-war or water-laced relay game can facilitate
bonding between yourself and the students. Experiencing the lighter side of camp together will lay the foundation for the deeper conversations that will inevitably arise as the week progresses.
However, life-changing camp experiences don’t just happen automatically. It takes intentionality from camp staff, youth and
Be willing to get hands on. “Camp is about human
Listen more than you speak. The power of a listening ear is underestimated in our culture today. Keep your ears open at meal times, in the van on the way to camp, walking between activities and in the cabin at night as the students wind down. Dawdy wants leaders to remember, “As an adult
spiritual experience. While camp is absolutely meant to be a time of fun
working with children and teens, you have to listen twice as much as you
and silliness, the ultimate goal reaches far deeper. “As adults interact
talk. It is through their words you will learn about their hurts, fears, joys
with campers, there are all kinds of contexts within the program where
and dreams.” So, by all means, be a part of the conversation, but make it a
they can have spiritual conversations with a student,” Dawdy explains.
point to be intentional about actively listening to your students.
“CAMP IS ABOUT HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS.”
TEXAS BAPTISTS LIFE
SPOTLIGHT / SUMMERTIME GOOD NEWS
Pray before you speak. Everything is magnified at camp. The highs are higher, and the lows far lower than they would be out in the “real world.” As you’re listening to your campers, you will likely hear things that may shock and surprise you, or that you might not know how to handle at
TEXAS BAPTISTS ENCAMPMENTS AND CONFERENCE CENTERS
first. While prayer should always be a priority for the Christian, it should be even more so at camp. Bathe everything you do in prayer—starting in the weeks and months leading up to camp—and take extra time to pray
ALTO FRIO, LEAKEY
before counseling a student or offering advice.
ASPENDALE RANCH, CLOUDCROFT, NM
Keep the Word within reach. Keep your Bible handy—in your pocket, backpack, or on your
BIG COUNTRY ASSEMBLY, LUEDERS CAMP BUCKNER , BURNET
phone—with passages marked for easy access.
CAMP COPASS, MCKINNEY
Focus on Scriptures that deal with salvation, sin,
CAMP MENARD, MENARD
forgiveness and grace. God’s Word is a powerful
CAMP CHAPARRAL , IOWA PARK
tool that, when wielded correctly, can provide
CIRCLE SIX R ANCH, STANTON
truly life-changing results. It may difficult to use, however, if it’s sitting
CONE OASIS, L A FERIA
on your bed in the cabin.
EAST TEX AS BAPTIST ENCAMPMENT, NEW TON
Keep the main thing in focus. “The question each counselor must ask is, ‘How can I as an adult
HEART OF TEX AS BAPTIST CAMP & CONFERENCE CENTER , BROWNWOOD
become a benefit, spiritually, to each child?” Dawdy
HIGH PL AINS RETREAT CENTER , CANYON
says. “For some, it may be that you love on them
HIGHL AND L AKES CAMP & CONFERENCE CENTER ,
as best you can, for some you may need to listen to their hurts and cry with them, and for others it may
SPICEWOOD L AKE L AVON, PRINCETON
be answering questions. The main thing, however, is to—without pressuring
L AKE TOMAHAWK, LIVINGSTON
or prodding—point them to Jesus.” It can feel uncomfortable at times to steer
L AKEVIEW ASSEMBLY, LONE STAR
a conversation towards Jesus, but the uncomfortable spaces are often where
L ATHAM SPRINGS, AQUILL A
He can do His most powerful work.
MT. LEBANON, CEDAR HILL
Dawdy believes counselors truly hold the power to change lives and
make a real difference in the Kingdom of God. “Many counselors assume
that children and teens do not want to hang out with adults, don’t want
PINEY WOODS CAMP, WOODL AKE
to ask an adult about their spiritual conditions, or that sharing the Good
PL AINS ASSEMBLY, FLOYDADA
News with a student is putting pressure on them. This is simply not
RIVERBEND RETREAT CENTER , GLEN ROSE
true,” he encourages. “I believe God strategically places the adults at camp to have a long-term impact on the children from their church.” If you’re still not convinced that your role as a camp counselor is so important, take a moment to think back on your own camp experiences. Chances are you carry a memory similar to Dawdy’s: “I can still remember, as a six-year-old boy, the strong effect my RA camp counselor had on my life. It was a simple conversation one night when I bowed and asked Jesus into my life.”
TEJAS, GIDDINGS TEX AS BAPTIST ENCAMPMENT, PAL ACIOS TIMBERLINE CAMP & CONFERENCE CENTER , LINDALE TRINIT Y PINES CAMP & CONFERENCE CENTER , TRINIT Y VALLEY BAPTIST RETREAT, MISSION ZEPHYR , SANDIA
VISIT TEX ASBAPTISTS.ORG/CAMPS FOR MORE INFORMATION.
M AY 2 0 1 7
SPOTLIGHT / SUMMERTIME GOOD NEWS
Outreach in any community begins with intentionally caring for others and finding ways to share Jesus in a clear, concise way. The summer months provide an especially unique opportunity for churches to impact the lives of those around them. While the best outreach ideas often come from you and those in your church, your friends at Texas Baptists are always available to come alongside and help find more ways to make an impact in your community. Contact the missions team to learn more, or try one of the ideas below.
FIRE UP THE LAWN MOWER FOR SOMEONE IN NEED
Ask your city if they know of any senior adults who are having trouble meeting certain building codes, particularly when it comes to mowing the grass. Organize a group from your church and take time to do this. Helping a senior adult with routine maintenance will serve a need, endear you to the neighborhood, and make your church valuable to city leaders.
WAYS TO REACH
YOUR COMMUNITY B Y RYA N J E S P E R S E N DIRECTOR OF URBAN MISSIONS
TEXAS BAPTISTS LIFE
VOLUNTEER FOR 4TH FESTIVITIES
Find out whether or not your community is holding a holiday celebration, and how your church can get involved. This could include volunteering, setting up a booth for your church, or giving away water in the crowds. Make sure to coordinate with event organizers to ensure that you do not take away any fundraising opportunity from local nonprofits such as Lions Club or Rotary.
SPOTLIGHT / SUMMERTIME GOOD NEWS
THE CLASSIC: VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL
VBS LITE: LEAVING THE BUILDING BEHIND
HIT THE PRACTICE FIELDS
Children are more likely than adults to make a
If you feel like a full VBS is a little much for you, then
Each summer on the athletic fields of Texas schools,
profession of faith. As a result, VBS is widely considered
take the same curriculum and put on what is called a
young men and women are preparing for the grueling
to be the single most effective way to draw children to
Backyard Bible Club. This can be done with just a few
sports season ahead. Consider caring for a specific
Jesus. We can help you plan a simple VBS, and connect
volunteers and is most useful in an apartment complex
school or team. If you are able, go to practice and
you with free VBS curriculum through our publisher
or neighborhood. Contact the person in charge of
be in the stands, give out sports drinks at the end
BaptistWay Press. You can also check with other
the gazebo, clubhouse or other main building. An
of practice, or even provide a meal on certain days.
churches for leftover decorations or materials. VBS
apartment complex may be glad to host you for a few
Encouraging your church to love and support these
involves a large portion of your church in ministry, which
days or a week, given that you are offering to improve
students and their families could have a lasting impact.
tends to benefit more than just the children who attend.
the lives of their residents.
GO GREEN: GET INTO THE PARKS
TURN IT UP: THROW A LAWN CONCERT
STEP UP YOUR FEEDING PROGRAM
Drive around to the parks in your community to see
Get a few local artists with appropriate music and ask
The US Department of Agriculture wants to ensure that
where people tend to gather out of doors. Pick an
them to perform a concert on your church lawn in the
children who are on free and reduced lunch during the
evening during the week, then go to that park and give
evening. Invite the community to participate, and share
school year continue to have access to nutritious meals
out cold bottled water, free hot dogs and information
a simple Gospel message at the close of the concert.
throughout the summer. Often, the church can step
about your church. Consider returning to that same
One pastor shares that people who never attend his
in to do that. Consider beginning this ministry in your
spot a week or two later to build relationships with
church will typically pull in and be a part of this type of
church, or finding another group that is already doing
those who frequent the space.
it and inquire about volunteer opportunities.
ROTATING BLOCK PARTIES
MAKE CONTACT: PRAY FOR EVERY HOME
KEEP COOL: START AN IN-HOME BIBLE STUDY
Pick a few key neighborhoods surrounding your
As the summer draws to an end and school begins
Summer can be intense, and sometimes you need to
church. Host block parties at homes of members
anew, people often consider going back to church.
keep it cool and simple. Consider starting a Bible study
who live in those neighborhoods. Contact your local
This means summer is the perfect time to start making
in a home. Invite those that are not going to church,
Baptist association, as many of the associations have
contacts in your community with prospective church
and begin to build relationships with them. Have the
block party trailers. Through the event, you can build
goers. Consider using pray4everyhome.com in your
Bible study every week for 8-10 weeks throughout
relationships with the folks in your community, and
neighborhood. Keep a prayer list, write a note, then
the season. Though people will likely miss one or two
invite them to church.
towards the end of summer, take a gift to a certain
because of vacations or other obligations, they will
number of homes in your community.
likely get to a lot of them.
V I S I T T E X A S B A P T I S T S . O R G/ M I S S I O N S F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N .
M AY 2 0 1 7
FOUNDED IN 1974
130,000 FORMER STUDENTS SUPER SUMMER EQUIPS AND ENCOURAGES CHRIST-FOLLOWING TEXAS BAPTISTS STUDENT LEADERS TO KNOW AND SHARE THE GOSPEL BY:
TEACHING THEM A DEEP UNDERSTANDING OF THE GOSPEL
2. 3. 4.
OFFERING STRATEGIES OF GOSPEL PRESENTATION PRACTICING GOSPEL PRESENTATIONS BIBLICALLY EXHORTING THEM TO SHARE THE GOSPEL TO ALL THE PEOPLES OF THE EARTH WITH CHRISTLIKE COMPASSION AND URGENCY.
EAST TEXAS BAPTIST UNIVERSITY JUNE 12-16, 2017
HARDIN-SIMMONS UNIVERSITY JUNE 12-16, 2017
UNIVERSITY OF MARY HARDIN-BAYLOR JUNE 19-23, 2017
DALLAS BAPTIST UNIVERSITY JUNE 26-30, 2017
HOWARD PAYNE UNIVERSITY JUNE 26-30, 2017
HARDIN-SIMMONS UNIVERSITY JULY 10-14, 2017
TEXAS BAPTISTS LIFE
Making the mystery of the Gospel known at Super Summer
BY K ALIE LOWRIE , NE WS DIRECTOR
To make the mystery of the Gospel known to unbelievers requires remembering what it was like to be lost, Shannon Hopkins told a room of 200 Super Summer leaders in preparation for upcoming camps. Hopkins, a missionary to Honduras, returns to Texas each summer to serve as an assistant dean for one to two weeks of Super Summer as an opportunity to give back to those who have invested so much in his life. As he dissected the heart of this year’s Super Summer theme “Making the mystery of the Gospel known” for deans, assistant deans and the other camp leadership, Hopkins encouraged each person to remember what it meant to be a foreigner and an alien to the redemption of Jesus Christ. “As a foreigner, I have been excluded to the rights of being a citizen [of Honduras],” Hopkins said. I had an ‘aha’ moment of how the lost feel as described in Ephesians 2 where you are dead in your transgressions but made alive in Christ. “Go back and remember what it was like to be left out, excluded. It becomes a loving offering and chance to become hope. Stop seeing people as projects, events and numbers. See their souls. That's what this mystery looks like.” In the months preparing to bring this lesson, Hopkins often prayed that God would give him an opportunity to have a deeper understanding of the mystery of the Gospel. As a bilingual teacher in Honduras, Hopkins noticed a teenager named Marvin in his classes. Marvin was facing suspension from school, so Hopkins asked the discipline committee if he could oversee Marvin for 40 hours as a means of community service. Hopkins invited Marvin to walk alongside him as he did ministry around the community. As they spent time together, Hopkins said Marvin began “to see the mystery of the Gospel.” Through interaction with Hopkins’ family, friends in the community and other local believers, Marvin noticed a difference and saw a deeper need in his life.
In March, Hopkins arranged for Marvin to serve as a translator of a mission team that was working in their city. God spoke to Hopkins and told him to share the Gospel with Marvin. “We talked about salvation and I had an opportunity to share with him that we are one family, the same body, the same heirs with Christ,” Hopkins said. At a worship service that evening, Hopkins gave a call for those in the congregation who did not know Christ yet to give their lives to Him. Marvin came forward and told Hopkins he wanted to make that decision. “Through my relationship with him, through sharing the mystery, Marvin accepted Christ that night,” Hopkins said. “All these people are longing for us to share with them. To show them daily what it looks like in a real, consistent way to follow Jesus,” Hopkins said. At the end of the message, Hopkins issued a challenge to each Super Summer leader in the room. “Don’t come to Super Summer until you have shared the mystery of the Gospel,” he said.
“We need to come to Super Summer as leaders who have shared the Gospel. This is meant to be what drives us. Pray for each other. Lift each other up. Go walk with each other to share the Gospel together. We’ve got to pray for each other for the sake of the Gospel so revival can break out.” Join us in praying for Super Summer leaders as they make the mystery of the Gospel known in their communities. Then, as they take those stories to Super Summer, may junior high and high school students across Texas receive new and fresh training in what it looks like to know and share the Gospel.
M AY 2 0 1 7
SPOTLIGHT / SUMMERTIME GOOD NEWS
El alcance en cualquier comunidad comienza siendo intencional—cuidando de otros y encontrando maneras para compartir a Jesús de una manera clara y concisa. Los meses del verano proveen una oportunidad particular para la iglesias impactar las vidas de los que les rodean. A pesar de que las mejores ideas de alcance vienen de usted y los miembros de su iglesia, sus amigos en los Bautistas de Texas siempre están disponibles para ayudarle a encontrar maneras para hacer un impacto en su comunidad. Comuníquese con su equipo de misiones para aprender más, o trate una de las ideas a continuación.
USE SUS PODADORAS DE GRAMA O CORTADORAS DE CÉSPED PARA ALGUIEN EN NECESIDAD
Pregunten en la ciudad si conocen de personas mayores o envejecientes en necesidad de cumplir con códigos residenciales, particularmente cuando se trata de cortar el césped. Organicen a un grupo de su iglesia y tomen tiempo para hacer esto. Ayudar a una persona mayor con mantenimiento de rutina suplirá una necesidad, les conectará con el vecindario y mostrará que su iglesia es de valor para los líderes de la ciudad.
COMUNIDAD P O R RYA N J E S P E R S E N DIRECTOR DE MISIONES URBANA S
OFRÉZCANSE COMO VOLUNTARIOS PARA LAS FESTIVIDADES DEL CUATRO DE JULIO
Descubran si su comunidad estará celebrando el cuatro de julio (u otra celebración), y cómo su iglesia puede participar. Esto puede incluir trabajar como voluntarios, tener una mesa con información de su iglesia o distribuir agua entre los participantes. Asegúrense de coordinar con los organizadores del evento para no interferir con oportunidades para levantar fondos de organizaciones sin fines de lucro locales como el Club de Leones o los Rotarios.
TEXAS BAPTISTS LIFE
SPOTLIGHT / SUMMERTIME GOOD NEWS
LO CLÁSICO: ESCUELA BÍBLICA DE VACACIONES
CLUB BÍBLICO DE PATIO: DEJANDO EL EDIFICIO ATRÁS
VAYA A LOS CAMPOS DE PRÁCTICA
Es más probable que los niños hagan una profesión
Si sienten que una EBV completa es mucho para
Cada verano en los campos atléticos en las escuelas en
de fe que los adultos. Como resultado, la EBV es
ustedes, entonces tomen el mismo currículo y úsenlo
Texas, jóvenes se preparan anticipando la temporada
ampliamente considerada como la manera más
en lo que se conoce como Club Bíblico de Patio. Esto
de deportes. Consideren adoptar una escuela o equipo
efectiva para atraer a los niños a Jesús. Podemos
puede llevarse a cabo con menos voluntarios y es más
en específico. Si pueden hacerlo, participen de las
ayudarle a planificar una EBV simple, y a conectar
útil en un complejo de apartamentos o un vecindario.
prácticas y animen desde las gradas, distribuyan
con currículo de EBV gratis a través de BaptistWay
Comuníquense con la persona responsable por el salón
agua y bebidas isotónicas después de las prácticas, o
Press. Usted también puede verificar con otras iglesias
de reuniones, la glorieta u otro edificio. Un complejo
provean alimentos durante ciertos días. Animar a su
para compartir decoraciones y materiales. La EBV da
de apartamentos estará feliz de auspiciarles por varios
iglesia a amar y respaldar a estos estudiantes y sus
oportunidad para que una gran parte de su iglesia
días o una semana, considerando que lo que ustedes
familias puede tener un impacto duradero.
participe de este ministerio, el cual tiende a beneficiar
ofrecen es para mejorar las vidas de los residentes.
más allá de los niños que participan.
SEA ECOLÓGICO: VAYA A LOS PARQUES
SUBA EL VOLUMEN: CELEBREN UN CONCIERTO AL AIRE LIBRE
INCREMENTE SU PROGRAMA DE ALIMENTOS
Visiten los parques en su comunidad para ver dónde
Comuníquense con algunos artistas locales con música
El Departamento de Agricultura de los E.U. quiere
se reúnen las personas. Seleccionen una noche durante
apropiada y pídales que celebren un concierto en el
asegurarse de que los niños que reciben comida gratis
la semana, vayan a un parque y distribuyan agua fría,
estacionamiento de su iglesia una noche. Inviten a
o a precio reducido durante el año escolar continúen
perros calientes e información acerca de su iglesia.
la comunidad a participar, y compartan un mensaje
recibiendo alimentos nutritivos durante el verano. Con
Consideren regresar al mismo lugar una o dos semanas
sencillo del evangelio al final del concierto. Un pastor
frecuencia, la iglesia puede ayudar con esto. Consideren
más tarde para desarrollar relaciones con los que
comparte que las personas que nunca asisten a su
comenzar este ministerio en su iglesia, o encontrar a otro
frecuenten este lugar.
iglesia por lo regular participarán en un evento de este
grupo que ya lo esté haciendo y preguntar acerca de
tipo en la comunidad.
oportunidades para ayudar como voluntarios.
FIESTAS DE VECINDARIO
HAGAN CONTACTO: ORACIÓN POR CADA HOGAR
MANTÉNGANSE FRESCOS: COMIENCEN UN ESTUDIO BÍBLICO EN UN HOGAR
Seleccione algunos vecindarios clave alrededor de su
Según el verano llega a su fin y comienza el año
El verano puede ser intenso, y a veces necesitan
iglesia. Celebren fiestas de vecindario en hogares de
escolar, muchas personas consideran regresar a
mantener las cosas simples y frescas. Consideren
miembros de la iglesia que vivan en esos vecindarios.
la iglesia. Esto significa que el verano es el tiempo
comenzar un estudio bíblico en un hogar. Inviten a
Comuníquense con su asociación bautista local ya que
perfecto para comenzar a hacer contacto en su
los que no van a la iglesia, y comiencen a desarrollar
muchas de las asociaciones tienen equipo y remolques
comunidad con personas interesadas en ir a la
relaciones con ellos. Tengan un estudio bíblico cada
para celebrar fiestas de vecindario. A través de esto se
iglesia. Mantengan una lista de oración, escriban una
semana durante 8 a 10 semanas durante el verano. A
pueden desarrollar relaciones con las personas en su
nota, y entonces, hacia el final del verano, lleven un
pesar de que las personas faltarán una que otra vez
comunidad, e invitarlos a la iglesia.
regalo a cierto número de hogares en su comunidad.
debido a las vacaciones u otros compromisos, es muy
Consideren usar pray4everyhome.com si ministra en
probable que saquen mucho provecho.
una comunidad que prefiere inglés o bilingüe.
V I S I TA T E X A S B A P T I S T S . O R G/ M I S S I O N S PA R A O B T E N E R M Á S I N F O R M A C I Ó N .
M AY 2 0 1 7
Fearfully and wonderfully made:
Empowering a new mother to celebrate life B Y L U C Y H O R T O N , M A , L P C , L I F E D E S I G N C O U N S E L O R , B U C K N E R C H I L D & FA M I LY S E R V I C E S
When 19-year-old Angela* came to the Life Design Program, a
parenting. Angela grew in confidence and hope as the relationship
Buckner Children & Family Services program supported by Baylor
with Vicky*, the Life Design counselor, developed and she felt
Scott & White Health, she was seven months pregnant and had
empowered to become a healthy young woman so that she could
nowhere to live. She moved back to Dallas after dropping out of
be a healthy mother.
college due to her unintended pregnancy and felt that plans for her life had taken a drastic detour.
Vicky was able to address not only Angela’s spiritual and emotional needs, but she also assisted in meeting her physical
Angela was bouncing from place to place, sleeping on friends’
needs, as well. By partnering to identify potential living
couches, all the while continuing to progress in her pregnancy.
possibilities, together Vicky and Angela were able to assess
She felt like her world had been turned upside down and struggled
meeting Angela and her soon-to-be-born daughter’s needs.
with insecurity and shame. Expressing feelings of failure and disappointment about her past decisions, Angela knew she wanted to parent her child. Angela felt overwhelmed and alone as she considered how she would support her daughter when she did not even have a home.
After calling numerous maternity homes and inquiring about their services, Vicky was able to help Angela get accepted into a maternity home just one week before giving birth to her daughter. Angela was ecstatic and relieved, because she knew that when she was discharged from Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, following the
Through the Life Design Program, Angela started to meet with a Christian counselor weekly and receive therapeutic services to help her as she coped with the changes in her life as she approached
delivery of her daughter, she would have a safe place to live. Vicky and Angela continued to meet together, and she supported Angela as she learned how to nurture her daughter and adjust to this new role in her life. When many of the relationships in Angela’s life were fractured, absent and distant, Vicky, as her Life Design counselor, became a constant, encouraging and safe friend for the new mom. They began talking about the next steps for Angela and her daughter, as Angela desired self-sufficiency with the goal of employment and returning to college. Through a referral from Vicky, Angela was accepted into a housing program for single moms, where she would live in her own brand new apartment, creating a more permanent living environment for her and her daughter. Angela continued to grow and mature, becoming more sure-footed in who she was as a young woman, which in turn was reflected in her mothering.
TEXAS BAPTISTS LIFE
Now working full-time, in a job the Life Design program referred
For more information, call 214.820.9605. When you make a referral
her to, Angela plans to return to college in the very near future. She
to the program, you become a part of a young mother’s story and a
is completely self-sufficient and able to provide for her family’s
vital part of the ministry. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we
needs. She told Vicky that her daughter has been the best thing
have the opportunity to positively impact the lives of moms and
that could have happened to her, because she has given Angela a
their unborn babies.
sense of purpose and helped her define who she is — a confident, self-assured and motivated young woman. Angela attributes much of her success in personal growth, parenting, employment and gaining stability to the relationship
founded in :
formed with Vicky. Now, when Angela calls Vicky, it is to share
merged in :
good news about the steps she is taking towards her bright future.
The largest not-for-profit healthcare system in the state of Texas.
Life Design is a Buckner Children & Family Services program available to Baylor Scott & White patients and the surrounding community. Life Design addresses issues surrounding unintended pregnancy for mothers-to-be and their families. Women referred to the program receive: • Assessment of goals, health practices, familial/social support and economic resources. • Professional Christian counseling to help with the emotional aspects surrounding pregnancy and parenthood. • Education about parenting, risky behaviors and barriers to healthcare. • Referrals to resources in the community for needed services. There is no cost to participants for the program as it is funded by Baylor Scott & White and provides direct access to a wealth of individualized services through Buckner. The Life Design Pregnancy & Counseling Center is located on the Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas campus.
*Names have been changed.
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RESOURCES NEW URBAN CHURCH LEADER ONLINE CERTIFICATION
Do you feel called to the urban church setting? Sometimes church leaders have a passion and heart, but not necessarily the unique knowledge to adequately minister in an urban setting. The Urban Church Leadership Certification remedies that problem by teaching practical skills that urban church leaders can immediately implement within their own contexts. The courses and curriculum are the product of careful research and consultation with dozens of urban pastors. While geared for urban pastors, the courses will also help pastors in other situations who want to be on mission in the community around them. Courses presently available include Spiritual and Personal Development and Church Transition, and additional courses already in production include Understanding and Praying for Your Community and House Churches/Organic Church Planting. Courses consist of audio segments, listening and reading guides, and the program places an emphasis on peer learning. If you or someone you know is interested in participating in the certification, either as a student or group facilitator, contact Ryan Jespersen at email@example.com or call 214.828.5278.
RECEIVE HELP DURING A TRANSITION TIME IN YOUR CHURCH The Texas Baptists Intentional Interim Ministry offers interim specialists who preach, provide pastoral care and leadership, and help the church take an introspective look before calling the next pastor. For more information, contact Karl Fickling at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 214.887.5491.
TEXAS BAPTISTS LIFE
SEEKING EMERGING LEADERS We are seeking emerging leaders to join our next Leadership Texas Baptists Cohort. This nine-month experience will engage, equip and inform emerging leaders from churches across the state. To apply or refer an applicant for consideration, visit texasbaptists.org/leadershiptxb or call 214.828.5253.
ONLINE EXCLUSIVE CONTENT
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READ about how many churches today find themselves in times of transitioning leadership. These times can be difficult, but they don’t have to be. We are highlighting our Intentional Interim Ministry with two articles online this summer. Read a story highlighting the work Intentional Interim Mark Brister has done for several Texas churches. Also, Karl Fickling, director of interim services, shares insight on the “In-between Vision” and the process by which a new pastor can join with the congregation to form a vision for where the Lord is leading them.
WATCH a video highlighting the outstanding speakers, workshops, training and capitol visits that took place during the Christian Life Commission’s Advocacy Day in Austin.
WATCH a video highlighting the impact of Texas Baptist Men Disaster Relief in the lives of thousands each year, made possible by your support of the Texas Baptists Cooperative Program. Show this video in your church on June 25 to celebrate TBM Disaster Relief Day.
WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE DO For more than 130 years, the Baptist General Convention of Texas has helped churches fulfill the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. Today, we are more than 5,300 churches working together in harmonious cooperation to share the Gospel and love others. The ministry of the Convention is organized into five teams: Great Commission Team, Missions Team, Christian Life Commission, Connections Team and Collegiate Ministry Team. These teams inform and inspire churches through events, resources, consultations and more. In addition, we proudly partner with 27 education, advocacy and human care institutions around Texas. Through gifts to the Texas Baptists Cooperative Program, you and your church enable missions and ministry across the state and around the world. Because you give, love is shown, the Gospel is shared and lives are transformed. Learn more about affiliation at texasbaptists.org/affiliation. M AY 2 0 1 7
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Summertime Good News: Growing and Sharing the Gospel.