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TEXAS BAPTISTS LIFE Volume 8

EVANGELISM STRATEGIES FOR 2020 The Evangelism Team provides ways to share your faith

Issue No. 1


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VOLUME 8 • ISSUE 1

Contents Evangelism strategies for 2020 As you prepare to live out the Great Commission in a new year and decade, get to know the Evangelism Team and ways they can help equip your congregation with tools and resources to share your faith across generations, communities and in varying contexts.

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Get to know your Area Representative: Steve Dominy Get an inside look at Area Representative Steve Dominy’s work in Dallas.

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Texas Baptists compelled to care for vulnerable children during 2019 Annual Meeting The 2019 Annual Meeting celebrated the launch of Faith Fosters Texas and provided a chance for Texas Baptists to learn and fellowship together.

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Disciples making disciples

The Missions Team has launched several new initiatives to reach younger generations, including Devoted and two new mentorship programs.

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The vision for evangelism

Evangelism Director Leighton Flowers explains how churches can refocus on evangelism.

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20 Evangelism ideas for 2020

Learn how your church can become more engaged in evangelism in 2020.

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Loving the Lord with your mind: The importance of apologetics

Church refocuses on local evangelism

Publication team

A new emphasis on neighborhood evangelism has led to spiritual growth for the congregants of First Baptist Church of Allen.

Joshua Seth Minatrea Director of Communications

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Jeremy Honea Art Director

Ama al Señor con toda tu mente: La importancia de la apologética Eric Hernández, especialista en apologética, explica la importancia de la apologética y el aprender la lógica de la fe.

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From Offering plate to dinner plate

In the Dominican Republic, a woman finds comfort and help through her local church and STCH Ministries.

Kalie Lowrie News Director

Bonnie Shaw News Writer Maritza Solano Production Artist Caleb Arndt Graphic Designer Neil Williams Multimedia Specialist Brittany Thomas Communications Assistant

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Eric Hernandez, apologetics lead, explains the importance of apologetics and learning the logic of faith.

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Saturate the city with the Gospel

African American Evangelism Specialist Oza Jones talks about how churches can increase their impact in their communities.

You are receiving a free copy of Texas Baptists Life because of your generous support of the Cooperative Program. To subscribe or update your subscription preferences, call 214.828.5232 or email subscriptions@txb.org.

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“ We have used 52 Sundays for three years. We love the opportunity it gives us to expose our people to the breadth of ministry we have by giving through the Cooperative Program. Through this useful tool we are able to focus on the different ways we join with other Texas Baptists churches in reaching across our state and around the globe.”

Richard Adams Executive Administrator Shady Oaks Baptist Church Hurst, Texas

52 SUNDAYS is a FREE, quick, and easy-to-use resource to encourage a year of prayer for CP missionaries and ministries. Visit txb.org/sundays to download the stories, powerpoint slides, and bulletin inserts. Available in English and disponible en Español.


One of the unique aspects of my position is the opportunity to preach in a different church every Sunday. Each one is different, even fascinating. One truth about Texas Baptists has emerged through these Sunday visits: the primary event that excites and motivates our Baptist General Convention of Texas churches is someone receiving Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord. Texas Baptists absolutely desire to see the needs met for the “least of these” in our state. Certainly, doing mission work on the border, all across the state and even far beyond our boundaries excites and inspires our folks. However, as much as all these great missions and ministries challenge and encourage us, there is still one moment that rises in importance for our pastors, leaders and members—when a man or woman makes the decision to acknowledge Jesus as God’s only Son and the only way to salvation. In this magazine, you will read stories about the work the Texas Baptist family is doing in evangelism. Our Director of Evangelism, Dr. Leighton Flowers, has assembled a team of highly developed, trained and qualified leaders guiding the way to motivate and train us in the work of the evangelist. His team of Oza Jones, Eric Hernandez, Victor Rodriguez and Jason Richards has helped us receive the “Baptism Award” from the North American Mission Board for the last three years. I use this means to publicly thank them for their work and leadership. On a personal note, I am reminded of my own salvation and baptism at the Highland Park Baptist Church in Duncan, OK. I am reminded of the privilege I had to baptize my wife, my son and my daughter at First Baptist Church of Sulphur Springs. I hope you remember your own time of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and following Him in obedience in baptism.

As you read these stories, please know that the needs of our state are great. There are 29 million people who call Texas home. People continue to move to our state in record numbers, and hundreds are born here every week. Each month, there seems to be a new people group and a new population center demanding the response of Texas Baptists.

líderes altamente desarrollados, entrenados, y calificados para motivarnos y entrenarnos en la labor del evangelista. Su equipo de Oza Jones, Eric Hernández, Víctor Rodríguez y Jason Richards nos ayudó a recibir el “Premio de bautismos” de la Junta de Misiones Norteamericanas durante los pasados tres años. Uso este medio para agradecerles públicamente por su labor y liderazgo.

Thank you for joining me in praying for the lost in Texas, and please be involved in the outreach or evangelistic emphasis at your church. And ask the Lord to bring people into your life for the opportunity to have a Gospel conversation with them.

A manera de comentario personal, recuerdo mi propia salvación y bautismo en Highland Park Baptist Church en Duncan, OK. Recuerdo el privilegio que tuve de bautizar a mi esposa, mi hijo y mi hija en First Baptist Church Sulphur Springs. Espero que recuerde su propia decisión de recibir a Jesucristo como Salvador y seguirle en obediencia al bautizarse.

HOLA BAUTISTAS DE TEXAS! Uno de los aspectos particulares de mi posición es la oportunidad de predicar en una iglesia diferente cada domingo. Cada una es diferente, hasta fascinante. Una verdad acerca de los Bautistas de Texas ha salido a la superficie durante estas visitas los domingos: el evento principal que emociona y motiva a nuestras iglesias de la Convención Bautista General de Texas es el que alguien reciba a Jesucristo como su Salvador y Señor. Los Bautistas de Texas absolutamente desean satisfacer las necesidades de “hasta el más pequeño de estos” en nuestro estado. Ciertamente, hacer obra misionera en la frontera, a través de todo el estado, y hasta más allá de nuestros límites emociona e inspira a nuestros hermanos. Sin embargo, así como estas misiones y ministerios nos desafían y exhortan, todavía hay un momento que tiene más importancia para nuestros pastores, líderes, y miembros—cuando un hombre o una mujer toma la decisión de reconocer a Jesús como el Hijo unigénito de Dios y el único camino a la salvación. En esta revista, leerá historias acerca de la obra que la familia Bautista de Texas está haciendo en evangelismo. Nuestro director de evangelismo, el Dr. Leighton Flowers, ha reunido a un equipo de

Mientras lee estas historias, sepa que las necesidades de nuestro estado son grandes. Hay 29 millones de personas que llaman a Texas su hogar. Personas continúan llegando a nuestro estado en grandes cantidades, y cientos nacen aquí cada semana. Cada mes, parece haber un nuevo grupo étnico y un nuevo centro de población demandando la respuesta de los Bautistas de Texas. Gracias por unirse a mí para orar por los perdidos en Texas y, por favor, participe en el énfasis evangelístico o de alcance en su iglesia. Pídale al Señor que lleve personas a su vida para la oportunidad de tener una conversación acerca del evangelio con ellos.

DAV I D H A R DAG E E X EC U T I V E D IR EC TO R

FEBRUARY 2020 / TEX AS BAPTISTS LIFE

HELLO TEXAS BAPTISTS!

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2019 AT A GLANCE Students engaged with the Gospel through Texas BSM

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Church leaders were equipped in Evangelism, Discipleship, Music & Worship

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14,000

7,337

45

123,664

church leaders were equipped in Evangelism, Discipleship, Music & Worship

connections were made with Texas Baptists churches and associations through the Connections Team

Texas communities impacted through the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering

students engaged with the Gospel through Texas BSM in 2018-2019

70+

languages spoken, with 2 new language groups added in 2019

58,390

13,736

people served along the Texas/Mexico border through the work of River Ministry missionaries

church leaders equipped in Evangelism, Discipleship, Music & Worship

6,770

professions of faith from new church starts + house churches

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AROUND TEXAS

MARIO GONZALEZ

New Director of River Ministry

Texas Baptists will receive $1 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. to continue expanding the Center for Financial Health, a ministry dedicated to promoting the financial health of pastors. With this grant, the Center for Financial Health will be able to provide more wide-scale financial training for Baptist pastors and ministers across Texas, as well as continuing to provide matching grants to pastors facing economic challenges. The center will make financial literacy education increasingly accessible by employing local

educational partners around the state so that more pastors have access to these resources. The Center for Financial Health was created in 2017 after receiving an initial implementation grant from the Lilly Endowment. The center was designed to meet a great need for financial literacy and support for pastors around Texas. Pastors interested in applying for this grant or receiving financial counseling can go to txb.org/cfh for more information.

WHY IT MATTERS When pastors are struggling financially they are less effective in their ministry, question their call to ministry, and in some cases, leave the ministry due to financial pressures.

90% 90% of pastors feel some level of financial stress in their family and church work.

76%

60%

76% of pastors know others who left the ministry due to financial pressures.

Around 60% of pastors do not receive health insurance or retirement funds from their church.

*Statistics are based on responses to a survey conducted by Texas Baptists in 2018

The Texas Baptists Missions Team is excited to announce that Mario Gonzalez will be serving as the new Director of River Ministry/Mexico Missions. In his new role, Gonzalez will work with 16 River Ministry missionaries from Brownsville to Tijuana and promote trips to border cities along the Mexican border. River Ministry missionaries work on both sides of the border, and many of them work with refugees and immigrants in the area as well as with local churches through evangelism and discipleship training. Gonzalez has been with Texas Baptists since 2013 and previously served as the director of Multi-Housing/ House Congregations. Learn more about River Ministry at txb.org/ riverministry.

STAY INFORMED You can get all the latest Texas Baptists news at txb.org/news.

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LILLY ENDOWMENT RENEWS $1 MILLION GRANT TO BOOST FINANCIAL HEALTH FOR PASTORS

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Steve Dominy (left) and Pastor Ricardo Brambila (right) Oklahoma and Texas. So, when he transitioned to his new job as an Area Representative with Texas Baptists in 2017, Steve took the lessons and experiences that he had gathered and is now using them to serve others. He also continues to pastor as an interim pastor at New Hope Community Church in Venus, TX.

“It’s easy to be isolated in ministry, so my job is to pastor pastors and to pastor staff.”

GET TO KNOW YOUR AREA REPRESENTATIVE: STEVE DOMINY Area Representative, Service Area 8

FEBRUARY 2020 / TEX AS BAPTISTS LIFE

For Area Representative Steve Dominy, the most important part of his job is supporting pastors. As the representative for Service Area 8, Steve meets with churches and pastors across Dallas and parts of Northeast Texas. He is available to provide and recommend Texas Baptists resources to church staff, but the biggest resource Steve offers is his support and encouragement.

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“The biggest resources I offer are relationships and experience,” Steve explained. “It’s easy to be isolated in ministry, so my job is to pastor pastors and to pastor staff.” Supporting church leadership, especially in times of crisis, is an essential part of Steve’s role. He has helped pastors with family struggles and other confidential issues when pastors feel they are unable to go to anyone else in the community. Providing them with an outlet to share their troubles in a private setting helps pastors and their families maintain a healthy lifestyle. Steve is also there when church-wide crises occur, like when a tornado destroyed the Primera Iglesia Bautista Dallas building in October 2019. Steve understands what these pastors are going through because he has been one himself. He was a pastor for 23 years, leading churches in Louisiana,

Steve relates with over 800 churches in his area. He spends much of his time in the car, driving to each of them and introducing himself, ensuring that churches and pastors know he is available. For Steve, it is important that these church leaders know that they are not alone or without support and that they matter greatly to the Kingdom of God. He is available for pastors to call, email or meet with in person whenever they have questions or problems. That support and encouragement is his favorite part of the job. His involvement with Texas Baptists and their churches stems from a belief that they have an important role to play in Texas and the nation. “I think Texas Baptists have a real contribution to make in this state, I believe we can make a difference in the lives of the people of this state and beyond,” Steve said. “I love the church. I believe the church is God’s people doing God’s work in God’s world. I think the church makes a difference in the way we live life together, in the way that we live and interact in our communities and love our neighbors and our enemies.” Texas Baptists have nine area representatives serving around the state to connect with our churches. To find your area representative, visit txb.org/ connections or call 214.828.5111.


AROUND TEXAS TEXAS BAPTISTS RECOGNIZED AS TOP WORKPLACE FOR 2019 culture, including alignment, execution, and connection. “Receiving this recognition is a testament to the servant spirit of our entire staff,” said Rollie Richmond, Texas Baptists director of Human Resources. “We strive daily to reflect our Savior in how we treat those we serve, both inside and outside of the organization. We are always aware that

there is much yet to do to continue to grow a positive employee experience, but we are thankful, blessed and humbled by this recognition.” View open positions at txb.org/employment.

A Solid Foundation Howard Payne University was founded on, and remains true to, Christian principles. For 130 years, students have discovered an HPU education to be solid ground upon which to build lives of service to God and others in a variety of career fields. 1000 Fisk Street Brownwood, Texas 76801 325-649-8020 800-880-4HPU www.hputx.edu enroll@hputx.edu

DAVID MIRANDA

to lead Missionary Adoption Program and Urban Missions David Miranda is the new Director of the Missionary Adoption Program (MAP) and Urban Missions. MAP connects Texas churches with a church in a host state or country to jointly sponsor indigenous missionaries. Miranda will ensure that the missionaries are receiving proper support and create more partnerships between Texas churches and these missionaries. Through Urban Missions, he will equip church leaders with missional training, consulting, coaching and commissioning to reach their communities. He formerly served as the Texas Baptists Missions Specialist and as pastor of West End Church, a Texas Baptists church plant in Dallas. Contact David Miranda at david.miranda@txb.org.

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Texas Baptists has been named a 2019 Top Workplace, National Standard winner by The Dallas Morning News. The list is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by research partner Energage, LLC, a leading provider of technology-based employee engagement tools. The anonymous survey measures several aspects of workplace

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TEX AS BAPTISTS COMPELLED TO CARE FOR VULNERABLE CHILDREN DURING 2019 ANNUAL MEE TING By Kalie Lowrie, News Director


On Tuesday morning, David Hardage, Texas Baptists executive director, recognized Vernon, and his wife Donna, for 11 years of faithful service to Texas Baptists. Vernon will retire on January 2 and be followed by Craig Christina, former pastor of Shiloh Terrace Baptist Church in Dallas. Hardage also honored Daniel Rangel, director of River Ministry and Mexico missions, who passed away eight days before the meeting.

Officers re-elected and business approved

On Monday evening, Texas Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) celebrated 100 years of reaching students for Christ. Mark Jones, director of Collegiate Ministry, shared about the advancement of the Gospel on college campuses across the state and the hundreds of thousands of lives who were impacted.

Messengers approved a $35.1 million budget for 2020 Texas Baptists Cooperative Program giving and $1,150,000 for Texas World Missions Initiative and Partnerships. All three convention officers were re-elected for the second year of service, including President Michael Evans, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mansfield; First Vice President Jason Burden, pastor of First Baptist Church in Nederland; and Second Vice President Jason Atchley, pastor of Bacon Heights Baptist Church in Lubbock. Janice Trujillo, a messenger from Second Baptist Church in Corpus Christi presented a motion for the Executive Board and Texas Baptists River Ministry to study the creation of a “Texas Churches Care” day and a special offering to support border ministry. The motion was approved and passed on for study. Four resolutions were approved by messengers, including a resolution expressing gratitude to Steve Vernon, associate executive director, and Jill Larsen, former CFO/treasurer, for more than a decade of service in leadership roles; and a resolution on helping vulnerable children in Texas and encouraging churches to engage in the Faith Fosters Texas initiative.

Sermons point to sharing the Gospel and proclaiming Jesus During the President’s Address, Evans preached that the banquet table of Christ is for everyone and Texas Baptists are compelled to invite others to join the feast, drawing from Luke 14:16-24. “He [Jesus] says bring the broken to the table, bring the poor in spirit to the table, bring the crippled conscience to the table, bring the spiritually blind to the table, bring the emotionally lame, those who will one day walk again. They will stand in the presence of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Compel them to Jesus,” said Evans. Duane Brooks, pastor of Tallowood Baptist Church in Houston, preached the Monday evening sermon, encouraging fellow pastors to proclaim Jesus. Drawing from Colossians 1:24-29, Brooks said, “We get a chance to lead people not only into a relationship with Jesus but also to grow them up so they mysteriously somehow match the head of the church who is Jesus Christ.”

During the closing worship session on Tuesday morning, Victor Rodriguez, Texas Baptists’ Hispanic evangelism associate and discipleship specialist, preached on Psalm 126:1-3. He reflected on the Judeans’ return to the land of Judah after their time in Babylonian captivity. “As they reflected about how God had blessed them, they stopped to rejoice and expressed their gratitude unto God,” Rodriguez said. “It is good to stop and marvel and just reflect on how God has blessed Texas Baptists through these many, many years.” Twenty-four workshops were offered during the three-day event, many with a focus on evangelism and discipleship strategies for church leaders. Dynamic worship sessions were led by the combined six chapters of the Singing Men of Texas and Dan Baker, minister of music for First Baptist Church in Amarillo; the Texas Country Boys; and Jared Billups and Highland Music, the worship ministry of Highland Baptist Church in Waco. Several meal functions were held throughout the event. On Tuesday morning, Richard Foss, co-director of the coordination program for Lily Endowment’s National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders, attended the Texas Baptists Center for Financial Health’s Hope Breakfast as a special guest speaker. Three awards were presented by the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation at their meal function, to recipients Lee and Ruthie Baggett of Amarillo, Baylor Scott & White’s Faith In Action program and Mission Waco and Mission World.

FEBRUARY 2020 / TEX AS BAPTISTS LIFE

WACO—More than 2,000 participants in-person and online witnessed the launch of Faith Fosters Texas at the 2019 Texas Baptists Annual Meeting Nov. 17-19. The new initiative, which aims to impact the child welfare crisis in Texas by mobilizing churches to care for vulnerable children and families, was formally launched during the Monday evening session of the 134th annual gathering held in Waco.

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DISCIPLES MAKING DISCIPLES By Meredith Rose, Contributing writer

FEBRUARY 2020 / TEX AS BAPTISTS LIFE

The Texas Baptists Missions Team is dedicated to helping churches reach their communities, their cities, the nation and, ultimately, the world for Christ.

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Understanding that this is no easy task, they encourage churches to pursue intentional discipleship, where Christ’s followers are multiplied and the church is collectively empowered to spread the Gospel further. Fishing for Disciples Last summer, Texas Baptists Missions Specialist David Miranda organized a gathering of several Texas Baptists church leaders from the Dallas area. His goal was to understand how the Missions Team could better equip young ministers to spread the Gospel.

From this meeting emerged Devoted, an event that Miranda described using Christ’s timeless fishers-of-men metaphor. “If you want to go fishing, you go to a lake. But here in Texas, we don’t have lakes, so we build reservoirs,” he said. Devoted is exactly that, a reservoir where Texas Baptists goes fishing for young people who are interested in

ministry and passionate about growing through mentorship. The first Devoted session was held last spring and attracted a variety of people with different mentorship needs. In order to reach each group effectively, the Missions Team has created three mentorship groups with unique purposes. As the Missions Mentoring Program continues to develop, these three mentorship groups are seeing exponential growth and success.

Executive Mentorship The Common 01 was the first mentorship group to take form. It is a group geared toward pastors in their mid-20s to 30s seeking to improve their ministry skills and grow their churches.


“This group takes the form of an executive mentorship,” said Miranda. “This is where experts come to share their knowledge with younger people in similar positions.” Since its first meeting in September 2019, The Common 01 has welcomed

Seminary Certification

Relational Mentorship

As of October 2019, Miranda introduced The Common 02, a mentorship group that provides fellowship for young ministers seeking seminary-level training through Texas Baptists’ Urban Church Leadership Certification program.

Starting in January 2020, the Missions Team will introduce Embrace, a mentoring group geared toward young women who are interested in ministry.

This program seeks to equip pastors and church leaders with the tools needed to minister in situations unique to urban communities. In partnership with Truett Theological Seminary,

“In this group, pastors are developing practical leadership skills. It provides a space for culturally and biblically relevant discussions, as well as opportunities to learn from other’s experiences.”

– David Foster ministry leaders including Dr. David Hardage, executive director of Texas Baptists, and Jeff Warren, senior pastor of Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas, TX. These leaders have addressed needs such as leadership at the intersection of faith and culture, as well as effective communication in the church. “In this group, pastors are developing practical leadership skills. It provides a space for culturally and biblically relevant discussions, as well as opportunities to learn from other’s experiences,” explained David Foster, leader and participant in The Common 01. “Everybody wins when leaders grow their skills.” According to Foster, the best part of The Common 01 is its dedication to cultural diversity. “I love sitting next to my Hispanic and African American brothers,” said Foster. “The world is diverse, and we need these different perspectives.” The Missions Team is eager to see The Common 01 grow. It is currently seeking more young pastors who are interested in this executive mentorship opportunity.

up to four classes taken through the program may count as credit toward Truett Seminary’s 10-course Certificate in Ministry. “There are lots of young men and women who are interested in education, but they don’t have the means to take courses at a university or seminary,” explained Miranda. “This is where The Common 02 seeks to provide options.” One participant in The Common 02, Abraham Quinones, explained what demographic the group is geared toward and some of its goals. “We’re looking for people who are already in shepherding positions,” he said. “When they join the program, they will develop these leadership capabilities. While they are doing the course work on their own, joining this group allows them to bounce ideas off one another and create a common language.” As this mentorship group continues to develop, the Missions Team is searching for more young ministers in urban communities who are looking to expand their knowledge through education and create bonds with people in similar positions.

“Our goal is to create a platform for experienced female ministers to pour wisdom into younger women,” said Miranda. “This program will happen through both group sessions and oneon-one fellowship.” Miranda has partnered with Missional Lifestyle Strategist Teri Ussery of the Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) of Texas to develop this mentorship opportunity. The two are currently drafting original lesson material for group discussions, identifying female ministers from the Dallas area as potential mentors and gathering a group of young women who are passionate about ministry and mentorship. “I am a big proponent of anything multi-generational,” said Ussery. “I love connecting the generations because I believe they can both learn from each other. This is one thing Embrace will seek to do.” Ussery hopes to launch Embrace with a group of 10-12 mentors and mentees. The number of mentees the group can accept will depend directly on how many mentors volunteer as Ussery wants to keep a 1-to-1 ratio of mentors to mentees. A mentee application is currently being developed. “My prayer for Embrace is that it would not become a program. I want it to be a guide toward organic relationships,” Ussery emphasized. For more information about the next Devoted session or any of these mentorship opportunities, contact David Miranda at david.miranda@txb.org.

FEBRUARY 2020 / TEX AS BAPTISTS LIFE

At the first meeting, this group of young leaders indicated the top eight areas of need in their churches. Based on these results, Miranda began collecting seasoned leaders from across the Dallas area who could speak to these needs.

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April 9 – 11, 2020

Baylor University Ferrell Center | Waco, TX Register online at txcongreso.org For more information contact: 214.828.5119 or congreso@texasbaptists.org


SPOTLIGHT: EVANGELISM

EVANGELISM TEAM: (listed left to right)

OZA JONES

African American Specialist

ERIC HERNANDEZ

Apologetics Lead & Millennial Specialist

LEIGHTON FLOWERS Director of Evangelism

JASON RICHARDS Youth Events/ Camp Specialist

VICTOR RODRIGUEZ

Hispanic Evangelism Associate/Discipleship Specialist


by Leighton Flowers, Director of Evangelism

FEBRUARY 2020 / TEX AS BAPTISTS LIFE

Most Christians do not share their faith or invite the lost to attend church. LifeWay Research reported in 2012 that 61% of Christians had not shared their faith in the previous six months; in 2014 that number rose to 78%. Furthermore, 59% of Christians have not invited an unchurched person (one who does not regularly attend church) to church.

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Yet, most church leaders and members surveyed believe they and their churches are intentionally evangelistic. They hear the slogans, see the programs, participate in the events and therefore conclude that they and their churches have a vision and intention for reaching the lost. But slogans are not a vision and programs do not invite people to engage with Christ, only the people can do that.

We can also make this same mistake on the state level. We can see the slogans, themes, programs and events that are focused on evangelism and assume that we as a denomination, like our churches, are intentionally evangelistic. The truth is, however, we do not become an evangelistic denomination until our churches become evangelistic churches and our churches will not become evangelistic churches until individuals within our churches are telling others about Jesus and/or inviting them to church. Because evangelism depends upon the involvement of individuals our vision for the Evangelism Team must start with the individual, not the denomination or even the church. Our vision must comprise of a specific strategy to move individuals from passive participants in programs and events to engaged

personal evangelists. We must assist churches to disciple individuals in how to share the gospel and discover the necessity of incorporating evangelism in their daily lives. In short, our vision is: To challenge, equip and train Texas Baptists, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to passionately fulfill God’s call to reach all people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the Great Commission, Jesus called each one of us to be a disciple-making witness (Matt 28:19-20; Acts 1:8). His commission to “go� means that one is to live with the purpose of sharing Christ as part of daily life. Church leaders must challenge church members not to be content with passive attendance but help them discover the joy of reaching others for Christ.


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20 EVANGELISM IDEAS FOR 2020 by Leighton Flowers, Director of Evangelism

FEBRUARY 2020 / TEX AS BAPTISTS LIFE

In his book Faithful Over a Few Things, George McCalep Jr. writes, “The pastors and church leaders that want their churches to grow must make an intentional effort to make evangelism and outreach ministry a major focus in the life of the church. The key word is intentional or purposeful. Effective evangelism does not just happen.” On the following pages are 20 creative evangelism ideas that your church can try in 2020.

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Public Prayer Ministry

The important work of evangelism must begin with prayer. Prayer changes our hearts and makes us more sensitive to what God is already doing around us. This also provides a wonderful way to engage the unchurched. One of the most natural ways to begin a gospel conversation is by saying, “We have a prayer ministry at my church and I was wondering if you had any prayer needs that we can lift up for you or your family?” Train and challenge the congregation to ask this question everywhere they go, write down the responses, and then follow up.

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Purchase supplies for a classroom, volunteer as helpers or chaperones, maintain the grounds or equipment at a local school. Serving students makes all the difference in the world. Parents notice those who are serving their children and become more willing to engage. Just being there for student groups that are already assembling in your community and finding creative ways to serve their needs is always an effective way to introduce gospel conversations.

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Holiday Food Baskets Organize, prepare and deliver holiday food baskets to families and individuals in your community. Focus especially on those families in need. Include information about the church with an invitation.

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Business Blasts Surprise local businesses with baskets of baked goods or candy for all their employees. Leave a connection card that reads something like, “We appreciate how you serve the community with your business, and we wanted to share God’s love in a practical way.”

Adopt a Senior Center Taking care of those who cannot care for themselves is at the very heart of the gospel. What better way to shine the light of the good news in your community than by serving the elderly? Organize weekly worship services, provide haircuts, manicures, pedicures, and other services at the local senior centers while looking for opportunities to share the Gospel.

1@1 Challenge Church members already interact with the unchurched throughout the week. Encourage them to pray for one of their lost friends at 1 p.m. every day. Challenge them to look for opportunities to share the Gospel or invite them to church. This will keep the mission in the forefront of their mind throughout the week so they are more likely to recognize opportunities to reach out to others.

Host a Block Party Use the church parking lot or find a cul-de-sac nearby and host a barbeque block party for the entire neighborhood. Make sure there are plenty of games, snacks, and entertainment, and you will have yourself a great way to engage others with the Gospel.

Provide Gospel Conversation Training and Set Goals Learning to share one’s own testimony and a basic gospel presentation is not very difficult but church leaders should not assume everyone is already equipped to do this. Before coordinating opportunities for gospel conversations, the church may want to plan a few training sessions to equip members to share their faith in effective ways. Training in One Verse Evangelism or Three Circles may be helpful.

Sponsor a local school, classroom, team or student group

Adopt an International Student Most international students who come to the U.S. on exchange programs are never invited into an American home. Coordinate with a local university to host an international student throughout the year. Welcome them at the airport and treat them to a meal in your home. This will always provide opportunities for Gospel conversations.

Pay

10 Library Fines

Leave money at the front desk in the local library with instructions for the librarian to use it for those who have fines that day. Leave plenty connection cards inviting them to the church and reminding them that Jesus has paid our debt in full.


SPOTLIGHT

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Golf Balls and Tees Give away imprinted golf balls and tees on the local golf course telling people about your church. Stamping your church’s name and message on golf balls is very affordable and helps bring awareness of your church’s involvement in the community.

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Coordinate with local schools and sports groups to staff the concession stands at local events. Wear the same shirts which identifies the church and lets others see your involvement in the community. Ask about setting out flyers and other information about the church to invite the community to attend. 15

If your church has the space, consider letting recovery and help groups use it throughout the week. There are all kinds of groups that would benefit from using your facility like: Alcoholics Anonymous, Financial Courses, Divorce Recovery, ESL Classes, etc. If none of these groups are meeting in your area, consider starting some. Provide refreshments and leave information about the church for all who attend.

Meal with the Unchurched Challenge the congregation to invite one unchurched neighbor or co-worker to a meal each week. Christians cannot enter gospel conversations if they are not intentionally meeting with the unchurched.

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Host Study Session for Local College

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During finals college students are often looking for quiet places with good coffee to meet with groups and study. Why not host a study group at your church and serve them during a stressful time of the year? Invite them to come back when they are done with their tests. 14

Gift Basket or Baked Goods for Neighbors There is nothing like a plate of cookies or a gift basket to break the ice when visiting a neighbor. Include with the gift information about the church and personally invite them to come with you the following Sunday.

Host Recovery or Help Groups

Honor First Responders Show up with goodies at the local fire station or police station to thank the first responders for their service to the community. Leave a note from the church which says something like, “We appreciate how you serve and protect our community and we wanted to share God’s love in a practical way.”

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Honor Teachers Visit local schools with gifts or goodies to thank teachers and administers for their service to our children. Leave a note from the church which says something like, “We appreciate how you serve and care for our children and we wanted to share God’s love in a practical way.”

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Serve Prisoners and their Families Work with a local prison to provide basic needs for the prisoners and their families. People in prison are some of the most grateful and ready to receive the Good News of the Gospel due to their difficult circumstances. Teaching the church to reach out to “least of these” is one of the best examples of Christ we can demonstrate to our community.

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Use Technology and Social Media Ask someone to take videos, pictures and record testimonies when the church is involved in any of these outreach efforts so you can easily retell and share the stories during weekly church services and on social media. This helps encourage other church members and those in the community to get involved in all the church is doing throughout the community. For more evangelism tools, visit txb.org/evangelism.

FEBRUARY 2020 / TEX AS BAPTISTS LIFE

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Staff the Concession Stands

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LOVING THE LORD WITH YOUR MIND 22

The importance of apologetics

By Bonnie Shaw, News Writer


SPOTLIGHT

“Apologetics in its purest form is basically articulating and giving a defense for what we believe and why we believe it,” Hernandez explained. “For me, it’s not about answering every minute question, but about keeping the Gospel at the center of it all.” Hernandez began studying apologetics while in college after two non-believing professors challenged Christianity. Wanting to avoid being chastised for doubting his faith by church leadership, Hernandez began researching on his own, determined to find a logical defense of the Bible and his faith. In the midst of finding those answers, he also found his passion for teaching others to defend their faith using apologetics.

Furthermore, the Greatest Commandment tells believers to love God with their heart, soul, mind and strength. For Hernandez, apologetics is the best way to accomplish the “mind” part of that commandment. In order to help Christians develop a strong defense of their faith, Hernandez speaks at churches and conferences across Texas, teaching people basic apologetics arguments and helping them develop their own defense of their faith. The first two questions he asks people to consider are: 1) why are you a Christian? And 2) why should someone else be a Christian too? Hernandez then challenges those in attendance to make sure their reasons are based on logic, not emotion. That is what apologetics is all about. “H20 is water, whether or not I have a bad day. Similarly, if Christ rose from the dead, Christianity is true and everything else is secondary,” he explained.

The importance of apologetics

Opportunities to deepen understanding

Apologetics is an effective way to explain faith to nonbelievers because it offers a logical argument for Christianity. If they need evidence, Hernandez believes that Christians should be able to present it. Doubt is normal, he explained, it is not a reason to push people away. Jesus addressed doubt face-to-face when he showed Thomas the evidence of the nails in his hands and feet after the resurrection. Jesus met people where they were, and so should Christians.

Each year, the Texas Baptists Great Commission Team (GCT) hosts three [un] Apologetic conferences around Texas geared at teaching people about apologetics. Renowned apologists are brought in to lead general sessions. Breakout sessions are designed to address more specific questions attendees may have.

“We live in a culture full of doubting Thomases who are constantly asking questions. And this is not just non-believers, it’s from Christians as well. As believers, especially mature believers, our job is to meet people where they’re at and give them the evidence for whatever it is they’re looking for that may be hindering them from getting close to God,” he said.

Hernandez also speaks at events by invitation, as was the case when he was invited to speak to a group of youth at Primera Iglesia Bautista de Conroe in September 2019. Days before he was going to speak, however, the area was hit by Tropical Storm Imelda, and the church was flooded. Expecting the event to be canceled, Hernandez called the church to make other arrangements. Instead, he found that members of the church were working hard to vacuum out the water and get rid of anything damaged. When he arrived for the

conference a few days later, there was no floor, but there was a group of 50 youth who were ready to learn how to defend their faith. “I was moved by the fact that they really wanted to do this and that they thought it was so important for the youth to get access to apologetics teachings,” Hernandez commented. “There were youth pastors bringing in kids from all over the vicinity.” Events like this one, which are targeted at teaching youth how to critically think about and defend their faith, are extremely important to Hernandez. An average of 60-75% of young people lose their faith during their first year of college, and Hernandez suggests that it is because many youth are sent to college without proper spiritual training. He encourages youth pastors to realize that their students have deep questions, and it is important to give them a safe place to voice these questions and search for Biblical answers. Texas Baptists provide a variety of resources for churches and organizations to learn more about apologetics. Events like the [un]Apologetic conferences are a great opportunity for people to educate themselves about apologetics. Hernandez also travels around the state to teach apologetics. He has visited 10 universities, both secular and Texas Baptists-affiliated, in the last year to speak on the subject. “For me, that’s apologetics. It’s reaching people for the Gospel,” he said. “Showing them, as Christ did with Thomas, the reasons why we believe what we do. That there is a hope, that there is a God. If we’re to be effective in evangelism, we need apologetics.” To learn more, visit txb.org/evangelism.

FEBRUARY 2020 / TEX AS BAPTISTS LIFE

Eric Hernandez, apologetics lead and Millennial specialist at Texas Baptists, believes that the best way Christians can defend their faith, in fulfillment of 1 Peter 3:15, is through the use of apologetics.

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SATURATE THE CITY WITH THE GOSPEL By Kalie Lowrie, News Director


SPOTLIGHT

As the new African American Evangelism Specialist for Texas Baptists, Oza Jones is excited about the opportunity to equip churches with tools and resources to reach their communities with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Last fall, Jones connected with numerous African American churches to share evangelism, outreach and leadership strategies. When Pastor Delvin Mack of Cathedral of Faith Baptist Church in Beaumont heard Jones present evangelism strategies at another church, he invited Jones to come to his church to train more than 400 leaders in the strategies.

“The church is beautiful, the people are beautiful,” Jones said. “They are doing great work for the Kingdom in Beaumont.” Following the training, Mack and his congregation expressed a desire to affiliate with Texas Baptists. “Texas Baptists is doing awesome work,” he said. “Our church is joining immediately and I have several other churches that will be joining also!” When Jones visits churches, he shares evangelism strategies such as 4xFour, Three-Circles or Who’s Your One? He also talks about how churches should seek to “saturate the city” with the Gospel, a strategy he developed when he served as a pastor in Grand Prairie. Using this strategy, Jones led his congregation to build relationships across the community with law enforcement, the Fellowship of

At the heart of each of Jones’ trainings is the Great Commission. Statistics from Barna Research indicated that 76% of churchgoers were not aware of the Great Commission. Jones was compelled by those numbers to teach this imperative scripture from Matthew 28 and to relay Jesus’s command to go and make disciples.

Christian Athletes in local junior high and high schools, domestic “We need to give those tools violence groups and many others. to believers,” Jones said. Churches should be essential “Many people can be intimidated components of their commuto share their faith, or they nities, actively helping those in do not have a plan or strategy their area. to do so. We share strategies that can be used by the church “I ask church leaders to consider to do what it is called to do— ‘If your church ceases to exist, to share the Gospel!” would anyone miss you?

“If your church ceases to exist, would anyone miss you? What type of impact are you making in your community? Does your community feel your presence?” What type of impact are you making in your community? Does your community feel your presence?’” he said. Jones shares that God has called believers to saturate a specific place, and if each person takes care of their city or their corner

To learn more about African American Evangelism, contact Oza Jones at oza.jones@txb.org or call 214.828.5321.

FEBRUARY 2020 / TEX AS BAPTISTS LIFE

Jones was encouraged by the church’s response to the evangelism training and the new connection he made with this congregation.

of the world, more people will hear about Jesus. Many churches have been very responsive to this relational evangelism strategy and desire to implement similar plans in their neighborhoods.

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FEBRUARY 2020 / TEX AS BAPTISTS LIFE 26

CHURCH REFOCUSES ON LOCAL EVANGELISM

By Bonnie Shaw, News Writer

On his 20th anniversary of being senior pastor at FBC Allen, Chad Selph stepped up to the pulpit to preach with one thing on his heart – evangelism. He asked the congregation to take a leap of faith and devote their time, resources and prayer to reaching people in the city of Allen for Christ. “The population [of Allen] has grown and the city is more lost than it has ever been,” Selph said. “We’re going to have to figure out how to engage them more effectively…we have to get outside of the church walls.”


SPOTLIGHT

Sharing boldly The initial evangelism training turned into a bi-monthly event that gives participants the courage and tools they need to share the Gospel with others. They are taught how to turn ordinary conversations into Gospel-centered ones. They are also taught the 3-circles evangelism tool, which is a threeminute explanation of the Gospel. It serves as a diagnostic tool for further Gospel conversation. Most importantly, the class ends with everyone going out in groups to share the Gospel with surrounding neighborhoods. This door-to-door evangelism technique is the core of FBC Allen’s local outreach. Groups of three go out and knock on doors, asking if there is anything they can pray about with the resident. They do not mention the church they are affiliated with but instead pray a quick, focused prayer about whatever that person has mentioned. Selph shared that often God times their visits to intervene with pivotal moments in peoples’ lives. It is not uncommon for the groups to ask about prayer requests, only to hear that earlier that day something had happened that left the individuals worried, stressed or searching for answers.

After praying, FBC Allen members explain that they have been through hard times, too. Many of the prayer requests shared, such as loss of a loved one or financial struggles, are hardships that the church members have also experienced. They explain that relying on Jesus gave them hope and ask if the homeowner would like to hear more about him. If they do, the group gives the 3-circles presentation that they were taught in training. Selph explained that the focus should be on the person and starting a Gospel conversation, not on promoting the church or encouraging church attendance. “It’s definitely not a pack-the-pews strategy. The parable of the sower is definitely true,” Selph said, referencing Jesus’ lesson about the Gospel often falling on rough soil, “but our responsibility is to share.”

Focusing on the Gospel This renewed focus on evangelism has benefited the church greatly. On a church-wide scale, FBC Allen has grown more diverse as they reach out to surrounding neighborhoods. They have also started special classes for new believers or people interested in learning more about the Gospel. Selph explained that creating a space where these people feel safe to ask questions is important and that new church-goers can quickly become lost in the crowd or intimidated if a special space is not made for them. Furthermore, FBC Allen members have experienced spiritual growth as they have learned to evangelize to others. “When you go into the harvest, you have to be equipped,” Selph said. “Our people started reading the Bible more and things just started

“Spiritual growth starts happening when we follow God’s command.” Many church members were intimidated when they started evangelizing, worried that they would face anger and criticism for so openly sharing their faith. They have been pleasantly surprised to find that most are, at the very least, politely interested in what the evangelism groups have to say. “We’ve been finding a lot of openness,” Selph said. He also noted, “But we don’t argue with anyone. I’ve never known anyone who argues someone into the Kingdom of God.” The church keeps a detailed map of the surrounding neighborhoods so that they know which households they have visited.

jumping off the page for them. Spiritual growth starts happening when we follow God’s command.” FBC Allen has taken their evangelism trainings into 135 churches around the country. All the churches adapt different parts of the Gospel-sharing strategy. For some churches, big events are a great way to draw in crowds, while other churches prefer to focus on small, intimate groups. All of them are learning how to turn normal conversations into Gospelcentered ones. “It addresses the challenges of getting stuck in not sharing the Gospel,” Selph said. “We all know we ought to, and this is a way to shift from ‘ought to’ to doing.”

FEBRUARY 2020 / TEX AS BAPTISTS LIFE

That week, the members of FBC Allen set their alarms for 10:02 a.m. This was based on Luke 10:2, which says “the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” When the alarms went off each day, it was to be a reminder to pray for laborers to go out and to ask “Lord, send me.” An evangelism training was held, which saw 42 attendees. This training and the prayer reminders led to the launch of No Place Left Allen, a commitment to sharing the Gospel with every person in Allen. Now, twoand-a-half years after they began this focus on evangelism, the ministry is still going strong.

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FEBRUARY 2020 / TEX AS BAPTISTS LIFE

AMA AL SEÑOR T CON TODA TU MENTE 28

La importancia de la apologética Por Bonnie Shaw, Redactor de noticias


SPOTLIGHT

“La apologética en su forma más pura es básicamente articular y presentar una defensa de lo que uno cree y el por qué lo cree,” explicó Hernández. “Para mí, no se trata de responder a cada pregunta, sino de mantener el evangelio el centro de todo.” Hernández comenzó a estudiar apologética en la universidad después de que dos profesores inconversos desafiaron el cristianismo. Deseando evitar que el liderato de la iglesia le reprendiera por dudar de su fe, Hernández comenzó a investigar, determinado a encontrar una defensa lógica para la Biblia y su fe. En medio de encontrar esas respuestas, también descubrió su pasión por enseñar a otros a defender su fe usando la apologética.

La importancia de la apologética La apologética es una manera efectiva de explicar la fe a no-cristianos porque ofrece un argumento lógico a favor del cristianismo. Si necesitan evidencia, Hernández cree que los cristianos debieran ser capaces de presentarla. La duda es normal, él explicó, y no es razón para rechazar a las personas. Jesús trató con la duda cara-a-cara al presentarle a Tomás la evidencia de los clavos en Sus manos y pies después de la resurrección. Jesús ministró a las personas donde estaban, y los cristianos deben hacer lo mismo. “Vivimos en una cultura llena personas que dudan, como Tomás, y hacen preguntas constantemente. Y, esto no es solamente con los inconversos, es también con los cristianos. Como creyentes, particularmente cristianos maduros, nuestra tarea es encontrarnos con personas donde estén y presentarles la evidencia para lo que estén buscando que evita que se acerquen a Dios,” él dijo.

Más aun, el más grande mandamiento dice que el creyente debe amar a Dios con todo su corazón, su alma, su mente, y su fuerza. Para Hernández, la apologética es la mejor manera para obedecer la parte de la “mente” de ese mandamiento. Para ayudar a los cristianos a desarrollar una defensa firme de su fe, Hernández habla en iglesias y conferencias por todo el estado de Texas, enseñando argumentos básicos de apologética y ayudando a que las personas desarrollen su propia defensa para su fe. Las primeras dos preguntas que él hace son: 1) ¿Por qué es usted cristiano?, y 2) ¿Por qué alguien también debiera ser Cristiano? Hernández, entonces, desafía a los participantes a asegurarse de que sus razones estén basadas en la razón y no en las emociones. De esto es que se trata la apologética. “H2O es agua, tengamos o no tengamos un buen día. De igual manera, si Cristo resucitó de los muertos, el cristianismo es cierto y todo lo demás es secundario,” él explicó.

Oportunidades para profundizar el entendimiento Cada año, el Equipo de Gran Comisión de los Bautistas de Texas (GCT) auspicia tres conferencias de apologética alrededor de Texas, dirigidas a enseñar a las personas acerca de la apologética. Apologistas de renombre son invitados a dirigir las sesiones generales. Las conferencias están diseñadas para tratar con preguntas más específicas que los participantes puedan tener. Hernández también es invitado a hablar en eventos, como fue el caso cuando primero le invitaron a hablarle al grupo de jóvenes de la Primera Iglesia Bautista de Conroe en septiembre del 2019. Días antes del evento, sin embargo, el área fue azotada por la tormenta tropical Imelda, y la iglesia se inundó. Esperando que el evento fuera cancelado, Hernández llamó a la iglesia para hacer arreglos. En vez, descubrió

que los miembros de la iglesia estaban trabajando arduamente para sacar el agua y deshacerse de todo lo que se había dañado. Cuando llegó para la conferencia varios días más tarde, no había piso, pero había un grupo de 50 jóvenes listos para aprender cómo defender su fe. “Me conmovió el hecho de que verdaderamente querían hacer esto y el que pensaran que era muy importante que los jóvenes recibieran enseñanza acerca de la apologética,” comentó Hernández. “Había ministros de jóvenes trayendo jóvenes de diferentes lugares de la comunidad.” Eventos como éste, enfocando en enseñar jóvenes a cómo pensar de manera crítica acerca de su fe y cómo defenderla, son extremadamente importantes para Hernández. Un promedio de 60-75% de jóvenes pierden su fe durante el primer año de universidad, y Hernández sugiere que se debe a que muchos jóvenes llegan a la universidad sin el entrenamiento espiritual adecuado. Él exhorta a los ministros de jóvenes a darse cuenta de que sus jóvenes tienen preguntas profundas, y es importante proveerles de un lugar seguro dónde expresar estas preguntas y buscar respuestas bíblicas. Los Bautistas de Texas proveen una variedad de recursos para que iglesias y organizaciones aprendan más acerca de la apologética. Eventos como las conferencias de apologética son una gran oportunidad para que las personas se eduquen acerca de la apologética. Hernández también viaja por todo el estado para enseñar apologética. Él ha visitado 10 universidades, seculares y afiliadas con los Bautistas de Texas, durante el pasado año para hablar del tema. “Para mí, eso es la apologética. Es alcanzar personas para el evangelio,” él dijo. “Demostrarles, como lo hizo Cristo con Tomás, las razones del por qué reemos lo que creemos; que hay esperanza, y que hay un Dios. Si vamos a ser efectivos en el evangelismo, necesitamos la apologética.”

FEBRUARY 2020 / TEX AS BAPTISTS LIFE

Eric Hernández, especialista en apologética y milenarios con los Bautistas de Texas, cree que la mejor manera para los cristianos defender su fe, en obediencia a 1 Pedro 3:15, es por medio del uso de la apologética.

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FROM OFFERING PLATE TO DINNER PLATE By Alisha Holt, Content Coordinator at STCH Ministries

By Alisha Holt


During her daily Bible study, Rosa read Psalm 37:4-5. “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this.” These verses reminded her that when she trusts in God, He will provide for her every need. God met Rosa every day in every circumstance.

Rosa’s Story

IBQ brought stability, friendship and renewed purpose into her life. Through her involvement at church, Rosa learned about STCH Ministries Samuel’s Fund sponsorship program, which pairs orphans and at-risk children, in the Dominican Republic with sponsors from the United States. These sponsorships allow the children to develop spiritually, mentally and socially, empowering them to become Christian leaders in their communities.

Since Rosa surrendered to God’s leadership and joined Iglesia Bautista Quisequayana (IBQ), He repeatedly proved Himself faithful to meet her needs. God often uses STCH Ministries International and the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering to move people from poverty to success. The two organizations combine forces to make a difference in the lives of families on the island nation of the Dominican Republic. Rosa married her childhood sweetheart, and though they struggled with finances, life was good for them. They joyfully welcomed two children into their family, Rafael and Heidi. Although higher education in the Dominican Republic is an expensive undertaking, Rosa began college studies to become a teacher. Navigating the bureaucracy involved in registration presented as much of a challenge as the classes themselves. However, after her husband died, Rosa laid aside her dreams of becoming a teacher to provide shelter and food for her children. She found a factory job, but the wages did not meet her needs. Moved by Rosa’s grief, a co-worker befriended her and spoke with her about faith in Jesus. Rosa recognized something was missing and attended services at IBQ with her friend. As a result of new friendships and biblical understanding, Rosa gave her life to Jesus as her Savior.

When Rosa learned church members tutor Samuel’s Fund recipients so they can be successful in schoolwork, she volunteered. Both Rafael and Heidi’s sponsorships paid the children’s school expenses, while Rosa paid for rent and groceries from her earnings. Knowing her children had the opportunity to attend school and become self-sufficient, she returned to her college studies. Life continued and Rosa remarried and welcomed a new son, Ezequiel, into her family. Tragedy struck again when young Heidi fell ill. Again, Rosa halted her studies to take care of her daughter. Despite ongoing treatment, Heidi’s health deteriorated over two years, and the young girl passed away. Broken-hearted, Rosa moved forward for the sake of her other children. Through it all, Rosa gave glory to God for His faithfulness to keep His promises to supply her needs. She finished her teaching degree and has worked as an elementary teacher for two years.

God’s Provision Rosa still struggled with finances. That Sunday in July, she debated all the way down the aisle to the offering plate. If she obeyed God and gave her tithe, she would not have any money to buy food. She remembered the promise God had fulfilled so many times in the past, “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him.” She set her mind to trust again and cheerfully gave her tithe. Later that afternoon, volunteers received shopping lists, money and instructions. They excitedly purchased the groceries and set out on their adventure. Rosa’s was just one of the homes visited that day. God showed up and kept His promise once again. The teachers from Texas marveled, recognizing God orchestrated them to meet needs they knew nothing about. Rosa’s story is one example of the difference God makes through Texas Baptists as He meets the physical needs of Dominican families. The partnership between STCH Ministries International and the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering provides groceries for struggling families and partner orphanages across the Dominican Republic. Last summer, 26 families received a month’s worth of groceries delivered by volunteers. Additionally, each Christmas, four partner orphanages receive a substantial gift toward their needs. Working together, Texas Baptists can satisfy God’s mandate to care for “the least of these” (Matthew 25:40). Information on the Hunger Offering can be found at hungeroffering.org. To learn more about STCH Ministries visit stchm.org.

FEBRUARY 2020 / TEX AS BAPTISTS LIFE

On a Sunday afternoon in July, Rosa opened her door in the Dominican Republic to a group of teachers from Texas she met at dinner the night before. The ladies carried bags of groceries on their arms, and tears rolled down Rosas’s cheeks as she welcomed the team into her home. “Can I tell you my story?” she asked.

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Texas Baptists is a fellowship of transformational churches sharing Christ and showing love. For more than 130 years, we have helped churches fulfill the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. Learn more at txb.org

Los Bautistas de Texas son un compañerismo de iglesias transformadoras compartiendo a Cristo y demostrando amor. Durante más de 130 años, hemos ayudado a las iglesias a cumplir la Gran Comisión y el Gran Mandamiento. Conozca más en txb.org

Profile for Texas Baptists

Texas Baptists Life, Volume 8 Issue 1  

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