SPOTLIGHT / COMPELLED BY THE GREAT COMMANDMENT AND THE GREAT COMMISSION pg. 15
Volume 5 ∙ Issue 6
Special Report: Harvey response pg.5
Is your pastor burdened with financial stress? The stats say Yes pg.10
En Español: Descubriendo el “quién” en ir y hacer discípulos pg.26
TEXAS BAPTISTS EVENT CALENDAR Sun
5th Sunday Hunger Offering
Texas Church College Ministry Retreat, San Antonio MinistrySafe Regional Church Workshop, McAllen
Handbell Festival, Kerrville
Speak Freedom Texas
12 Annual Meeting, Waco
TEX AS BAPTISTS LIFE / VOLUME 5 • ISSUE 6
F E AT U R E S
IN E VE RY ISSU E
Special Report: Harvey response
Is your pastor burdened with financial stress? The stats say Yes
Collaboration facilitates community impact
2 4 8 31
Strengthening families in times of need
Event Calendar Letter from Executive Director Impact: Texas Baptists News Who we are and what we do
16 18 23 24 26
Discovering the "who" in go and make disciples On the front lines of the Great Commission at UTA Room in our hearts to love our neighbors Transforming Bridgeport one haircut at a time En Español: Descubriendo el "quién" en ir y hacer discípulos
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 Kirsten McKimmey, News Writer Jordan Parker, Multimedia Specialist Kristen Clardy, Graphic Designer 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 or update your subscription preferences, call 214.828.5232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hello, Texas Baptists! I have been a Baptist all my life, and a Texas Baptist most of my life. It has been my honor to serve our Texas Baptists family as the Executive Director for almost six years, and I'm convinced that really bright days are ahead for us. One of the reasons I'm quite hopeful about the future can be summed up with the word "balance." I do not think I'll ever write a book; that's just not who I am. However, if I did, I would write one entitled "Life in the Balance." The more I live and the more life I experience, the more I'm convinced that a balanced life is a good and godly life. As quick examples, consider a balanced diet and a healthy balance of work and play. Well, it is this idea of "balance" that I truly believe separates us from other entities. And, this year, the theme of our Annual Meeting reflects exactly the kind of balance of which I'm speaking: the giving of equal time, emphasis and resources to both the Great Commandment of Matthew 22 and the Great Commission of Matthew 28. Of course, these two significant New Testament pillars naturally stand next to each other. We are commanded to love the Lord and to also love others. A complementary passage to the Great Commandment is the challenge from Jesus in Matthew 25 to care for "the least of these." As a convention, we really do try to emphasize compassion and provision for those who are in need. Just as well, we realize that the greatest need anyone has is the need for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Thus, the Great Commission calls us to share the good news of Jesus with the lost around us and, after someone has come to faith in Christ, to train them up to be mature followers of Christ. Again, our Texas Baptists family places extraordinary emphasis on evangelism and discipleship. As I look at our organization and our work around the state and beyond, it seems clear that we are a convention in balance. Thank you, Texas Baptists, for supporting this work. We are making a difference in the lives of our fellow Texans, as well as others all over the world, because of the generosity of your time, talents and treasure.
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
¡Hola, Bautistas de Texas! He sido bautista toda mi vida y un Bautista de Texas la mayor parte de mi vida. Ha sido mi honor el servir a nuestra familia de los Bautistas de Texas como director ejecutivo durante casi seis años, y estoy convencido de que nos esperan días buenos por delante. Una de las razones por las cuales me siento tan confiado acerca del futuro puede resumirse en la palabra “balance”. No creo que escribiré un libro, pero así es como soy. Sin embargo, si alguna vez fuera a escribir un libro, lo titularía “La vida en la balanza”. A más vivo y a más experiencias tengo, más convencido estoy de que una vida balanceada es una vida buena y santa. Como ejemplos, considere una dieta balanceada y un balance saludable entre el trabajo y el juego. Creo que es esta idea del “balance” lo que nos separa de otras entidades. Y, este año, el tema para nuestra reunión anual refleja exactamente ese tipo de balance del que estoy hablando. Aportar el mismo tiempo, énfasis y recursos al Gran Mandamiento de Mateo 22 y la Gran Comisión de Mateo 28. Por supuesto, estos dos importantes pilares del Nuevo Testamento naturalmente se encuentran uno junto al otro. Se nos manda a amar al Señor y también a amar a los demás. Un pasaje complementario al Gran Mandamiento es el desafío de Jesús en Mateo 25 a cuidar de “nuestros hermanos más pequeños.” Como Convención, realmente enfatizamos en la compasión y la provisión para aquellos en necesidad. De igual manera, sabemos que la mayor necesidad que cualquier persona pueda tener es la necesidad de una relación personal con Jesucristo. Entonces, la Gran Comisión nos llama a compartir las buenas nuevas de Jesús con los perdidos a nuestro alrededor, y después de que alguien llega a depositar su fe en Cristo, entrenarlos para llegar a ser seguidores maduros de Cristo. Nuevamente, nuestra familia de los Bautistas de Texas hace un énfasis extraordinario en el evangelismo y el discipulado. Cuando observo a nuestra organización y nuestro trabajo alrededor del estado y más allá, es claro que somos una convención en balance. Gracias, Bautistas de Texas, por respaldar este trabajo. Estamos haciendo una diferencia en las vidas de nuestros semejantes, en Texas así como alrededor del mundo, debido a su generosidad de tiempo, talento y tesoro.
SPECIAL REPORT: HARVEY RESPONSE
C H R I S L I E B R U M , D I R E C T O R O F C O O P E R AT I V E P R O G R A M M I N I S T R I E S , V I S I T S W I T H T. WAY N E P R I C E , PA S T O R O F F I R S T B A P T I S T C H U R C H R E F U G I O, A F T E R T H AT C H U R C H WA S D E S T R OY E D BY H U R R I C A N E H A RV E Y.
THE DEVASTATION RYAN RUSH, SENIOR PASTOR OF KINGSL AND BAP TIST CHURCH IN K AT Y, WITNESSED IN THE DAYS AF TER HURRICANE HARVE Y WAS HE ARTBRE AKING . “We’ve seen hundreds of our neighbors lose everything they owned, and the idea of the work ahead is overwhelming. The thing that sustains us, however, is the incredible way this disaster has brought together the Body of Christ as we seek to share the love of Jesus with our community,” Rush said.
Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Gulf Coast of Texas August 25 as a Category 4 hurricane, causing unprecedented destruction. Damage in Texas stretched from Corpus Christi to Beaumont, with an estimated 185,149 homes damaged or destroyed. More than 500 Texas Baptists church buildings in the Gulf Coast and East Texas areas suffered damage or were completely destroyed by the storm. NOVEMBER 2017
“There is no way that any one church can accomplish the task by themselves, but with the help of Texas Baptists and the power of our God, I’m convinced we can bring healing to this region,” Rush said. Kingsland Baptist Church is one of the Gulf Coast sites to be named a Texas Baptist Men/Texas Baptists Volunteer Village, where volunteer teams can gather, receive training, and go and serve communities in need of relief work. “We are diligently raising funds for Texas Baptist Men disaster relief, and working through our Texas Baptists staff in the affected parts of the state,” said David Hardage, Texas Baptists executive director. “I am pleased with the response we’ve seen so far. Our Texas Baptists staff and larger family are praying and responding to provide additional assistance as it becomes available.” Texas Baptists field personnel, including area representatives, church starters and BSM directors, are on the ground meeting with churches and ministering alongside them. Fred Ater, area representative for region 4 stretching from San Antonio to Galveston, walked alongside churches and witnessed God at work in the midst of the devastation. Ater recalled just a few of the images he witnessed in the days after the storm hit: a pastor crying in his arms; two church members, covered in perspiration, ripping up soaked worship center carpet; church leaders on their knees praying for church members; a TBM Chaplain conducting intake interviews, sharing about Jesus and providing a New Testament; and hearing a young man's testimony and desire to be baptized.
CHURCH PARTNERSHIPS As area representatives and other Texas Baptists staff discover specific needs of Harvey-affected churches, they are adding the names and locations of those churches to an ongoing list. Texas Baptists are encouraging other congregations outside the affected area – even beyond the state – to partner with and meet the needs of these churches.
“Direct church-to-church partnership is one way to focus resources and maximize impact during times like these,” said Hardage. “We are grateful to the churches and associations already employing this model, and we urge all of our congregations to prayerfully consider partnering with one of these churches to support long-term recovery.” The Convention has a public listing of churches that have expressed specific needs. Go to texasbaptists.org/church2church to learn more.
7 TIPS FOR WHEN DISASTER DAMAGES YOUR CHURCH BUILDING
Watch out for live wires
Watch out for nails
TEXAS BAPTISTS LIFE
Check moisture levels
keep a journal
place tarp over open areas
Find your floor plans
TE X AS BAP TIST MEN DISASTER RELIEF AND VOLUNTEER VILL AGES
STUDENT DISASTER AND CHURCH BUILDING RECOVERY EFFORTS
Texas Baptist Men (TBM) Disaster Relief deployed units included shower, laundry, feeding, child care, chaplains, assessors, asset protection, chainsaw, heavy equipment, flood recovery and a box unit. TBM state partners providing resources included Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Louisiana.
BOUNCE, the student disaster recovery ministry of Texas Baptists, has revised its 2018 schedule for spring break and summer mission trips to exclusively serve Harvey-affected areas along the Gulf Coast. Registration for student groups to participate in these trips is now open. “We have revised our BOUNCE schedule to mobilize student youth groups to Harveyaffected areas for long-term recovery efforts,” said David Scott, director of BOUNCE. “Our BOUNCE Advisory Group agreed this is the reason BOUNCE was created.”
TBM also made arrangements to set up these TBM/Texas Baptists Volunteer Villages in and around Houston at Texas Baptists churches. Churches can bring volunteer groups to these locations, which includes lodging and meals, while they participate in disaster relief projects such as moving debris, cleaning yards, assisting homeowners retrieve personal property and mucking and gutting out homes. The locations include Kingsland Baptist Church, Sugar Land Baptist Church, and First Baptist Church of Nederland. “We are absolutely blessed to host as many teams as the state of Texas can produce,” said Jason Burden, pastor of First Baptist Church of Nederland. “We are thankful for the Texas Baptist Men, for their work in our community right now. We look forward to being a touchpoint for the spiritual resources of Texas in order to affect change in our community.”
The Texas Baptists Church Architecture team is also working in an advisory role to help churches with assessment and remedy options for their facilities. Church building recovery is a longterm effort to support congregations. “This is an opportunity for us to get into homes and present the Gospel in a way we would have never had, had Hurricane Harvey not come to our neighborhood. I hope Texas Baptists and Texas Baptist Men can seize this moment and help as many people as possible,” said Burden. VISIT TEXASBAPTISTS.ORG/HARVEY TO FIND UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION ON TEXAS BAPTISTS’ RESPONSE TO HURRICANE HARVEY. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT CHURCH2CHURCH PARTNERSHIPS, CALL 1.888.244.9400. NOVEMBER 2017
IMPACT: TEXAS BAPTISTS NEWS
DOWELL LOFTIS NAMED DIRECTOR OF CONNECTIONS TEAM Dowell Loftis has been named the Director of the Texas Baptists Connections team, after serving Texas Baptists as an area representative for the Dallas region. “I believe all ministry is about relationships,” said Loftis. “God wants to have a personal relationship with us and the Connections Team wants to build relationships with pastors and churches all over the state.”
NATIONAL BOOMER CONFERENCE COMPELS BABY BOOMERS TO COME AND SEE “Reaching 50-year-olds is the same thing that reaches 24-yearolds – invite them to come and see. If you personally know the King, then compel them to come in,” said Todd Wagner, senior pastor of Watermark Church in Dallas, at the National Boomer Ministry Conference on September 7. More than 117 church leaders and volunteers from 58 churches and organizations learned skills and techniques to engage the boomer generation in ministry at the fifth annual National Boomer Ministry Conference on September 6-8 at Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas.
TAMIKO JONES NAMED NEW TEXAS WMU EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR-TREASURER Tamiko Jones, of Arlington, TX, has been named the new Executive Director-Treasurer of WMU of Texas. Jones previously served as Minister of Missions and Young Adults at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mansfield. She brings a wealth of missions, ministry and business experience to the position and is the first African American to hold the top administrative position.
TEXAS BAPTISTS LIFE
CHILDREN’S SUMMIT EQUIPS LEADERS TO REMEMBER THE JOY Texas Baptists Childhood Summit was held on August 11-12 at Dallas Baptist University. This year, 330 ministers and ministry leaders, representing 60 churches, were in attendance. Ministers were equipped in childhood leadership to clearly and meaningfully plan, effectively teach and grasp how children learn so they might have a genuine relationship with God.
UNITY AMONG CHRISTIANS NEEDED TO PROMOTE RACIAL RECONCILIATION If Christians are to represent Jesus, they need to be unified, Latasha Morrison shared at the “One: Unity not Uniformity” conference hosted by the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission on August 26. More than 175 people gathered at the First Baptist Church of Grand Prairie for the event, which was designed to equip church leaders and lay members to engage in the work of racial reconciliation in their communities.
MORE THAN $25,000 RAISED FOR PROJECT: START THROUGH NORTH TEXAS GIVING DAY Texas Baptist Missions Foundation raised $25,000, including a $10,000 matching grant, for Project: Start, a refugee resource center located in Vickery Meadow, on September 14 through North Texas Giving Day. “We are excited to serve those that come through our doors just as much as we are thankful for opportunities to impact dozens of families at once through large scale projects, such as mission collaborations with VBS programs, apartment block party events and furniture and household delivery mission projects,” said Leonid Regheta, director of Project: Start.
IS YOUR PASTOR BURDENED WITH FINANCIAL STRESS? THE STATS SAY YES BY JOHN HALL , CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Nine years ago, Darrel and Kim Auvenshine helped found Southside City Church in Fort Worth. The congregation primarily serves the impoverished, the down-and-out and the homeless.
That’s compounded by the fact that about 60 percent of pastors do not receive health insurance or retirement funds from their respective churches.
Hour after hour, day after day, week after week, Pastor Darrel pours his heart into the lives of others. He’s a networker, counselor, pastor and encourager. He’s the guide who continually points people to Christ, the man who seeks to meet everyone’s needs. Except his own.
“There are a lot of situations and reasons that a pastor can have financial challenges, and we are here to help them work through them,” said Tammy Tijerina, grant specialist in the Texas Baptists Center for Ministerial Excellence. “We encourage pastors to visit our website to determine the best course of action for them and their families, whether applying for the grant, visiting with a pastoral financial advocate or attending a regional financial retreat with a member of their laity.”
Darrel and his wife always put others first, stretching their finances thin to improve the lives of others. Then the bivocational pastor lost his job outside the church shortly after his wife resigned her teaching position due to health issues. Medical bills piled up. The Auvenshines’ financial situation became so bleak that they moved into True Faith Community, the same housing the pastor often refers homeless individuals to.. “Our church serves the poor,” Darrel said. “That’s why we were planted. Admitting that we were in need was tough. What I had to do is what I encourage other people to do – live in community.” An email from Texas Baptists arrived in Darrel’s inbox describing a new program made possible by a Lilly Endowment grant designed to help financially struggling ministers. Darrel immediately asked for more information. Darrel’s situation isn’t unique. Ministers often put themselves last, and that affects them and their families financially. According to an Evangelical Pastor Study conducted by the National Association of Evangelicals, 90 percent of pastors feel some level of financial stress in their family and church work. Seventy-six percent of pastors know others who left the ministry as a result of financial pressures. Nearly one-third of pastors work second jobs to make ends meet.
TEXAS BAPTISTS LIFE
“We want our pastors to know they are not alone. Our prayer is that the position and calling of the pastorate would be esteemed highly in love by the church. It is also our prayer that the church–pastor relationship would be one of love, support and unity.” The convention grant program connects pastors with financial advisors who suggest ways to cut expenses and increase income. A church leader and the pastor also attend a financial seminar that discusses the role of the church in meeting the needs of pastors. “There was never a point where I felt like someone was looking down on me because I was struggling financially,” Darrel said. “There was never a point I felt like they were going to chastise me or make a spectacle of my need. There was such high integrity in the process. It brings a level of freedom that we need to be able to receive the blessing.” The convention offers a matching grant that can range from $500 to $5,000 for pastors if they can find matching funds from their church, family or other sources.
“All of a sudden, here’s $5,000 we weren’t counting on,” Darrel said. “We applied all $5,000 to high interest debt. It didn’t get us out of debt, but it moved us to a place where we can move into a spending and savings plan where in a few years we can be debt free.” The sense that his family is moving in a positive financial direction is freeing, according to Darrel. It allows him to focus on ministry and his family without financial stress weighing on his mind. “One of the things the program does is it empowers from the constant burden of how am I going to pay for this?” Darrel said. “It’s difficult to minister fully if I’m stressed financially.” The Texas Baptists program has changed the way Darrel views God’s provision. Money is still tight for the couple, but they see God’s generosity all around them. “One of the things God is teaching us and was initiated through this process is that God’s provision for our family doesn’t always come in the form of a paycheck,” Darrel said. “We needed a car. There was a time where we needed transportation. Someone has given us use of a car. One time,
someone gave us dozens of eggs that have provided for our family. There’s been times when someone gives groceries for families in need and Kim and I have been a family in need.”
IT’S REALLY BE E N A GREAT JOU RN EY FOR KI M AN D M E .
- DARRE L AUVE N S H I N E
That report brings great joy to Tijerina and all connected to the program. The Lilly Endowment grant was developed based on the concept that healthy communities come from healthy churches and healthy churches are led by spiritually, emotionally and financially healthy pastors.
“For our grantees, our prayer is that after they complete the grant requirements, we see them more hopeful, more peaceful and closer to God – this can be easily observed in responses such as Darrel’s – to share his story to encourage us all in what God can do with one small step,” Tijerina said.
TIPS FOR MINISTERS
SUFFE RING FI NANCIALLY
• D o n’ t s u f f e r i n s i l e n c e . I f yo u a r e a p a s t o r a n d h ave e c o n o m i c c h a l l e n ge s , t a l k t o a t r u s t e d m e m b e r of yo u r c h u r c h a n d s h a r e yo u r b u r d e n s w i t h t h e m . • A p p l y f o r t h e M i n i s t e r i a l E xc e l l e n c e M at c h i n g G r a n t t o h e l p wo r k t h r o u g h yo u r c h a l l e n ge s a n d r e c e i ve d i r e c t a i d . • V i s i t t h e C e n t e r f o r M i n i s t e r i a l E xc e l l e n c e we b s i t e f o r h e l pf u l r e s o u r c e s a n d m o r e t i p s : t e x a s b a p t i s t s . o rg /c m e
I f yo u w o u l d l i ke t o h e l p p a s t o r s m e e t t h e m at c h i n g f u n d s r e q u i r e m e n t , yo u c a n g i ve t o t h e M i n i s t e r i a l E xc e l l e n c e Fu n d by c l i c k i n g o n t h e d o n at i o n l i n k at t e x a s b a p t i s t s . o r g /c m e .
collaboration facilitates community impact BY K ALIE LOWRIE , NE WS DIRECTOR
TEXAS BAPTISTS LIFE
When Blanca Salinas attended a gathering of Baptist partners in San Antonio last February, she made connections that helped expand the reach of her ministry. At the meeting, Salinas, site coordinator for STCH ministries, shared about two programs she coordinates–Jobs for Life and Faith & Finances.
In addition to this collaboration, Biedrzycki also connects with churches to reach upcoming generations, and seeks to find new and innovative ways to reach those who are predominately unchurched and growing up in a post-Christian culture.
“Throughout the 12-week course, we also help equip people spiritually,” said Salinas. “This is a faith-based curriculum that explores people’s faith and spirituality. It speaks to far more than just the practical skills we need to find a job and keep a job.”
One such initiative, entitled Good Neighbor, is a field guide to community engagement. The curriculum takes groups through a three-part journey of guided conversations, immersion experiences and action projects. Through the pilot project in San Antonio, Biedrzycki helped participants see how good conversation about meaningful matters can lead to healthy relationships. Healthy relationships, in turn, can change the world.
Dale Meinecke, another attendee and then-director of Howard Payne University’s New Braunfels campus, was interested in the Jobs for Life program and approached Salinas about future partnership opportunities between the two entities.
In the coming year, she will help facilitate groups around Texas. The desire is for non-Christians to use the guide alongside their Christian neighbors to begin steps toward a relationship with Jesus.
Jobs for Life is a job-readiness ministry that equips individuals to transition from unemployed to employed.
After brainstorming ways to introduce the programs to community leaders in New Braunfels, Meinecke and Salinas decided to host a Breakfast of Champions where Salinas could share more about Jobs for Life. Relationships were formed at the breakfast and Salinas will soon begin teaching Jobs for Life classes at the HPU New Braunfels campus, with the support of the community. Also in the San Antonio area, Salinas coordinates Faith & Finances, a 12-week program that teaches biblical principles for managing finances. At the same February meeting, she was connected with Nick Holguin from Baptist Credit Union, who was interested in ways BCU could partner to serve participants in the courses. BCU has reduced the membership fee for Faith & Finance students, allowing them to open savings accounts. BCU has also committed to personally explaining credit reports for students and will work with participants’ churches through low interest rate loans or incentive programs. All of the collaboration and partnership was made possible through the work of Elizabeth Biedrzycki, South Texas regional coordinator for Texas Baptists. Biedrzycki seeks to collaborate with leaders in and around San Antonio and facilitate partnerships to better serve their communities. “My hope is that through collaborative relationships between Baptist institutions and the local church, more ministry can be done together and communities can flourish in San Antonio and South Texas,” said Biedrzycki.
Tw e n t y y o u n g a d u l t s m e t t o g e t h e r i n D a l l a s t h i s A u g u s t f o r t h e f i r s t Horizon G athering, another ministr y initiative coordinated by Biedr zycki.
Biedrzycki also joined with San Antonio Baptist Association last spring to host a 9-session class on the millennial generation and missiology, alongside Dr. Darrell Horn, Executive Director of SABA. By examining specific generational trends, outward facing facts, and the width and breadth of the emerging generation, attendees gained a better understanding of how to reach this group with the Gospel. The shifts in culture throughout Texas are evident and will continue to broaden. Through giving to the Cooperative Program, Texas Baptists are able to imagine new and different ways to collaborate and continue our long-lasting efforts to share the love of Jesus with those who need to hear. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS WORK OR HOW TO GET INVOLVED, CONTACT ELIZABETH BIEDRZYCKI AT 210.269.9400 OR ELIZABETH.BIEDRZYCKI@TEXASBAPTISTS.ORG.
SPOTLIGHT / COMPELLED BY THE GREAT COMMANDMENT AND THE GREAT COMMISSION
Spotlight: Compelled by the Great Commandment and the Great Commission 16
DISCOVERING THE “WHO” IN GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES The Texas Baptists Great Commission Team equips churches to focus on the "who" of ministry. Read Great Commission Team Associate Director Phil Miller’s article about the impact of training in evangelism, discipleship, and music & worship.
ON THE FRONT LINES OF THE GREAT COMMISSION AT UTA Is your faith your own? On Ashleigh Hood’s journey, she was met with love and compassion through UTA’s Baptist Student Ministry.
ROOM IN OUR HEARTS TO LOVE OUR NEIGHBORS What does it mean to love your neighbor when ambition and eagerness are lacking? Jacob West, pastor of First Baptist Church of Stamford, speaks to pastors and church staff who have no more room, time or heart in their ministries.
TRANSFORMING BRIDGEPORT ONE HAIRCUT AT A TIME Be inspired by the story of Martha Montejano, a hair stylist from Bridgeport, and how she is using her business to transform her community.
EN ESPAÑOL: DESCUBRIENDO EL "QUIÉN" EN IR Y HACER DISCÍPULOS Read the Spanish version of Phil Miller’s guide to the Great Commission Team.
THE “WHO” in go and make disciples B Y P H I L M I L L E R , A S S O C I AT E D I R E C T O R O F T H E G R E AT C O M M I S S I O N T E A M
WHAT DEFINES YOU? For some, it is status or a title – doctor, pastor, or director. People can draw a strong sense of accomplishment from attaining goals that were once only dreams. This can take the form of how much money, how much privilege, how many possessions we have accumulated in life. The bumper sticker really says it all: “Whoever dies with the most toys, wins.” As the Texas Baptists Great Commission Team, our identity is found not in the “what” of ministry, but the “who.” People continually ask the question, “How do you define discipleship?” Even in the Christian realm, we can become sidetracked into verbiage that deals more with accomplishments and accumulation than with relationships. Any time that our best expression of being a disciple contains heavy amounts of “what” and small amounts of “who,” we are off the path we should be traveling on. The Great Commission Team combines the ministries of discipleship, evangelism, and music & worship, responding to any and every request from Texas Baptist churches to assist them in helping their communities to know the “Who” of the Gospel – Jesus Christ.
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Central Baptist Church in Carthage called on the Great Commission Team to help them train the ministers, leaders and teachers in their church. Several churches in the Carthage area came together for a Saturday emphasis, focusing not on what kind of resources the churches used, but on encouraging local church leaders as they embrace their personal role in the Great Commission “teaching them to obey.” There was a great turnout of people of all ages and CBC Carthage expressed a desire for this to become an annual event.
SPOTLIGHT / COMPELLED BY THE GREAT COMMANDMENT AND THE GREAT COMMISSION
Life Church of San Antonio has seen God at work through Pastor Victor Rodriguez and the 4xFour evangelism training that his church received from the Great Commission Team. Pastor Rodriguez and his church leaders began praying in the fall of 2016 and preparing to implement the training they received, and within a matter of months, the church put it into effect. Members of the congregation were asked to identify four people who did not know Christ that God placed on their hearts. They wrote the names on two cards – one for themselves and one to place on the church walls. The members then committed to pray for their four people and invest in their lives, possibly even sharing coffee or a meal. “It was an overall emphasis that the congregation was devoted to from January through April,” Rodriguez said. “I thought it was a good, simple strategy that culminated on Easter Sunday.” That Sunday, the church leased out a nearby school gymnasium to accommodate the 1,000 people in attendance – twice the usual attendance of 500-600. Twenty-three people were baptized that day!
Music & Worship When the Singing Men of Texas traveled to Ukraine recently, their goal was twofold. First, to present inspiring music that would touch the hearts of the people in every city through concerts large and small. And, even more, to share the Gospel message in a clear way through music and preaching.
In nine concerts, they saw a total attendance of more than 13,000 with over 2,000 people signing cards indicating a positive response to the gospel.
As part of the Great Commission Team, our prayer is that we can entice you toward the “who.” Our heart’s desire is that we will be telling His story using opportunities that encompass Discipleship, Evangelism, Music & Worship and more. The real fun of doing what we do is seeing the faces of church leaders light up when the content of what we present goes past the head and lands squarely in the heart. Once you get to experience that in a personal way – as a consultant, teacher, minister, leader – it defines you. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE GREAT COMMISSION TEAM, VISIT TEXASBAPTISTS.ORG/GREATCOMMISSION.
On ThE FrOnT LiNeS Of ThE GrEaT CoMmIsSiOn At UtA B Y K I R S T E N M C K I M M E Y, N E W S W R I T E R
TEXAS BAPTISTS LIFE
SPOTLIGHT / COMPELLED BY THE GREAT COMMANDMENT AND THE GREAT COMMISSION
BEFORE STEPPING ONTO THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT ARLINGTON CAMPUS AS A FRESHMAN, ASHLEIGH HOOD HAD A LACK CONFIDENCE IN HER RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS. Though she had been exposed to the Gospel and attended church semi-regularly, Hood felt her faith had never been her own.
Sugg got to see Hood become heavily involved in the BSM throughout the semester. Hood joined a freshman small group, was actively involved in Bible studies and attended every BSM event. She was a faithful servant, according to Sugg.
“I hadn’t accepted Christ. I had been baptized, but out of a social obligation. There wasn’t any meaning for me behind it,” said Hood.
Throughout the semester, Sugg endured a difficult season. She wrestled with the Lord about whether or not she was making a difference in her job. She had every intention of pursuing a career in business after graduating. Her plans were quickly changed when the opportunity to work at the BSM presented itself.
For a multitude of reasons, including being surrounded by poor influences and feeling like she didn’t fit in with the church crowd, Hood abandoned church altogether by the time she was in high school. However, everything would change as she began her freshman year.
When Sugg met with Hood again in the spring semester, the Lord provided proof that Sugg was making a difference as Hood shared with her about her salvation after their initial meeting. Without even knowing it, the Lord had used Sugg to transform someone’s life.
“I got to orientation at UTA and felt such a strong pull towards joining a Christian fellowship group, and I didn’t know why. Though I was unsure, I decided to go check it out,” said Hood.
“I’ve realized that at least for the time being, I’m getting to accomplish what I really wanted, but I’m doing it a different way. Instead of having a full-time job and reaching out to my coworkers, I’m spending time with college students to disciple them. Then, they graduate and disciple others in the workforce,” said Sugg. “I know that I am making a difference.”
She approached the Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) table, and was instantly met with warmth and kindness. Jaclyn Sugg, a campus missionary for UTA’s BSM, called Hood within the week, asking her to meet one-on-one. The kind gesture showed Hood the love of Christ and after their meeting, Hood was not only certain that she wanted to join the BSM, but that she desired to fully commit her life to Christ. “After we met, I decided to go home and go to church with my dad. I realized there that I hadn’t ever told God that He was what I wanted. So, it was there, at church by myself, that I accepted Christ,” said Hood. When Hood made it back to campus, she didn’t tell many about her new relationship with the Lord, but she jumped into involvement with the BSM. Sugg remembers her first meeting with Hood, as well. As a campus missionary, Sugg meets with new students interested in being a part of the BSM. In response to many incoming students being overwhelmed by everything new happening, Sugg said that the BSM staff desires to have intentional one-on-one time with new students to personally hear their stories. “I remember talking to Ashleigh and thinking that she was already a believer. We talked about the importance of Christian fellowship during college and how she needed a spiritual family. I told her we would be there for her during the hard times and the good times, and help her be the person God wanted her to be,” said Sugg.
Currently, Hood is a sophomore working toward her degree in architecture. She is serving on the leadership team with the BSM, leads a sophomore off-campus Bible study, and helps with Noonday, a free lunch the BSM provides to students every Wednesday during the school year. This past summer, she helped Sugg conduct and delegate over 350 one-on-one meetings with new students. “The thing that led Ashleigh to Christ, she’s now in charge of and has helped hundreds of other students personally connect with the BSM,” said Sugg. “We love being on the front lines of the Great Commission,” said UTA BSM Director Gary Stidham. “We love being in a place where light is obvious among darkness. Openness to the Gospel among unchurched students here is remarkable – they really want to know about Jesus.” Last year, UTA’s BSM saw 67 students make professions of faith. On the first day of classes this fall, two students came to know Christ. With the 90 students leaders like Hood and Sugg, transformation will continue on this campus. TO GIVE TO SUPPORT THE MINISTRY OF TEXAS BSMS, GO TO TEXASBAPTISTS.ORG/COLLEGIATE.
THE GREAT COMMISSION Then Jesus came to them and said, â€œAll authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.â€?
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THE GREAT COMMANDMENT Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Matthew 22:37-40 NOVEMBER 2017
room in our hearts to love our neighbors B Y J A C O B W E S T, PA S T O R O F F I R S T B A P T I S T C H U R C H O F S TA M F O R D
ABOUT TO RUPTURE Every summer my family heads to the beach for a week to relax and recharge. The waves provide never-ending delight for our children. Smiles stretch across their tanned faces throughout our time together. Before leaving this past summer, I took our aged GMC Yukon in for an inspection. Once it passed, the West family was on its way. The trip went routinely. I knew the way. Along the route, we stopped at a gas station and I began to fill the tank. As I finished cleaning the windows, the pump shut off, but something was wrong. Unbeknownst to me, the top of the Yukon’s tank ruptured and gasoline began to spew out, creating a dangerous situation. A gas tank has a pressure release valve and a pressure sensor. When the pressure sensor senses too much pressure, the valve releases that pressure. A clogged valve means the pressure cannot release, and a rupture will soon follow. Does your ministry feel like a clogged fuel tank about to rupture? You have no more room, no more time, and no more heart? RUNNING OUT OF TIME This is the oft-told story of a pastor or church staff member. God calls a person to the ministry and he or she is ambitious and eager. As the minister takes the first steps along God’s call, dates and times become important. He or she senses pressure to comply with every commitment. After all, forgotten dates and forgotten times translate to missed ministry opportunities and diminished trust. John Claypool wrote in Mending the Heart, “Someone has said that all grief comes back to this: we run out of time.” A full calendar requires energy, creativity and love. Responding to the needs of ministry requires a great depth of energy. The needs of ministry are not the only needs before the pastor or staff member. Family and personal life add to the mix, too. To give adequate attention to major needs – while combining the family calendar, the personal calendar, and the ministry calendar – requires creativity. Energy and creativity need direction, and it is love that points creativity and energy in the right direction. LOVE Paul in 1 Corinthians 13 presented a relational triangle to describe how to walk with God. A follower of Christ can start at faith, but then he or she moves around the triangle to hope and love. A Christian starts at hope, but also moves around the
triangle to love and faith. Relating to God’s way requires all three, but Paul clearly said that love rose above faith and hope. A minister can possess faith and hope, but if love is missing, everything is missing. Organizing our response to God’s call takes on a parallel track. We can muster vast energy and creativity, but without love we are a clanging cymbal and noisy gong. As we think about love more fully, let’s turn to Matthew’s story. In his Gospel, Matthew introduced some notorious cymbals and gongs known as the Pharisees. The Pharisees sought to trick Jesus with questions, but His timeless response outlined the vision for those wanting to abide with God and live out His commandments. Jesus simplified the commandments down to two. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Jesus then gave a second commandment saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” DON’T LOSE HEART The commandments are not impossible, but the vision to love God and neighbor is daunting. If we try to determine which of the two commandments poses the greater challenge, let’s consider how loving our neighbor is perhaps the most challenging in terms of our daily life. To love God, we approach a Trinitarian being with no glaring need. God is not hungry, thirsty, lonely, naked or in prison. Meanwhile, our neighbor has a pile of needs taller than a laundry hamper. He or she may experience racial unrest, political gridlock, job loss and cancer, along with hunger, thirst, loneliness, poverty and imprisonment. When we bump up against that pile of needs, it collides with a ministerial heart that has no more room. Recall that Claypool said grief may also exist because we have no more time and no more room in our hearts to give. If this is you, as it has been me, let us pray what we read in Hebrews, “For consider Him (Jesus) who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:3 (NASB) Let us pray that we would not lose heart as we seek to love our neighbor. WEST CURRENTLY SERVES AS PASTOR OF FBC STAMFORD AND AS THE CHAIR OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE COMMISSION. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CLC, VISIT TEXASBAPTISTS.ORG/CLC.
Bridgeport one haircut at a time BY KIR STEN MCKIMME Y , NE WS WRITER
Located west of Decatur, Bridgeport is a town of 6,500 people. Though it’s small in size, residents like Martha Montejano are working to make a significant difference. Montejano’s past was marked with difficulties. However, through the Lord’s redemption in her own life, Montejano has allowed her love for Christ and deep understanding of what it’s like to grow up lacking to drive her to be a light in her community. Ten years ago, as Montejano was going about her normal routine at her hair salon, The Hair Shop, Berniece Landers walked in for her first appointment. She sat down in Montejano’s chair and shared about Pleasant View Baptist Church, where she served as secretary. After multiple haircuts and conversations, Montejano finally decided to visit. Upon her first visit to the church, Montejano wept and sensed a strong call from the Lord. Without question, she became a member in the following weeks. Soon after, Montejano began faithfully asking the Lord a simple question – one that would change the lives of many. “God, what I can do to give back to the community?” she asked. One morning, she turned on the news to see a school district in the Metroplex offering free haircuts for students preparing for the new school year. Her prayer had been answered more clearly than she could have imagined. As the owner of a local salon, Montejano knew she had the means and resources to offer children in her community a free back-to-school haircut. She decided to prepare her shop for the one-day event, and many of her employees volunteered their time to help. A few companies in the city even donated backpacks for the children. That first year, there were over 100 people lined up around her building. Every year since, the event has grown little by little. After five years of housing it at the salon, Pleasant View Baptist Church offered Montejano the opportunity to move the event into the church, where even more supplies could be gathered for the growing number of families attending. For this to work, Montejano brought all of her chairs, mirrors, extension cords and supplies from the salon to the church, and church members signed up to volunteer their time.
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SPOTLIGHT / COMPELLED BY THE GREAT COMMANDMENT AND THE GREAT COMMISSION
“I like that the whole church gets involved. We have senior citizens that come and serve, whether that’s sweeping hair or helping with the line. No matter what they’re doing, they feel like it’s an awesome experience,” said Montejano. Church members also donate backpacks, school supplies and shoes for the children. The small membership church, which averages about 160 on a Sunday morning, has a big impact on their community through this annual event. “It’s grown every year and you see a greater need every year. If it wouldn’t have been for this ministry Martha began, their kids wouldn’t have had school supplies for the year,” said Pastor Gary Demmitt of Pleasant View Baptist Church. The church uses this event as an opportunity to meet physical needs in the community, but also to share the Gospel and provide spiritual needs. “We share the Gospel with everyone that’s in line. In fact, multiple people from the back-to-school drive were baptized and now go to the church. People are seeing what we are doing for the community and like what they see. They like our hearts and want more of that,” she said. And the ministry does not stop on that day each year. “Martha has a continued ministry with many of these families in her hair shop. She sees them on a regular basis and pours into them. She has a big heart and is serving the Lord in every possible way she can,” Demmitt said. This year was the ninth year of the event, and with the largest turnout yet – serving 400 families. Of those in attendance, 350 families were supplied with backpacks for their children and 300 children received free shoes for the new school year. Nearly 30 church members, along with Bridgeport community police, Primera Iglesia Bautista of Bridgeport, Emmanuel Baptist Church and Amigos of Wise County, volunteered. “We’re all disciples, we’re all fishermen and we’re all here to serve. We all have people to reach. So every week I prayed ‘What can I do for you this week? Let me have your eyes so I can know what You have to see for me,’ ” Montejano said. By partnering with her church through local ministry, Montejano’s Gospel-centered perspective has led to the ongoing transformation of the Bridgeport community.
We’re all disciples, we’re all fishermen and we’re all here to serve. We all have people to reach.
Descubriendo EL “QUIEN”
en ir y haceR discípulos B Y P H I L M I L L E R , A S S O C I AT E D I R E C T O R O F T H E G R E AT C O M M I S S I O N T E A M
¿QUÉ LE DEFINE? Para algunas personas es una posición o un título—doctor, pastor, o director. Las personas reciben un fuerte sentido de satisfacción al alcanzar metas que una vez eran sueños solamente. Esto puede expresarse en términos de cuánto dinero, cuánto privilegio, cuántas posesiones hayamos acumulado en la vida. Hay un refrán que lo expresa bien—“El que muere con la mayor cantidad de juguetes, gana.” Como Equipo Gran Comisión de los Bautistas de Texas, nuestra identidad no se encuentra en el “qué” del ministerio, sino en el “quién”. Las personas constantemente preguntan: “¿Cómo se define el discipulado?” Aun en el ámbito cristiano, podemos distraernos con palabrerías que tratan más con logros y acumulación que con relaciones. Cada vez que nuestra mejor expresión de ser discípulos contiene grandes cantidades de “qué” y pocas cantidades de “quién,” nos hemos descarriado del camino por el que debiéramos estar transitando. El Equipo Gran Comisión combina los ministerios de discipulado, evangelismo, y música y adoración, en respuesta a toda solicitud de iglesias Bautistas de Texas para ayudarles en sus comunidades a conocer el quién del Evangelio—Jesucristo.
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La Iglesia Central Baptist en Carthage pidió ayuda al Equipo Gran Comisión para entrenar a sus ministros, líderes y maestros. Varias iglesias en el área de Carthage se reunieron un sábado para un énfasis, no en los diferentes recursos que las iglesias usan, sino para exhortar a los líderes de la iglesia local a abrazar su rol personal en la Gran Comisión a “enseñarles a obedecer.” Hubo una gran respuesta de personas de todas las edades y la Iglesia Central Baptist de Carthage expresó un deseo de que éste se convirtiera en un evento anual.
SPOTLIGHT / COMPELLED BY THE GREAT COMMANDMENT AND THE GREAT COMMISSION
La iglesia Life Church en San Antonio ha visto a Dios obrar a través del Pastor Víctor Rodríguez y el entrenamiento de 4xCuatro que su iglesia recibió del Equipo Gran Comisión. El Pastor Rodríguez y los líderes de su iglesia comenzaron a orar en el otoño del 2016 y a prepararse para implementar el entrenamiento que recibieron, y dentro de unos meses, la iglesia lo puso en acción. Los miembros de la congregación identificaron a cuatro personas que no conocían a Cristo que Dios había puesto en sus corazones. Ellos escribieron los nombres en dos tarjetas—una para ellos y una para colocar en las paredes de la iglesia. Los miembros entonces se comprometieron a orar por esas personas e invertir sus vidas, posiblemente compartiendo una taza de café o una comida. “Fue un énfasis general al cual la iglesia se dedicó desde enero a abril”, dijo Rodríguez. “Pensé que era una estrategia buena y simple que culminó el Domingo de Resurrección.” Ese domingo, la iglesia alquiló el gimnasio de una escuela cercana para acomodar las mil personas en asistencia—el doble de la asistencia actual de 500-600 personas. ¡Veintitrés personas se bautizaron aquel día!
Musica y Adoracion Cuando los Singing Men of Texas (Hombres cantores de Texas) viajaron a Ucrania recientemente, su meta era doble. Presentar música inspiradora que tocara los corazones de las personas en cada ciudad a través de conciertos grandes y pequeños. Pero, aun más, compartir el mensaje del Evangelio de una manera clara a través de la música y la predicación. En nueve conciertos, tuvieron una asistencia total de más de 13,000 personas y sobre 2,000 firmaron tarjetas indicando una respuesta positiva al Evangelio.
Como parte del Equipo Gran Comisión, nuestra oración es que le atraigamos al “quién”. El deseo de nuestro corazón es que compartamos Su historia usando oportunidades que abarcan Discipulado, Evangelismo, Música y Adoración, y más. Lo divertido de hacer lo que hacemos es el ver los rostros de los líderes de las iglesias iluminarse cuando el contenido de lo que presentamos pasa de sus mentes y se arraiga en sus corazones. Una vez usted lo experimenta de una manera personal—como consultante, maestro, ministro, líder- eso le define. “Por tanto, id, y haced discípulos a todas las naciones, bautizándolos en el nombre del Padre, y del Hijo, y del Espíritu Santo; enseñándoles que guarden todas las cosas que os he mandado; y he aquí yo estoy con vosotros todos los días, hasta el fin del mundo.” Mateo 28:19-20 PARA APRENDER MÁS ACERCA DEL EQUIPO GRAN COMISIÓN, VISITE TEXASBAPTISTS.ORG/GREATCOMMISSION.
FAMILIES IN TIMES OF NEED B Y V I C K I H E W I T T, S T C H M I N I S T R I E S
When a single mom and her children first arrive at Homes for Families, a program of STCH Ministries, desperation often accompanies them. Dreams of a better life have worn thin from years of crises, trauma and anxiety. Yet the moment they choose to reach out for help rather than continue to go it alone, a shift begins to take place. For most of the moms, the motivation to give up their chaotic, familiar world for something unfamiliar comes from their desire to give their children a different, better life. Current resident Amanda, a mother of four, shared that she came from a situation of abuse and domestic violence, and did not want her kids to have to go through what she did. These fears led her to try to control everything her children did in order to protect them. “I was a drill sergeant,” Amanda admitted, “but I know I have to trust God because it is out of my control. I am now learning to love and discipline at the same time, giving them choices and options.” Another resident, Ashley, initially decided the program was not for her when she visited Homes for Families at the suggestion of a couple from church. “I didn’t want to give up my independence,” Ashley explained, “but I realized it was the best thing for my kids. I was working 70 hours a week trying to give them a better life, but they never got to spend time with me.” STCH Ministries created Homes for Families at Marshall Ranch in Goliad, Texas, to help single mothers and their
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children stay together rather than being separated during times of crisis. “The relationships our families have experienced are so incredibly fractured,” said Theresa Klacman, Homes for Families program coordinator. “They have hurts, betrayal, trust and abandonment issues. They come to us very raw emotionally. We start by providing them a safe place to make mistakes, in a nurturing and loving home setting. And we give them structure, consistency and clear expectations.” Klacman emphasized that special Bible study time is provided throughout all phases of the program to help the women develop a closer, more intimate relationship with God. “As they get into the daily structure of the program, learning about God and self-awareness, they realize the importance of forgiveness and how their choices correlate with their life experiences,” she said. Klacman added that when the women begin to understand how much God loves them and how He sees them as His children, they begin to change how they treat themselves and others. Victoria, a mother of four, graduated from Homes for Families and now serves there as an intern. Victoria had been bulimic since the age of 14. “I hated myself. I would constantly cut myself. I never had anyone offer to pray with me before coming here. Now I know that I am more than a conqueror. We are perfect in His eyes,” Victoria said. Brenda Whitfield, director of Homes for Families, loves seeing the transformations taking place each day. One of the biggest successes she has witnessed is with Echo and her five children.
I AM LEARNING TO CONNECT WITH MY CHILDREN EMOTIONALLY AND FIND NEW WAYS TO HELP THEM.
Echo’s oldest boys lived at STCH Ministries Home for Children for a while and their behavior was challenging, Whitfield said. When the boys were able to reunite with their mom at Homes for Families, things gradually began to change. She attributed her children’s improved behavior to the parenting classes and resources offered, as well as the one-on-one parenting guidance from the resident coordinators. Ashley also loves seeing how her children have changed. “My kids used to be quiet and shy and always wanted to be by me,” she said. “It's hard to explain, but now they have blossomed.” Many who have come to know and love Ashley would say the same about her. Ashley celebrated her graduation from Homes for Families this past summer and signed a lease for her own apartment in Victoria, Texas. She works part-time, is in her third semester at Victoria College, and her children Kylee (age five) and Kyle (age four) are enrolled in their new schools.
FOUNDED : LOCATION :
1952 Beeville, TX Marshall Ranch Campus in Goliad, TX Other ministries in Corpus Christi, Victoria, San Antonio, Houston, and surrounding areas and international ministry in the Dominican Republic
INDIVIDUALS SERVED IN 2016
Whitfield recently delivered a sofa to Ashley’s new apartment and recalls the glow of excitement and humble confidence Ashley exuded.
“She had a huge grin on her face as she asked us to come in and look at her place,” Whitfield said. “And I thought of the day the lady from Ashley’s church first dropped her off at Homes for Families and said, ‘I sure hope she stays.’”
HOMES FOR CHILDREN
“I would never be where I am if I had not come to [Homes for Families],” Ashley said. “Everything changed when I realized that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. What impacted me most was letting go and trusting God. I know now that I don't need to worry or fear because God is in control, and His plans are better than our own. Right now I am doing my prerequisites for nursing to become an RN and will see where God leads me. You never know, I might just go all the way and become a doctor. In everything I do, I want God first in my life.”
MINISTRIES HOMES FOR FAMILIES FAMILY COUNSELING INTERNATIONAL MINISTRY JOBS FOR LIFE FAITH & FINANCES PASTOR CARE MINISTRY CONSULTING
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WHO WE ARE & WHAT WE DO For more than 130 years, the Baptist General Convention of Texas (Texas Baptists) 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 teams that inform and inspire churches through events, resources, consultations and more.
GREAT COMMISSION TEAM Evangelism Discipleship Music & Worship
Multi-Housing & House Congregations Church Starting Urban Missions River Ministry & Mexico Missions MAP BOUNCE
CHRISTIAN LIFE COMMISSION Ethics & Justice Public Policy Community Care Hunger Offering
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/affiliate, and learn more about the Texas Baptists Cooperative Program at texasbaptists.org/cp.
COLLEGIATE MINISTRY TEAM Baptist Student Ministries Church College Ministry Go Now Missions
Counseling Services Area Representatives Minister Connection Interim Services Camps
Bivocational Pastors Western Heritage Center for Ministerial Excellence
CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT TEAM African American Ministries Hispanic Ministries Hispanic Education Initiative Intercultural Ministries Project: Start Associations
In addition, we proudly partner with 28 education, advocacy and human care institutions around Texas.
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