lauren sturdy


Strobel encourages Texas Baptists to ‘Make people thirst for God’


Lee Strobel invited Texas Baptists to “live on the evangelistic edge,” where ordinary days can take extraordinary twists as we allow God to ambush us with opportunities to share our faith, on Nov. 15 at Texas Baptists’ Annual Meeting in Waco.

Strobel, a teaching pastor at Woodlands Church in Houston and professor of Christian Thought at Houston Baptist University, preached during the Tuesday morning worship session on the passage from the Sermon on the Mount in which Jesus calls Christians to be the salt of the earth and... [continue]

Churches seeking revitalization must embrace change


Phil Miller, associate director of the Texas Baptists Great Commission Team focused on the importance of prayer, symptoms of an unhealthy church, and the process the church revitalization team leads its churches through during a church revitalization workshop on Tuesday afternoon at the 2016 Annual Meeting.

Miller started by emphasizing that prayer is foundational to any church revitalization effort.

“You can go through all the steps a book tells you to do -- and there are tons of books out there on church revitalization -- but it’s... [continue]

Cleophus LaRue to Texas Baptists: ‘Get out there and tell it!’


When the world recognizes the golden arches of McDonald’s more readily than the Christian cross, we have some work to do, Cleophus LaRue said on the Monday of Texas Baptists’ Annual Meeting in Waco.

He preached during the evening worship session that the story of the Gospel is for everyone. It is our job to get out there and tell it.

LaRue based his sermon on Acts 17:16-21, where Paul is found struggling to spread the Gospel message in Athens, a proud city widely considered to be the cultural and intellectual capital of the... [continue]

TBMF honors individuals and church for excellence in missions


Texas Baptist Missions Foundation (TBMF) presented its annual Adventurer, Innovator and Pioneer Awards during a Monday luncheon at Texas Baptists Annual Meeting, held at the Baylor Club in McLane Stadium.

John LaNoue presented First Baptist Church of Kilgore member Charles Whiteside with the Adventurer Award, which honors an individual or organization who has advanced missions through outstanding financial support or leadership in ministry opportunities.

LaNoue remarked how Whiteside has always worked hard and... [continue]

Asking the wrong question: ‘What can I get?’ vs. ‘How can I serve?’


The last will be first and the first will be last in Jesus’ topsy-turvy kingdom, according to Dr. Todd Still, dean of George W. Truett Theological Seminary.

Still lectured on Mark 10:35-45, the primary New Testament text containing Jesus’ teaching on service, in his Monday morning workshop session at the Texas Baptists Annual Meeting.

This passage finds James and John making a shockingly bold request of Jesus; they ask to sit at His right and left hands in glory.

Headed on the road from Jericho to Jerusalem, it seemed to... [continue]

African American Fellowship rally emphasizes foundation of faith


WACO—Churches that forget the importance of discipleship have committed “the great omission,” said Dr. Delvin Atchison, director of the Texas Baptists Great Commission Team.

Atchison preached Sunday night at the African American Fellowship worship rally, one of four rallies that took place throughout Waco to kick off the 2016 Texas Baptists Annual Meeting.

“Until a person knows who Jesus is, they can never share Him with anyone else,” Atchison said. “So I want to suggest to you that it is essential that the Church... [continue]

Missions update showcases wide range of Texas Baptists partnerships


The Tuesday afternoon worship session at the Texas Baptists Annual Meeting featured a broad update on many of the missions efforts the convention has identified as priorities.

Without the generosity of convention churches, none of these projects would be possible. without the generosity of convention churches, the first order of business was expressing gratitude, saying thanks and recognizing the generosity and selfless giving evident across the state.

Chris Liebrum, director of the Office of Cooperative Program... [continue]

When words are not enough


"Do this in remembrance of me." These words of Christ reverberate in the ears of His followers.

He commands action. When words are not enough and language reaches its limit, Christians enter into Christ's suffering and death through the symbolism of the Lord's Supper.

On Monday night, Texas Baptists gathered to take, eat and remember Jesus Christ, while Joel Gregory and Ralph West's powerful preaching on the Lord's Supper invited all to reflect on the times "when words are not enough."

"[The Lord's Supper] is not just a mental exercise in intellectual dexterity,"... [continue]

​Advocacy for 'the least of these' as evangelism


You're standing on a riverbank looking up at a roaring waterfall. You watch as person after person washes over the edge and plunges 100 feet into the water. They're drowning. You can pull them out and try to save them one at a time, or you can climb to the top and figure out why people are falling over the waterfall in the first place.

This hike to the top — searching for the cause and striving for change — is a good analogy for advocacy, said Kathryn Freeman, director of public policy for the Christian Life Commission.

"Advocacy is... [continue]

​Evangelism efforts produce good fruit in Texas


Though he's new to his role in the convention, Great Commission Team Director Delvin Atchison already has big dreams for what Texas Baptists can accomplish in our state and beyond.

During Monday's evangelism luncheon at Annual Meeting, Atchison preached on "dreaming in league with God" and the story of Joseph in Genesis 37.

"We're committed to changing the world through Texas," he said. "If we're going to dream in league with God, we must seek our dreams from the divine. The text says Joseph dreamed a dream that God gave him. God is... [continue]

Hispanic Baptists rally around Baptist Distinctives


Hispanic Baptists gathered Sunday night at a rally, which marked the end of the Hispanic leadership conference and the beginning of the broader Texas Baptists Annual Meeting.

"This year's focus is the Baptist distinctives; we're emphasizing who we are as Baptists and what makes us unique," said Rolando Rodriguez, director of Hispanic Ministries for Texas Baptists. "And our distinctives are not only what make us unique – they make us strong biblically, spiritually and as a denomination."

Between worship music sets, the evening's... [continue]

​Leaders of state child and family ministries invite Texas Baptists to join the Jesus Agenda


By: Lauren Hollon Sturdy

During his time on Earth Jesus healed the sick, brought hope to the hopeless, touched the untouchables, dined with lowlifes and forgave prostitutes. The marginalized and oppressed members of society were always on His agenda.

Today, "The Jesus Agenda" is an international effort to raise awareness of God's heart for the poor and how He wants His followers to seek justice for the oppressed.

Three leaders from Texas nonprofits serving vulnerable children and... [continue]

Christian Life Commission teaches Texas Baptists to model Christ through advocacy


Kathryn Freeman taught a packed room about the steps to becoming an advocate this afternoon at her workshop, "It's Our Government: We Can Make a Difference."

Freeman, the director of public policy at the Christian Life Commission (CLC), emphasized advocacy takes many forms and isn't always tied to the government. Advocacy can look like membership in the local PTA or mission work.

She said the Christian Life Commission recommends "starting with missions," when individuals are trying to decide,... [continue]

​Texas Baptists urged to fight sin, live like Christ


Texas Baptists gathered Monday morning to worship and celebrate the first day of the Texas Baptists Annual Meeting in Waco.

The David Chapel Missionary Baptist Church choir gave a passionate performance of "How Great is our God" and "For the Rest of My Life." Their music was bookended by Bruce Kuhn's expressive recitation of Bible passages as he brought the text alive with his commanding stage presence and the voices he created for his characters.

Joseph Parker Jr., pastor of David Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Austin,... [continue]

Hispanic Baptists Rally Inspires Attendees to “Live the Difference”


On a bitter cold November night, Hispanic Baptists exchanged warm greetings and friendly handshakes in the Paul W. Powell Chapel at Truett Seminary for their annual rally, which kicked off the Texas Baptists Annual Meeting on Nov. 16.

Church planting consultant and evangelist Roland Lopez preached from Acts 8:26-35 and used Philip the disciple as a model of what it means to "live the difference."

Lopez said Philip exemplifies a follower of Christ who lives the difference in three ways.

First, he was... [continue]