Sporting goods giant Wilson has acquired the iconic Louisville Slugger baseball brand for $70 million cash. What does this have to do with the Convention and its churches? Quite possibly everything. Here's how.
The Louisville Slugger brand was established after Bud Hillerich made a bat for Pete Browning, star of the Louisville Eclipse, back in 1884. Bud identified a need, developed a quality product ball players liked, and a successful business was born.
But, after decades of popularity the market changed. Youth and college sports became astonishingly more popular, their players began using metal instead of wooden bats, other bat makers crowded the market and Louisville Slugger fell from prominence.
Around the same time Bud made that first bat, another group of folks got together to identify a need and develop a solution. Baptists, not ball players, decided that work in the state could be strengthened if the statewide bodies would unite. A special committee comprised of members from each group agreed to form a new consolidated body, and the Convention was born.
Texas Baptists, like the Louisville Slugger brand, has enjoyed decades of meaningful work, though in the areas of evangelism, missions, education and social ministries. But as times change so does the marketplace, and the Convention and its churches must continue to evolve to retain a position of prominence. Unlike the bat brand, we must understand the current market, our place in it, and be ready to adapt.
This most recent reset is our best effort to acknowledge that fact. Moving forward, we must be poised to respond to emerging needs.
One way we're doing this is by listening to you. If you or your church is (or is interested in) affiliating with the Convention, you can expect a visit from us. We are going to be more intentional about keeping in touch with every church to ensure we're aware of your unique needs and working to provide the best help possible. Connect with your area representative here.
A second way we're doing this is through the addition of a South Texas Regional Coordinator who will work alongside the many Baptists churches and intuitions in and around the San Antonio area to maximize efforts and find new ways to reach the community there. If this position is successful, and we certainly expect it to be, we'll look to start others like it elsewhere around the state. Connect with this coordinator here.
Third, we're partnering with Shannon Hopkins and Matryoshka Haus, a U.K.-based agency that designs creative solutions for social change. Through this partnership Texas Baptists will have the opportunity to participate in interactive workshops, immersion trips and learning communities hosted by one of the foremost experts on new ministry in a post-Christian context. Learn more about Matryoshka Haus offerings here.
We know Texas is changing, and we're committed to creating an environment in which we can change along with it as we seek out new ways to help your church, and do things collaboratively that a single church can't on its own. If you or your church has tips on how we might innovate, please share them in the comments below, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
It's a new season. Let's play ball!