DALLAS - During their Feb. 25 meeting, the Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board voted to adopt Engage24, challenging every Texas Baptist to share the gospel with at least one person on Oct. 14, 2014. This day of intentional evangelism will be held in conjunction with a National Collegiate Ministry initiative to share Christ on campuses across North America
"This is a chance for us as, Texas Baptists, to show the power of 24 hours," said Nathan Buchanan, a member of the Baptist Student Ministries committee and pastor of First Baptist Church Mineral Wells.
This conjoint resolution was brought before the board by the Baptist Student Ministries and Evangelism Committees, with both groups emphasizing the importance of empowering Christians to spread the gospel.
"Every single one of our churches can be impacted by this," said Greg Wallace, chair of the evangelism committee and senior pastor of Woodridge Baptist Church in Kingwood. "Go back and start making plans now. Take this model and work it to what fits your church, in your community. Everything that we do as Texas Baptists should to point to evangelism. We are about reaching people for Jesus Christ."
During Monday evening's address, Executive Director David Hardage expressed a desire for the convention to be consistent with the changing face of Texas.
"This state into which I was born is not the state I live in today," Hardage said. "Maybe a year from now, maybe less, I will be coming to you with what we may look like in the future. I have yet to talk to a pastor who hasn't said, 'Let's do something' - something different, bigger, better; something that really impacts this state with the gospel. I don't think we can do that looking like we do now."
Jeff Johnson, Texas Baptist president, also shared a passion to spread the gospel during the meeting.
"We need to do whatever it takes to not only reach our state for Christ but to impact the world," he shared. " We need to do what needs to be done, to say what we need to say, to keep us on task to be who we need to be. We are reaching forward with the high cost in mind."
On Tuesday, Executive Board members heard about Texas Baptist Disaster Recovery work in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan. Following a report by Ernest Dagohoy, first vice chair, seven board members pledged support from their churches to help rebuild pastors' homes in the Philippines. This completed the commitment Texas Baptists made to rebuild a total of 15 homes in the area badly damaged by the storm. By partnering with these pastors and helping rebuild, they can continue to spread the gospel throughout the Philippines.
The board also approved the use of income from the Charles R. Moore Foundation to fund interns to serve at the BGCT from either Logsdon Seminary or Truett Seminary.
The building of a new residence hall for Valley Baptist Missions Education Center was approved. Additionally, a recommendation by the administration committee to amend an IT and Service Usage policy for Texas Baptist employees was approved.
A time of prayer and commissioning, led by Executive Director David Hardage, was also held for Dr. Gus Reyes, newly appointed director of the Christian Life Commission.
With intentional focus on evangelism and spreading the gospel through a variety of ways, the Executive Board continues to empower Texas Baptists in work for the kingdom of God.