Gospel Focused Free Lunch
by Guest Author on October 29, 2013 in feature
Some days serving at the University of North Texas are just plain hard. UNT is very different, in comparison to the college I attended. Most students do not care about God or want to engage in spiritual conversations. This is not because they don't see the reason for believing in God, but because they really just don't care. I am learning that when you make the conversation about meeting their needs and hearing about their lives, the Holy Spirit moves.
Each week the Baptist Student Ministry serves free lunch on Wednesdays at noon. A different church provides each meal and help serves hundreds of students on campus. I see new faces...
Business Leadership Principles Translate into the Ministry
by Kalie Lowrie on October 28, 2013 in feature
ARLINGTON - Leadership principles from the business world can be translated to ministry principles as youth ministers across Texas learned during Leadership Tuesday at Youth Ministry Conclave. Colleen Barrett, president emeritus of Southwest Airlines, addressed attendees in an interview on Tues., Oct. 15, at the Arlington Convention Center, providing leadership strategies she learned through her time at the successful Dallas-based airline. The number one customer at Southwest Airlines is the employee, followed by the client and then the shareholder, according to Barrett. By caring for employees' needs first and making them...
Survivors Struggle on in Japan
by Jaclyn Young on October 28, 2013 in uncategorized
For most of the world, the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit Japan in March 2011 is old news. Explosions, tornadoes, hurricanes, wars, and rumors of wars have shuffled Japan's troubles further and further behind the proverbial front page. But, for many victims, the disaster that stole their homes and neighborhoods is anything but a harmless memory. This fall, a retired International Mission Board (IMB) missionary to Japan named Sherwood Moffett led a team of Texas Baptist volunteers to Japan. Working in close conjunction with local IMB missionaries, they visited several Temporary Housing Communities established and run...
DBU Students Respond to The Calling Conference
by Guest Author on October 23, 2013 in feature
Dallas, TX - Nearly 400 DBU students gathered together for The Calling Conference, an event geared to help college students discern their calling to ministry and determine the next steps for them to take along that journey. Sponsored by Texas Baptists and coordinated by Dr. Bill Tillman, director of the Theological Education Division of the BGCT , the meeting brought together seasoned ministry professionals to share with the students knowledge and insight gained from years of ministerial work within local churches, college campuses, and denominational bodies.
The event began with a special chapel service held for students involved...
Youth ministry: A calling well worth it
by John Hall on October 23, 2013 in great commission
ARLINGTON - Youth ministry isn't easy. It requires long hours, unending energy, incredible patience and deep commitment.
That's precisely why it requires a calling from God. No matter the trials those who minister to youth face, they must continue, said speakers during Texas Baptists' Conclave, made possible by gifts to missions through the Texas Baptist Cooperative Program.
"Our business is kingdom business, and our gaze should always point true north," said Mike Satterfield, teaching pastor of Fielder Road Baptist Church in Arlington.
As youth ministers interact with young people, their parents and church leaders, there will be...
A Heart for Christ
by Guest Author on October 23, 2013 in great commission
The kids in the feeding program I work with have been selected from families most in need. They burst through the classroom doors each day with so much energy and excitement. It does not matter how the weather is; they are always here. Seeing the kids, and their involvement in my classroom, makes my heart sing with joy! Though at times I feel drained and nearly lose my voice, I feel satisfied knowing God is using me.
The kids in the program come with an empty stomach. If it were not for this program, many of them would not eat. Either their parents work too much, and are never home, and/or there is not much to eat. While the kids...
Let Our Lives Burn for You
by Guest Author on October 23, 2013 in great commission
This past Sunday, after church, the pastor brought a small grill he wanted to use. He had never grilled in his life, and I had never started a fire in my life. This was a new experience for all of us. Using coal, wood, and cardboard, we tried to start the fire. The material would burn fast, but the coal would not light. It was embarrassing how long we took to finally get the coal burning. Once we got it burning, it continued to burn. This got me thinking about the church members.
I see members come to every service, but it is always the same people. I see no growth or true communion between the members, and no one wanting to step up...
Students to help communities 'Bounce' back after disasters
by John Hall on October 18, 2013 in great commandment
DALLAS - Texas Baptists are turning to students to help communities "bounce" back after disasters.
This fall, the convention is launching Bounce, a pre-packaged missions experience through which students minister in the wake of disasters. Bounce makes taking youth teams on mission easy, working out logistics for leaders such as where a group will stay, what they will eat and what they will do on mission.
Students will serve communities through debris removal and cleanup, construction and other ministry projects that will accelerate the bounce back recovery process.
"A lot of folks have a sense of hopelessness after disasters," said...
by Kalie Lowrie on October 16, 2013 in news
WACO - The resurrection of Christ continues to reverberate throughout inner city communities across the nation, according to presenters at the No Need Among You Conference.
"We are part of a beautiful movement committed to making God's love manifest," said Shane Claiborne, who ministers in Philadelphia. "Resurrection wasn't just an event that happened 2,000 years ago; it is something we participate in every day. Now we can live in the confidence that life is more powerful than death."
The author and founding member of The Simple Way said God has revitalized the area in which he lives as believers have reached out to their neighbors...
God is Not Limited
by Guest Author on October 15, 2013 in great commandment
There are three things you might notice when driving into Crawford, Texas. Perhaps you'll notice the billboard featuring George and Laura Bush, our most famous property owners. Perhaps you'll notice the welcome sign from First Baptist Church, or perhaps you'll notice the city limit sign, which reads, "Pop. 717."
The Crawford community sits about 20 miles west of Waco. Yet, Crawford does not share the big city features of its larger neighbor. Crawford has one post office, one blinking light, one restaurant, and one high school. You get the idea.
Yet, First Baptist Church is a unique blend of business owners, stay-at-home moms...
Life is so good
by Guest Author on October 10, 2013 in great commission
Truthfully, I do not know how else to describe the change that has taken place in my life. Through it all, God has still been faithful. I have recently moved to Denton, Texas to serve as the Campus Missionary at the University of North Texas. I have been blown away by how blunt people are in Denton, how exhausting campus ministry is, and how God works all things together for his good.
That last one blows my mind. God is truly blessing my ministry right now. He is literally bringing people to my feet.
My first couple of weeks in Denton were really slow. I was transitioning and getting the hang of things. Most students were not back...
A world away, a single bag in hand
by John Hall on October 9, 2013 in great commandment
DALLAS - The world is coming to Texas, landing at the airport with a single bag.
Texas is the leading point of arrival for refugees, who often land with all of their belongings in an issued bag. With this small cache of items, a family will begin a new life in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar customs.
"There's gold in those bags," said John Parsons, World Relief regional director. "Actually, what's in there is worth more than gold."
Beyond the sentimental value of the objects, the bags contain the paperwork needed to live and work in the United States. As refugees settle in a land where little is like the society they fled, those...
Texas Baptists' chaplaincy releases guidelines regarding same-sex issues
DALLAS - Texas Baptists' Chaplaincy Relations Office issued guiding principles to its endorsed chaplains regarding same-sex issues in the wake of the military repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and the U.S. Supreme Court's striking down of the Defense of Marriage Act.
Supervisors have asked many of Texas Baptists' approximately 200 military chaplains for guidelines from their endorser regarding how they can minister to same-sex couples.
Chaplains must follow military regulations, but also are bound to the guidelines set forth by their endorsing body, which the military has pledged not to infringe upon. The Baptist General...
North Texas Team Works in Piedras Negras
by Guest Author on October 7, 2013 in great commandment
A team from Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall, Texas, just completed a very successful health clinic in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico. The team worked in cooperation with Iglesia Fuente de Vida and mission coordinator Gloria de la Pena to minister to the needs of the people of the city. The clinic was focused in the four areas of wheelchair ministry, eyeglass ministry, dental care, and health screening.
As a result of this clinic, 53 people received wheelchairs, walkers, or canes. Our dental team provided care for 120 people in cooperation with a great team of dental professionals from Piedras Negras. The health screening team...
Fight rages beyond battlefield; chaplains on frontline
WAXAHACHIE - Military personnel's fight rages well beyond the battlefield, and chaplains are on the frontlines.
In 2012, military suicides hit a record high since the armed forces began tracking such tragedies. Self-inflicted military deaths outnumbered deaths that took place in combat. The rate is down slightly in 2013 - 161 potential suicides happened this year - but a military suicide takes places about every 18 hours.
Many times, chaplains are the first wave of defense against suicide, said U.S. Navy Chap. Fred McGuffin, who is assigned to the Marine Corps in New Orleans. Junior chaplains "deal with it often."
We Did Not Meet by Chance
by Guest Author on October 3, 2013 in great commission
When I was young, I struggled with being social and outgoing. I sit and wait around until someone would come and play with me. As I grew older, that started changing. As I got more involved in church activities, Christ starting removing timidity and all shyness from my life.
From the moment I opened my life to Christ, the transformation in my life began. Just the other day I, as I prayed before starting my devotional I was giving thanks to God for surrounding me with such amazing people. I have made close friends, and the pastor's family has taken me in as their daughter. Everything is in place, and God has placed me exactly where I...
'Go Now' to the ends of the Earth
by Kalie Lowrie on October 1, 2013 in great commission
Standing on a street corner looking towards the Financial District in New York City, Leilani Estrada could hear five languages being spoken at the same time.
"God really has brought all the nations together in NYC," she said. "It is just amazing to see so many nations brought together on a little island called Manhattan."
Leilani served as a Hispanic church planter in Queens, New York, for the summer through Go Now Missions, the student missions program for Texas Baptists. She and her partner, Erika Perez, both students from the University of Texas-Pan AM, were able to use their Spanish skills to reach the population in the New York...
The Main Thing
by Ryan Jespersen on October 1, 2013 in great commandment
Jim Collins is known for a couple of different books, Good to Great, and Built to Last. However, there is another short little read he has called "How the Mighty Fall." This particular volume talks about the rise and fall of really huge companies.
As a pastor, and now a denominational employee, I could not help but see in this book several ways where the church could learn a great lesson. One of the biggest ways Collins points out that the mighty fall is when a company stops tending to the thing that made it great. He gives several examples of this and it is worth the read.
The church of Jesus Christ is to be a place where people are...