February 2014


It all starts with faith in yourself


GARLAND - On January 14th, Nayely Vallejo received a call, the call she had been waiting for for a long time. "Congratulations" is all she heard and she knew that all her praying and putting her faith in God paid off. The call she received was recognition that she had been one of four selected to serve as a National Acteens Panelist, and the only one selected from Texas.

"I began to cry happy tears," said Nayely.

With the start of her senior year, she could feel that God was going to do great things in her life. Following that one call, good news keep coming: she never could have imagined that it all started with gaining the courage...

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Executive Board adopts Engage24 as emphasis for Texas Baptists


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...

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Write your senator and representative


Bread for the World has announced its 2014 Offering of Letters to United States senators and representatives. Bread does not send these letters; Bread encourages and empowers individual Christians to conduct this annual letter-writing campaign, and this often occurs through churches.

This year's effort asks lawmakers to reform United States food aid in times of crisis and to foster long-term solutions to hunger. Specifically, it asks for legislation to pursue three goals:

1) Improve efficiency in international crisis aid by allowing more food to be bought in or near the country where it is needed and by reducing sales of...

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Texas Baptists endorse first oil patch chaplains


DALLAS - Texas Baptists endorsed Hollas and Nelda Hoffman as the first Oil Patch Chaplains on Monday, February 24, during a meeting of the Executive Board. The Hoffmans, of Gonzales, will serve on the oil fields of South Texas as chaplains.

"Endorsement lends integrity, character, responsibility and accountability to a pastoral ministry in a specialized setting," said Bobby Smith, director of Chaplaincy Relations. "Chaplaincy is a respected program of Texas Baptists. Endorsement provides a sense of worth and accountability and provides connection with a faith group."

Hollas, an ordained minister and pastor for more than 30 years...

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Help provide an accurate compensation baseline among churches


The 2014 SBC Church Compensation Survey helps determine fair pay for church pastors and staff. All submitted information is kept private and no individual reporting is created - it just creates ranges for compensating ministers...

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"Toma" on Margarita


MARGARITA, Venezuela - A "Toma" is a "taking" in Venezuela, a term used for an invasion of a territory. Paul and Delia Lozuk have used this strategy for evangelism on Margarita Island, invading the area for Christ as a rescue mission. A man named Omo came out of this "toma" on Margarita.

On a Friday afternoon, the missions team divided into groups began going door-to-door to share with those who wanted to hear the word of God. A man answered at the first door. They told him the plan of salvation and he gave his life to Jesus.

As they were leaving the house, they looked to the left and saw Omo sitting under a tree, so they stopped to...

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Church Strategists: Connecting and helping meet needs across Texas


On April 17, 2013, an explosion at a fertilizer plant forever changed the community of West, Texas. Richard Mangum, Texas Baptist church strategist for Central Texas, was in the town talking with local pastors and helping assess needs in the area within a few hours of the disaster.

As a church strategist, one of Mangum's primary responsibilities is to connect with local pastors and help them in times of need. By being on the scene quickly after a disaster, strategists like Mangum can be the serving hands of Texas Baptists and help communicate needs to a broader audience. Several of the strategists have had the same opportunity to...

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Record number of students respond to 'Who will go?'


MIDLOTHIAN - Who will go? That is the question that Go Now Missions has been asking college students around the state for the past year. This weekend, 205 students responded to that question with willing and able hearts as they attended Discovery Weekend, an interview and application weekend for summer and fall student missions.

"This is the largest group of students we have ever had," said Brenda Sanders, director of Go Now missions. "We have been praying that students would hear God and obey. This is the first step in obedience."

Discovery Weekend was hosted at First Baptist Church of Midlothian from February 7-9. Students were...

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Doctrine and Dialogue


Every Friday Students at the University of North Texas BSM and discuss different topics of Christian belief in an activity called Doctrine and Dialogue. At Noon students come together and talk about a chapter from the book Christian Beliefs by Wayne Grudem. In this book students are taught systematic theology in short chapters… and when I mean short they are super short. At most these chapters are six pages. In SIX pages students, believers can have an understanding of tough theological beliefs and topics found in the Bible. Last semester we covered the following topics:

  • What is the Bible?
  • What is God like?
  • What is the
...

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Texas Baptists give record $953,000 toward Hunger Offering


DALLAS - Texas Baptists gave more than $953,000 to the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering in 2013 to help address hunger and poverty issues around the world. This is the largest amount raised through the offering since its creation in 1995, and an increase of $200,000 from 2012.

"I am humbled by the generosity of churches and individuals around the state who chose to give to the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering," said Dr. David Hardage, executive director. "Without them, we, as an organization could not do what we do. Thank you to all of you who gave of your resources. We are extremely grateful. Your gifts are changing lives across our...

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Sent to serve


BUTTE, Montana - One Friday night, as I was getting ready for bed, I looked outside and realized that I would be spending Saturday morning shoveling snow from the church sidewalks. Again. This made four days that week and three in a row. I set out a reminder for myself in the morning, knowing what my temperament would be.

The first thing I said that morning was, "Do I really have to get up to shovel snow?" Then I saw my towel. It was a Go Now towel from a couple of years prior that said, "Sent to Serve." It reminded me that even Jesus said that He was sent to this earth to serve, not be served (Matthew 20:28). I didn't come to...

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Mission Drippin' - A model for community outreach


Mission Drippin' is a week-long community outreach ministry of First Baptist Church of Dripping Springs. Read about the practical ways that their church implemented this ministry, so you can similarly create a model like this in your church. Click here to read the background, mission and vision of Mission Drippin'.

The Practicals of community outreach through Mission Drippin':

Leadership: A leadership team is formed, placing a team lead with each ministry project for the week.

Kick-Off Worship Service: We have a worship and prayer service with the intent of preparing ourselves for a week of ministry.

Prayer Days: On Monday night, we...

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Wilson named director of church evangelism


Dr. Charles Wilson has been named director of church evangelism for Texas Baptists.

Through his work, Wilson will coordinate ENGAGE evangelistic conferences across the state, as well as assist associations and churches in helping to inspire and equip individuals to be more effective in evangelism.

"Our vision is to help Texas reach Texas for Christ," Wilson said. "We want to work within the Baptist family on the state, associational and local level to more confidently and comfortably present the Gospel to every segment of our culture."

A pastor for more than 30 years, Wilson served at First Baptist Church Sunnyvale for 26 years before...

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House church evangelism on the border


As he watched his three-year-old daughter, Rachel Beth, go from door to door in a small neighborhood in Laredo, Ryan Jespersen saw the love of Christ overflowing from her enjoyment of preaching to people that stopped to listen as she told them that Jesus loved them.

Jespersen, director of urban missions, and his family were members of a mission group that ventured down to Laredo over Christmas break to do mission work through a partnership with Go Now Missions, Texas Baptist River Ministry, and Hope 1:8 Missionary Initiative.

He and his wife, Joanna, along with their daughters, three-year-old Rachel Beth and one-year-old Mary Kate...

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