May 2014


Start something new after VBS


Year after year we see that Vacation Bible School is the most effective tool most churches have for leading children to Christ. But how effective is your follow up?

In a Sunday morning conference at Ridgecrest a couple of years ago, a minister of education sitting next to me shared that she was trying something different after VBS. Every year she had faithfully assigned new prospect families from VBS to appropriate Sunday School classes, and each class was to follow up. In addition, each family received a phone call from a phone bank of volunteers who genuinely cared about reaching out to them. I nodded positively as she described...

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Crab Fest and conversations about Christianity


The Lord began my summer of service with an amazing week in Kodiak, Alaska at Crab Fest. This week my Go Now Missions team and I served alongside missionaries from Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Missouri. Every year, the city of Kodiak holds Crab Fest, a festival that brings families together to have tons of fun. We partnered with Frontier Baptist Church and Kodiak Island Outreach to hold a booth that gave away free hot chocolate, New Testament Bibles, and small kids toys. What seemed like a simple booth turned into a life changing experience for both the people of Kodiak and myself.

More often than not, the men...

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Risenhoover named associate endorser for chaplaincy relations


DALLAS - Texas Baptists have named Chaplain Georgia Risenhoover, of Granbury, associate endorser for Chaplaincy Relations. Risenhoover is the first woman to be named to the position and she will also serve as state coordinator of "Hands on Ministry," a teaching certification program for volunteer chaplains.

"Georgia is well qualified for these positions," said Bobby Smith, director of Texas Baptist Chaplaincy Relations.

Smith also noted he expects Risenhoover to greatly expand the "Hands on Ministry" program.

Ordained by Agape Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Risenhoover has been endorsed by the BGCT. She received her Clinical Pastoral...

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Serving those who serve


The first week of being in a new culture has been interesting, to say the least. There's always so much to adjust to-- you really have to humble yourself and accept that you don't know everything. One of the first times I tried to buy something with British currency was kind of humorous. I was buying a croissant and a water bottle and it cost two pounds. I hadn't had time to learn all the different coins there were, but I saw a big coin that had a two on it-- so I just assumed it was two pounds. I handed the cashier the coin and she just stared at me. I could tell something wasn't right, so I took the coin back and handed her a...

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Beyond the Trip


The following was written and compiled by members of the Missions Mobilization Team of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. This guide is designed to be used on a mission trip to prepare your group for what you can do when you get back to your community. For more information about this material or about how to get involved in mission work, please contact Ryan Jespersen by phone at (214) 828-5278 or by email at ryan.jespersen@texasbaptists.org. Click here to download this post as a PDF document.

What an incredible joy it has been to serve the Lord together this week. You have been a part of a wonderful journey serving,...

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The necessity of discipleship


If there is one thing I have learned while serving on staff at the UNT BSM it is the essential need for collegiate ministry in the United States. Over one million students are attending college in the State of Texas. According to a recent poll by Lifeway, 70 percent of freshmen who enter the college world will stop attending church. This generation is among the most biblically illiterate of all generation. This generation simply does not know the Bible or the truth of the Gospel.

These statistics are a small portion of what is truly seen in college ministry today. I have seen college ministry done correctly and disciples are made...

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Executive Board approves building sale, agreement with STSCS


DALLAS -Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board convened on Mon., May 19, and Tues., May 20. Several decisions were made, including the sale of the BGCT's Dallas facility to Baylor University for $16 million. For more information on the building sale, click here.

"The discussions and sale of the building is a spiritual and stewardship decision," said Dr. David Hardage, executive director. "As the face of Texas continues to change, so will the way we do church, the way we do convention and the way we collaborate to reach the state with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Twenty-five years ago, God directed our leaders to build...

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Texas Baptists announces sale of Dallas facility


DALLAS - The Executive Board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas unanimously approved the sale of the Convention's Dallas facility to the Baylor University School of Nursing during a meeting on Tues., May 20.

The 100,000 square foot facility, located at 333 N. Washington Avenue in Dallas, will be purchased for $16 million through a combination of monetary funds and in-kind gifts.

David Hardage, Executive Director of Texas Baptists, announces the sale of the Convention's Dallas facility....

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Final preparations for student missionaries


As I've been preparing to serve this summer, I thought there wasn't anything else to know than what I've experienced overseas already. I thought, "culture shock didn't happen to me, I knew what to expect." But sitting through the session about it, I realized that I actually had experienced it, I just didn't know how to label it at the time. This is pretty much how my entire weekend went--with me walking into a session thinking I knew exactly what to expect, and leaving humbled, yet encouraged, with new knowledge.

This past weekend, May 17-19, 198 of the 298 student summer missionaries gathered at Dallas Baptist University for...

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Pray without ceasing


Morgan Wallace, sophomore at University of North Texas, was sitting at the prayer table for an hour or so when she noticed a guy with a backpack awkwardly speed walk by their tent. He took a quick glance at the tent and continued on his way. But then the guy stopped, turned around and walked up to Morgan.

"He asked me to pray for his dog and walked away again," said Morgan. "But he only got a few steps when he turned around again and said to me, "No, let's do this right, let's do this right here', and we prayed for him on the spot."

During the month of April, the University of North Texas in Denton, the University of Texas at...

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State Youth Bible Drill and Speakers Tournament Winners Named


The 2014 Texas Baptist State Youth Bible Drill and Speakers Tournament was held at the Baptist Building on May 2 and 3. There were 82 participants from 29 churches who competed over the weekend.

Overall, for 2014, there were 991 participants in Texas Baptist Bible Drill and Speakers Tournaments from 130 churches competing in six regional events. The highest-scoring youth from each region traveled to Dallas for the annual state competition.

State Winners included:

Youth Bible Drill (7-9th grades) 1st Place - Zachary Gray, First Baptist Church, Allen 2nd Place (tie) - Megan Shipman, First Baptist Church, Allen 2nd Place (tie)...

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Into the wood


BROWNWOOD - Today was a recovery ride for most of the cyclists, with a shorter distance of 59 miles from San Saba to Brownwood. While it may have been less miles, it still proved to be challenging for the riders. Some got dropped in the midst of continuous hills, but all in all, everyone enjoyed another great day of riding and raising awareness and funds to end the cycle of hunger with a great group of people.

We had a few riders join us for the day, including Rodney McGlothlin, pastor of First Baptist Church Brownwood, and his wife, Debbie. Tonight, FBC Brownwood hosted us for dinner along with their congregation and several...

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Hundreds attend training in Hong Kong


In August 2013, Michelle Chan, minister to children at Kowloon International Baptist Church (KIBC) in Hong Kong, attended a children and family summit at Dallas Baptist University. Here she felt her understanding of the roles Sunday School teacher and children's minister were renewed and refreshed.

"I was more aware of my role and vision as a Children's Minister and it is more than just a job behind the desk that deals with lots of administrative works," said Chan.

After the Summit, Michelle was burdened for her Sunday School workers back at KIBC. She desired for them to share both the experience and training she received...

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Never too young


FREDERICKSBURG - You don't have to be an expert cyclist to take part in the week-long Bike Out Hunger event. Our youngest rider this year, Gertie Kate Adair, is only seven years old.

Gertie Kate is from Dripping Springs and she is a proud supporter of her dad, Ben. Last year, when Ben spent the week riding with Bike Out Hunger, Gertie Kate decided that she wanted to join her dad for his next ride.

"I've been waiting a whole year for this," she said. When asked why, she said she really likes to ride her bike and spend time with her dad, and she wanted to help.

She rode 9.42 miles today, right alongside Ben. It was hot and there were...

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Parents learn skills for raising highly capable kids


FORT WORTH - Twenty-nine parents from Manuel Jara Elementary School set aside time for 11 weeks this spring to learn tools, skills and confidence to raise healthy, caring, and responsible children through Parent University. A graduation ceremony was held on Wednesday, April 30, to recognize the achievement of the parents.Many officials from the city council, county and school board members were in attendance to celebrate the successful program.

Funded through gifts from Primera Baptist Church in Fort Worth, the curriculum entitled Raising Highly Capable KIDS - Communities Empowering Families for Success has been proven to help build...

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Backpacks of food and hope provided through Hunger Offering


FREEPORT - Most children look forward to 3 p.m. on Friday afternoon, signaling the end of school and beginning of the weekend. There are roughly 65 hours between Friday afternoon and Monday morning when school starts again. Many kids delight in these hours, but for children who do not have food at home, the hours can be long and hard. While many schools have feeding programs for breakfast and lunch for students in need, the weekends can be a time when food is scarce.

Operation Backpack, supported through the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering, seeks to step in and provide homeless and chronically hungry students in the Freeport and Jones...

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Come as you are, boots and all


Anyone who has ever visited Greenville, Texas, for a buck out, roping, high school rodeo finals, barrel races or any kind of equine event, knew what the "blue barn" was, or better known as the "Horseman's Club".

For many years, the Horseman's Club was known as the bar to watch the arena events. For the last few years though, the location was vacant, but in 2012 it went on sale again.

That all changed in July 2012, with a core group of 12 individuals and the sponsoring support of Bull Creek Cowboy Church, American Fellowship of Cowboy Churches, Hunt Baptist Association and Texas Baptists, the building was contracted and purchased and...

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