by Dr. Bill Pinson, Executive Director Emeritus on October 30, 2015 in faith
Baptists are a fellowship of Christians who…
Hold certain beliefs
- God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
- The Lordship of Jesus Christ
- The Bible as the sole written authority for faith and practice
- Soul competency, accountability, and responsibility
- Salvation only by grace through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord as Savior
- The security of the believer who has responded to God's grace through faith
- The priesthood of each believer and of all believers in Christ
- Baptism of believers by immersion
- Church membership voluntarily entered only by baptized believers
- Baptism and the Lord's Supper as meaningful to, but not necessary for salvation
Opportunities for patience and obedience in the day-to-day
by Guest Author on October 30, 2015 in great commission
God's Provision at the Post Office
A few weeks ago, I took an Iranian man, Robert*, to the post office to see if he could find some boxes he had been looking for in the mail for weeks. He shipped seven boxes of books to his new address here in Fort Worth before he left Malaysia about three months ago. The boxes were long overdue and only one had arrived. When we went to the post office we waited in the long, end of the day line that's always there in the afternoon. For a while, I passed the time on my phone. When I started to get impatient God prompted me to pray. He said: "You have not because you ask not." So, I put my phone...
Nine churches to be recognized for Cooperative Program giving during Annual Meeting
by Kalie Lowrie on October 29, 2015 in news
DALLAS - This year, during the Texas Baptists Annual Meeting in Frisco, nine churches will be recognized for their Cooperative Program giving. Since 1925, the Cooperative Program has provided the fuel to fund missions work in Texas, the United States and around the world.
"There is no way to measure, this side of heaven, the kingdom impact made by the sacrificial giving of thousands of Texas Baptists churches participating in CP over the last 90 years," said Chris Liebrum, director of the Office of Cooperative Program Ministry.
Five churches will be recognized for top giving based upon church size, including: Green Acres Baptist...
New block party trailer to open doors for evangelism in Collin County
by Leah Reynolds on October 29, 2015 in great commission
FRISCO—From colorful bounce houses and entertaining games to savory-smelling food and captivating music, block parties have a way of drawing a crowd and are a popular outreach tool. But they can also be expensive and burdening to plan.
Last weekend, Collin Baptist Association (CBA) received a brand new Block Party Trailer, complete with all of the essentials a church needs to host a block party for no cost, aside from commodities and food.
Engage 24: Sharing the Gospel with two pennies on a college campus
by Guest Author on October 28, 2015 in great commission
We first met Joe while doing a Solarium Outreach Table on campus about a month ago. He was more than willing to participate in sharing about his life and beliefs. To be honest, I don't remember if it was me or my fellow campus missionary intern, Patrick, who led him through the survey, but I do remember he heard the Gospel that day. About a week ago, I ran into Joe again while I was playing pool in the University Center. I said "hello" to him and he seemed surprised that I even remembered his name. He played a game or two with me, and we talked a little bit about life and other things. We both went on our way.
Then this week, I...
Lessons from a London learning lab
by Joshua Seth Minatrea on October 26, 2015 in innovation
The London I'd heard of was damp and dreary, but the London I experienced on the first Texas Baptists Learning Lab was anything but. I found the city awash in mid-summer sunlight, broad rays bouncing off weathered stones and gilded storefronts, illuminating bustling faces full of energy and thought. There wasn't the slightest hint of a fog. My expectations proved to be amiss.
And in a way, that's exactly why I was there. Fourteen of us – men and women, young and not-so-young, pastors and lay leaders – banded together from across the state to embark upon the 7-day voyage with the express purpose of learning. Through a series of...
From brokenness to redeemed: Community transformation and the church
by Ali Hearon on October 26, 2015 in great commandment
When teaching His disciples how to pray, Jesus declared to the Father, "Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). His prayer was an invitation for redemption – but it was also a bit of a cliffhanger.
How does a community go from brokenness to redeemed as it is in heaven? What does it look like for those words to become flesh? While I do not have a complete answer, I do believe the Lord has charged churches with a divine call to act as catalysts for this transformational process.
Isaiah 58:12 says:
Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;you...
by Guest Author on October 26, 2015 in faith
"Let's eat." Those may be my favorite two words. Whether it's dinner with my family or Wednesday night supper at church, few things speak of the abundant life God longs to give us like sitting together over a delicious meal. Perhaps that's the reason Jesus' primary commandment about Christian worship involved the commandment to eat together. Baptists generally believe Jesus left us with two ordinances for worship: baptism and the Lord's Supper. While we have brought baptism into the building, baptisms originally happened in public. The one thing Jesus told us to do when we gather together for worship was to share this meal and...
Understanding persecution in North Africa
by Guest Author on October 23, 2015 in great commission
We had been meeting with O and his family for a few weeks, they are Sudanese refugees. He has had contact with several followers, but we had not yet determined whether he was one, too, or not. His wife had already committed her life to the Son and had been on fire.
The Christian worker, J, who connected with them, had been mentoring her one-on-one for a few weeks by this point. However, they were (and still are) undergoing a lot of persecution. When her brother in Sudan found out she had switched over from his religion to following the Son, he threatened both her and O.
He traveled to our city to find them and take her home...
Why it is important to live life with intentionality
by Guest Author on October 21, 2015 in ministers spouses
I'm not an athlete by any stretch of the imagination. However, I was challenged about ten years ago by a friend to give running a try. "Running?" I asked. How funny is that! I had never been in any kind of sport in school. I did accept her challenge and began running with her. Physically, it was the hardest thing I had ever attempted. It was very slow at first; just down the street a bit, then adding a little more distance each time. Before I knew it I had reached ten miles over time after a great deal of hard work and determination; something I thought I would never do! I now run regularly and it is one of my favorite things to...
Creating bold youth disciples in the midst of a cultural revolution
by Leah Reynolds on October 20, 2015 in great commission
In the midst of a cultural revolution where technology has cultivated a "me" generation and immorality is prevalent, youth ministers have a unique and challenging role in teaching students to be bold disciples.
Tim Elmore, founder and president of Growing Leaders in Georgia, shared expert insight to a room full of church youth workers on leading today's youth at Texas Baptists' Youth Ministry Conclave, which was held in Arlington Oct. 12-14.
Today's culture fosters "artificial maturity," said Elmore, who has worked with students for 36 years. Youth are being over-exposed to information while being under-exposed to real life...
Handling the Cheapest of Commodities: Criticism
by Joe Loughlin on October 19, 2015 in faith
Criticism is everywhere. It's a constant. If you're in any form of ministry leadership (or any kind of public service), you don't have to go looking for it. People offer it for free, especially church people. It is the cheapest of today's commodities in our hyper-opinionated culture.
So, how do we handle it when it comes our way?
In an earlier post, Preaching as Performance, I highlighted the value of coming to grips with our insecurities and tendencies toward an unhealthy performance orientation. That's a good foundation for dealing with criticism, but here I want to focus on some structure of practicality to build on this...
An expression of love at Christmas
by Guest Author on October 19, 2015 in culture
The viral video begins with a college-age young man approaching a homeless man on the street. The pessimist in me assumes the young man and his videotaping cohort are up to no good. I'm expecting them to taunt the poor man, tape their escapades and replay it for their evil pleasure.
I underestimated the power of love.
The young men proceed to take the homeless man to a clothing store. There, they allow the man to choose a new pair of shoes, two pairs of jeans, several shirts and other clothes. The receipt on the video shows $151 in expenditures. Next, they rent a hotel room for the man for two nights. "I haven't slept on a bed in...
How can baby boomers impact millennials and why should we care?
by Kalie Lowrie on October 15, 2015 in culture
In an address to baby boomers about their sphere of influence within churches today, David Kinnamon, president of Barna Group, encouraged attendees to take time to pour into the upcoming generations of millennials.
Kinnamon served as a keynote speaker at this year's National Boomer and Senior Adult Ministry Conference hosted by Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio. The event drew 215 attendees, representing 90 churches and organizations from 17 states.
Referring to present-day America as a "Digital Babylon," Kinnamon described the culture as immersive, accelerated, and complex. The effects of such changes include being individuals...
How to embrace your place
by Kathleen Hardage on October 14, 2015 in ministers spouses
Most of our lives in the ministry, we have lived in places not readily recognized by many people. When asked where we lived, our answers sounded like this: "It's in Hill County, just North of Hillsboro." "On the outskirts of Wichita Falls." "Midway between Dallas and Texarkana." Now we live in a city so famous we don't even have to say "Texas" after it. Ironically, I feel less known here than in the "unknown" places.
Wherever you are serving and ministering, God knows you. He remembers you. He sees you. He uses you. He did not send you there to forget or ignore you.
I recently read a true story sent in to a magazine. It involved a...
5 important ways on how to finish strong
by Aaron Summers on October 12, 2015 in faith
At 45, I am beginning to have thoughts of what it will take to finish strong. Sitting in the middle of life, I want to be able to approach retirement and grand-parenting with no regrets. How can I make the most of my choices now so I can finish strong? Someone once said, "One thing about getting old is that you can sing in the bathroom while brushing your teeth." I want to believe God has more for us to do! Let's look at Psalm 71 and see five important ways on how to finish strong.
Some say David penned Psalm 71 when he fled from his son Absalom. If this is the correct chronological context of this psalm, then David would have been...
Retreat brings mentally challenged adults together for weekend of fun and worship
by Leah Reynolds on October 9, 2015 in great commission
The crowd roared with sheer excitement, clapping their hands and screaming with joy, all in response to one simple question: "Are you ready to study the Word of God this weekend?"
Much of the jubilant crowd, consisting of about 350 Special Friends Retreat campers and volunteers, had been looking forward to the Oct. 2-3 weekend all year long.
At the retreat for adults over 12-years-old with special needs, campers worship, engage in Bible studies and make crafts. But the highlight of the weekend for many participants is the Friday night talent show.
"I look forward to the retreat and talent show every year," said Julie...
Living life to the fullest in Wales: Part 2
by Guest Author on October 9, 2015 in great commission
My goal for the year is to present Jesus to the people I meet, exactly as He is. Not as a strident task-master, but has a friend who, by His death on the cross, has freed us up to live and to love others.
Michael Frost, whose writing we've been assigned to read over the last few weeks, says that a missionary's job is to live questionable lives, and to alert people to God's reign as the King and Creator of this earth. This excites me.
Like I said in my earlier post, God has allowed me to have passions, and as my Father, He loves that I love these things. For instance, I love CrossFit. I love CrossFit because...
Living life to the fullest in Wales: Part 1
by Guest Author on October 8, 2015 in great commission
"I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly." John 10:10
Students have arrived in Bangor, and the town has new life. A university town with no university students is a quiet town. Before, the town would become eerily quiet at around six when all the cafes and shops started to close. There was no night-life, and not much to do in the day either. But then students got here and now the town is abuzz at all hours of the night, which I quite enjoy.
Now that there are students in town, there are friends to be made. Last night, I was riding in a car with Ryan and a few new friends. One is from Scotland, one is from...
When God has a bigger plan
by Guest Author on October 7, 2015 in ministers spouses
I had a plan at an early age.
I wanted to become a preacher's wife; to be just like our preacher's wife, Ms. Nelda, whose face was kind. Her husband was well-spoken and always jolly. He seemed like an angel to me as he stood in the baptismal waters on special Sundays with light from heaven (it seemed) shining on him and the one he plunged into the waters.
They lived in the holiest spot in town, in a gingerbread-looking rock house right across from the church. They were lucky enough to have a constant stream of friends, including myself, who would cross the street after church inviting themselves into the rust chain-link...
Vision-casting for missions during budget time
by Ryan Jespersen on October 7, 2015 in great commandment
In my work, I hear churches talk about wanting to get back on mission in the community. However, until a church puts actual dollars towards this goal, it is very unlikely it is ever going to happen.
As the groups who put the budget together sit down each year look at what the spending will be for the next year, the budget needs to include funding for any outreach that will take place.
When you budget two things are important, specifics and flexibility.
Spend some time praying, asking the Lord to give you a vision for the next year and gather others around you who will do the same thing. Particularly gather those who are either...
BSM and local churches in Rio Grande Valley unite to feed the 4,000
by Leah Reynolds on October 5, 2015 in great commission
For college sophomore Arly Garza, handing out hot dogs and Bibles on her university campus took on a deeper meaning when she was able to serve alongside both her college friends and church leaders.
The idea behind the UT Rio Grande Valley BSM-led initiative, called "Feeding the 4,000," derived from Mark 8:1-9 where Jesus and His disciples distributed a small amount of bread and fish to 4,000 people.
Local churches, such as Calvary Baptist Church in McAllen, joined in the effort by providing financial donations for hot dogs and New Testament Bibles, by praying for the college students and by volunteering at the event.
Texas Baptists to observe Baptist roots at Annual Meeting
by Leah Reynolds on October 2, 2015 in news
FRISCO—Texas Baptists are examining their roots at the Nov. 8-10 annual meeting with the theme "Deep Roots: Living Legacy."
The meeting at Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco and will center around Colossians 2:6-7, with a special emphasis placed on the Baptist Distinctives.
"This year, we'll examine Baptist Distinctives and share the reasons we choose to be Baptist," explained Kathy Hillman, BGCT president. "Together we'll explore our deep roots and celebrate our living legacy through inspiring worship, enlightening workshops and educational exhibits."
Registration will begin at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8, followed by various rallies hosted by...
Executive Board recommends $35.42 million budget for 2016
by Leah Reynolds on October 1, 2015 in news
DALLAS- At the Sept. 29 business session of the Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board, it was unanimously approved to recommend a 2016 net budget of $35.42 million to messengers at the Nov. 8-10 Annual Meeting.
The budget will rely on $31 million in Cooperative Program receipts from churches, a decrease of $900,000 from the 2015 budget. It also requires $4.42 million in investment income, a $1.82 million increase from 2015 made available in part due to invested proceeds from the sale of the Baptist Building.
The total budget, anticipating $300,000 from the North American Mission Board and revenue from other...