They’re just not me.
I’m a Baptist for a very simple reason — a Baptist cared enough about to reach out and show me Christ’s love in a very tangible way. It changed my life forever.
That’s part of the reason that made yesterday so exciting to me. During our staff meeting, Randel shared the vision for what he believes God is calling Texas Baptists to through Easter 2010. By working together, he would like to give every non-Christian in the state an opportunity to respond to the gospel in their own language and context by Easter 2010. He’s calling it Texas Hope 2010.
What that means to me is very simple, but very powerful. There are about 11 million unchurched people in Texas. 11 million people who are just like I was before someone shared the life-changed message of Christ with me. 11 million people who are drifting through life. 11 million people who are looking for hope. 11 million people who are looking to fill a void in their lives.
In the coming months, God can use Texas Baptists to change that. He can use us as the tool to share His love. People can be changed. They can begin living differently. The spiritual landscape of this state could change dramatically.
That’s exciting to me. And to me, that’s very, very Baptist.
Here’s the official release. It gives some more details about the pillars of this emphasis.
DALLAS -Randel Everett believes everyone needs hope – hope they can find their next meal, hope they can overcome the deep pain they are confronting, hope they can fill the void that resides within them.
Christ is the only true hope that can meet those needs, he said. The sooner people have that hope, the better.
In a staff meeting May 8, the Baptist General Convention of Texas executive director launched Texas Hope 2010, an initiative he’s been discussing across the state designed to help Texas Baptists come together to share the gospel with every non-Christian within Texas “in their own language and their own culture” by Easter 2010.
“We want to make sure every person in Texas has an opportunity to respond to the gospel of Christ, regardless of their ethnicity, language or socioeconomic status,” Everett said.
The campaign will focus on three areas – prayer, caring and sharing. Prayer, Everett said, undergirds all evangelistic efforts. It makes believers more aware of opportunities to share their faith.
Caring about people through relationships and service provides chances for people to be open about what Christ has done for them, Everett said. This component of Texas Hope 2010 particularly will focus on meeting the needs of the hungry across the state.
Texas has the second highest rate of food insecurity in the nation. More than 3.1 million people in the state don’t know where they will get their next meal, and nearly a quarter of the state’s children live in food insecure households.
“One in 10 people in Texas is a Texas Baptist,” Everett said. “With those kinds of resources, if one person in this state goes to bed hungry, it’s our fault.”
The sharing component will focus on an evangelistic push, including Bible distribution, Everett said. The executive director hopes Texas Baptists can present the gospel in a culturally-correct way to each of the roughly 11 million Texans who are unchurched.
While sharing the gospel with 11 million people may seem daunting, Everett notes there are 2.3 million members of BGCT-affiliated churches. That means each Texas Baptist needs to share his or her faith with six people by April 4, 2010, which Everett believes is possible.
Everett said each Texas Baptist, church, association and institution will have a unique role to play in Texas Hope 2010. God calls each believer and each group to a “unique kingdom assignment,” creating a special place for each in a large evangelistic push.
He asks that people begin praying about their kingdom assignment and possible ways they can be part of Texas Hope 2010. The BGCT quickly will begin identifying leaders in the areas of prayer, caring and sharing so they can help flesh out a strategy to reach the lost in Texas.
The key to the effort will be all Texas Baptists following God’s calling upon their lives as well as cooperating with the other Texas Baptists for maximum impact, Everett said. If that happens, the state could be radically changed.
“I pray that church attendance, baptisms and giving will go up,” he said. “I hope crime will go down. I hope legislation is passed to help the children in need in our state. I hope it makes a transformational impact on the state. I think it will if we can do this.”
For more information, visit www.texashope2010.com.