Archive for January, 2008

Kenya unrest still affecting Texas Baptist ministry; Buckner cancels Kenya trips

January 31, 2008

Buckner has cancelled its mission trips to Kenya through May because of unrest there. From the release:

Director of Buckner Missions George McCain has promised to work with mission teams to reschedule any trips planned to Kenya during this time. He’s hopeful that teams can resume their missions work in early summer.

“We all need to be in serious prayer for our brothers and sisters in Kenya,” he said. “Even though we cannot physically go there to help them right now, we know that God is there with them. And Buckner will continue to stand by their side. The needs are greater than ever.”

Ken Hall writes a bit about what he saw in Kenya on his blog at

Kenyans at Wayland Baptist University are praying for their home nation. Students prayed for Kenya in a chapel service Wednesday.

Richard Shaw, who leads Wayland’s Kenya campus, has been in the country for the past couple weeks. He’s been blogging somewhat regularly at He actually gave an update via video on Wednesday here. For me personally, the on the ground reporting from someone like Richard really helps me understand what’s on over there.

Please continue to pray for the situation.

Looking for a sermon illustration?

January 30, 2008

For those of you who may be looking for a last minute sermon illustration, I think you can find it in the story of Josh Hamilton, the new starting center fielder of the Texas Rangers. He has a powerful story of overcoming addiction through faith and the strength of his family. I don’t know much about recovery groups, but if your church has one, maybe Hamilton’s story is a good one to share.

For other resources for recovery ministries, visit the CLC site by clicking here.

Just a thought from a non-preacher.

New Baptist Covenant

January 30, 2008

The New Baptist Covenant begins tonight. For those who want to check out what’s going on there, Baptists Today is providing a live stream of the event. It looks like Baptists Today is going all out on their coverage, with four bloggers covering the event, plus photos and traditional stories that will come out of the newsroom of the event.

Everett identifies three points of emphasis

January 29, 2008

I’m out sick one day and I feel like world has passed me by. Sorry for the rapid fire posts, but there’s a lot going in Baptist life early this week. Because I’ve posted so much this morning, I’ve pushed some down important Engage information and on evangelism in posts earlier this morning, but there’s good stuff there. Check them out. 

Continuing to catch up with the news, in an interview with the Baptist Standard, Randel Everett laid three points he would emphasize if he is elected to serve as the next executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

From the story:

In a phone interview, Everett acknowledged he would be returning to Texas at “a challenging time,” but he also characterized it as “a time of great opportunity” for Texas Baptists. The increasing ethnic diversity of Texas and the need to engage young leaders age 35 and younger in denominational life rank among key challenges he noted.

“I would like to help the BGCT discern, ‘Where is our unique kingdom assignment?” he said.

Everett highlighted three tasks he believes could bring Texas Baptists together:

• Missions. “Texas Baptists should make sure every person in Texas has the opportunity to respond to the good news of Christ within his or her own language and context,” he said.

• Christian education. From religious education in local congregations to high education in universities and seminaries, Texas Baptists should “make sure we are providing the resources to ensure that people grow in Christ’s likeness,” he said.

• Advocacy. Texas Baptists should become advocates for the separation of church and state to ensure religious liberty for all people, and they should be advocates for the poor, he said. “There is no reason any child in Texas should go to bed hungry.”

Child dies at South Texas children’s home

January 29, 2008

Last Friday, a young man died unexpectedly while staying at South Texas Children’s Home. This must be a traumatic situation on multiple levels. Please be in prayer for the children’s home.

More details after the jump. (more…)

Engage audio online

January 29, 2008

The sermons for the Radical Engage and Engage conferences have been posted online. Each of mp3 files is pretty large so it may take a little while to download them, but they’re well worth it.

For those of you who may have wanted to attend one or both of the conferences, hopefully this gives you a better feel for what went on. I know my pull quotes that were posted during the event didn’t do it justice.

Radical Engage sermons:

Alex Himaya, senior pastor Church at BattleCreek in Tulsa, Okla, sermon 1.

Jose Zayas, evangelist, sermon 1

Alex Himaya, sermon 2

James Lankford, Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, Falls Creek Camp

Jose Zayas, sermon 2

Engage sermons:

Jon Randles, BGCT Evangelism Team lead

Sammy Gilbreath, Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions

Gary Dyer, pastor First Baptist Church, Midland

Jerry Pipes, North American Mission Board

Fred Luter, pastor Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, La.

Jose Zayas

On the road with Randles

January 29, 2008

Some around the blogosphere, including some commenters on this site, have questioned Jon Randles’ philosophy on what they see as “event evangelism.” People have said people are no longer interested in coming to church events.

So I’ve challenged Jon to prove he’s right. Once a week, I’m going to check with Jon and see where he’s been and what happened there. We understand numbers don’t tell the entire story, but we’ll at least get a general feel as to whether people are coming to faith during events.

For those who have never met Jon or heard him speak, here he is from Engage. During this sermon, he talks about his philosophy of evangelism. A word of warning, this is a big file and takes a while to download.

Now on to this week’s Randles report. For this first one, I’m sticking strictly to numbers. They’ll probably get more detailed as we go along. As comments are made and questions are asked, I’ll attempt to have Jon respond as needed in the next Randles report.

First he preached a Disciple Now in Azle. 75 youth participated and three made professions of faith.

Last week he then preached a revival Sunday-Wednesday for Northside Baptist Church in Victoria. Sixty people made spiritual decisions, including 11 first time professions of faith.

Former HSU student and Southwestern student kidnapped in Afghanistan

January 29, 2008

A former Hardin-Simmons University and Southwestern seminary student who was serving as an aid worker in Afghanistan has been kidnapped, according to the Dallas Morning News. The aid organization is providing updates on the situation on its web site.

There’s dancin’ at Baylor …

January 24, 2008

and it’s going to continue if the men’s basketball team continues playing like it is. Last night, the team knocked off Texas A&M in 5 overtimes. The group is ranked in the top 25 for the first time in 39 years. Celebrate the latest victory with Matt.

And while the men are grabbing all the attention right now, the women keep plugging along. Ranked 6th in the nation, they took down no. 11 Oklahoma last weekend.

All is good in the land of the green and gold.

Everett to be nominated as BGCT executive director

January 22, 2008

DALLAS – The Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Director Search Committee will nominate Randel Everett to be the convention’s next executive director.The former president of the John Leland Center for Theological Studies in Arlington, Va., and senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Newport News, Va., will be nominated as the next BGCT executive director during the convention’s next regular executive board meeting Feb. 25-26 in Dallas.

Current BGCT Executive Director Charles Wade is set to retire Jan. 31. William Jan Daehnert already is serving as interim BGCT executive director.

Ken Hugghins, chairman of the search committee, said Everett met the criteria of an executive director who could lead the convention in this crucial time in which Texas Baptists appear segmented and financial issues recently caused the convention to lay off 29 people.

“As the committee listened to Texas Baptists and talked with excellent leaders and candidates across our state, a description of the kind of leader Texas needs emerged,” Hugghins said. “Randel Everett matches that description and more.  He will communicate across the spectrum of Texas Baptists, the generations of Texas Baptists, the many affinity groups of Texas Baptists and focus the kingdom commitment of Texas Baptist churches, institutions, and convention servants.”

Under Everett’s leadership, the Leland Center was accredited by the Association of Theological Schools and grew to serve about 200 students in more than 12 countries.

Prior to serving at the Leland Center and First Baptist Church, Everett, 56, was pastor of Columbia Baptist Church in Falls Church, Va. for five years. The congregation is one of the largest Baptist churches in the Washington, D.C. area with more than 3,000 members. It regularly is one of the top giving churches to the Baptist General Association of Virginia. It started five churches that serve different non-English speaking groups.

Everett, who grew up in Fort Worth, also served as senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Pensacola, Fla., 1992-1996. The congregation of more than 5,000 members became involved in the Baptist World Alliance under his leadership.

Everett was pastor of First Baptist Church in Benton, Ark., 1984-1988.

Everett has pastored three Texas Baptist churches – University Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Inglewood Baptist Church in Grand Prairie and First Baptist Church in Gonzales. He also served as assistant minister of missions at First Baptist Church in Dallas.                        

Everett earned a doctoral degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, a master’s degree from Southwestern Seminary and a bachelor’s degree from Ouachita Baptist University. He also holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Richmond.

The executive director nominee has extensive denominational experience, having served in Baptist associations, state conventions and with the Baptist World Alliance. He was chairman of the BWA’s education and evangelism commission 2000-2005 and served in several other capacities with the BWA.

He was moderator of Peninsula Baptist Association, a member of the National Ministry Partners Study Committee for the Baptist General Association of Virginia, a member of the Virginia association’s budget committee, a trustee at Florida Baptist College and president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention Executive Board.        

Everett served as a member of the BGCT Executive Board 1978-1979.

He has been a guest chaplain for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, a teacher at the Pentagon Bible study. He also has led more than 30 evangelism conferences.