Archive for February, 2008

Randel Everett speaks to the BGCT Executive Board Directors

February 29, 2008

I was able to be in the room to hear Randel share his heart and what he’s about with the Executive Board Directors on Tuesday. I hadn’t met him yet and had never heard him speak but as he addressed the board I felt my hope and excitement for what’s to come.  I hope you feel that way, too.

Just a side note…Randel is not officially in office until Monday, March 31.

Catching up with Jon

February 29, 2008

So now we have a Jon Randles and a Randel Everett. Hm. Guess I need to come up with a new name for the Randles Report, which tries to keep with up Jon Randles’ movement around the state. For now, we’re going with “Catching up with Jon.” If someone will suggest a new name, I’ll strongly consider it.

This week’s report is actually a lot less Randles. He was at First Baptist Church in Kilgore this week and rather than Randles sharing what happened, I spoke with Pastor Eddie Hilburn. Eddie hadn’t had a revival-type meeting in a church he’s pastored in at least 5 years. FBC Kilgore hadn’t had a revival-type meeting in the last decade.

But they decided to have one — called Life Fest — this week. The church started planning for it a year ago. The members began talking about it. The pastor preached about reaching others. People volunteered to bring a certain number of people to the meetings. They fostered a culture where people expected God to move every Sunday in their church.

When the time came for the meeting, people came as well, including a significant number of non-Christians. They showed up to a Sunday night free steak dinner. They showed up to lunch meetings taylored for business people. They showed up to the nightly services.

In the end, about a dozen people made professions of faith. Some others made other spiritual decisions.

Eddie beamed as he spoke about the effort his congregation made to share their faith and invite their friends to the revival. God worked through his congregation, which now has several new connections to students on the campus of Kilgore Junior College through which the gospel can be spread. Eddie said he hopes the revival effort will happen again next year.

Nigerian professors tour Texas

February 29, 2008

I just received an e-mail from Don Sewell saying the extensive visit to Texas by eight faculty members from Bowen University in Iwo, Nigeria, has been a great success.

These Nigerian friends visited peer professors at UMHB, BU, HPU, and HSU during that time,” Don said. “Much credit for organizing and conducting the experience goes to Keith Bruce and Steve Seaberry.

There’s a good report on the Hardin-Simmons web site that illustrates what took place on the tour.

The Austin American Statesman on Randel Everett

February 29, 2008

The afternoon after Randel Everett was elected executive director by the executive board, he visited with Eileen Flynn, who covers religion for the Austin American Statesman. She gives her first impressions of Randel on her Of Sacred and Secular blog, which provides some interesting stuff on a regular basis. And she seems to get more commentary from readers than other religious blogs connected to mainstream media outlets (even if they don’t always comment on the post they think they’re commenting on).

Among the things she writes about Randel:

Everett struck me as someone fiercely committed to helping folks in need, encouraging diversity in churches and open to new approaches to sharing the Gospel. His own son’s commitment to Jesus led him to start a coffee shop on San Antonio’s West Side. Jeremy and Amy Everett moved into a primarily Hispanic neighborhood and opened Guadalupe St. Coffee, a place that empowers the community, he said, with jobs, college prep programs, art exhibits and other initiatives. This is how Jesus reached people, Randel Everett said.

“Jesus met people where they were. … just right out in the streets. As he met their physical needs, he also met their spiritual needs as well. I think we’ve got the seed of the gospel but the soul of the good works. I think we’ve got to live out our Christian faith where people are. That’s in the city, out on the street, out on the ranch, down in the valley, at the capital.”

Greetings from Randel Everett

February 26, 2008

Randel Everett elected

February 26, 2008

The BGCT Executive Board elected Randel Everett executive director this morning. The vote was 78-6 — 92 percent in favor.

Executive Board

February 26, 2008

John and/or I will post to the blog today as our responsibilities allow. We definitely will let you know the Board’s decision regarding Randel Everett as soon as a decision is made.

Ever felt this way?

February 25, 2008

Jeff over at the Dallas Morning News religion blog points out this article from a reporter who has been covering the crisis in Darfur for more than four years. Among the things she writes are these words:

KHARTOUM (Reuters) – An elderly Darfuri woman stood in front of the charred remains of her house. She tapped me on my shoulder and held out a wizened hand full of seeds.

“How am I supposed to eat this?” she pleaded.

Totally humbled, I was speechless, unsure how to help.

Now her face haunts my nightmares.

It will be five years on Tuesday since war broke out in Darfur, since rebels seized a town and prompted a Sudanese counter-insurgency reckoned by foreign experts to have killed 200,000 people and driven 2.5 million from their homes.

I have been writing on Darfur for 4 1/2 years.

More than ever, I am wondering how much difference my reporting can make.

Despite the world’s largest aid operation and global media attention, people are still dying, foreign peacekeepers have not been fully deployed and the woman in my nightmares cannot eat.

While Jeff rightly links to the story in an effort to raise awareness about Darfur in hopes of changing the situation, it struck me in a different way. I couldn’t help but think of the ministers out there who may be feeling the same way. How many Christians are serving long days and nights, only to feel they are making little difference?

If that’s you, I want to encourage you tonight. You aren’t alone. People around the globe are praying for you on a regular basis. I’m praying for you as I write this post. God has strengthened and will strengthen you in what He has called you to do. He already is working through you to change people’s lives. All He asks of you is that you remain faithful.

Tonight, Dr. Wade said something that still is sticking with me that seems to fit nicely in this vein. Let me share that in closing tonight. Tuesday, we’ll post as much as we can during the Executive Board meeting.

“All God asks of us is we give Him what we have for the time He needs it.”

The tragedy before the tragedy

February 25, 2008

Recently, a young girl died while running away from a San Antonio Baptist children’s home. Fred Ater, our congregational strategist in San Antonio, sent me this article from this weekend’s Express-News. It shares the story of the girl’s life. A sad, sad tale.

Americans likely to change faiths

February 25, 2008

According to an article in the New York Times today, Americans are likely to change faith backgrounds in their lifetimes. From the piece:

More than a quarter of adult Americans have left the faith of their childhood to join another religion or no religion, according to a new survey of religious affiliation by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

The report, titled “U.S. Religious Landscape Survey,” depicts a highly fluid and diverse national religious life. If shifts among Protestant denominations are included, then it appears that 44 percent of Americans have switched religious affiliations.
Many of us have discussed the waning loyalty folks have for denominations. We’ve talked about possible reasons and possible solutions. I don’t want to rehash that. That horse has been kicked.
But I am curious, what does this movement mean theologically? I know people are theologically eclectic, but what affect does that have on how they implement their faith?