Jan. 11 needs to be a big day

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Jan. 11 has been singled out as Commitment Day for Texas Hope 2010. There is, of course, nothing magical about that day–a church can choose any day–but it’s a great opportunity for Texas Baptist churches to say together that they have a passion for sharing the Good News of Christ with everyone in Texas by Easter 2010.

I suspect a number of pastors and other church leaders have said to themselves or others that Texas Hope 2010 is something they want their congregation to be involved in. Here’s your chance to introduce it to your entire congregation, help them learn what it is about, and highlight the three-pronged emphasis of praying, caring and sharing.

Churches might want to do what has been done in other environments. Print a large Texas Hope 2010 poster, which is available on the website, and during the commitment time of the service have people come forward to sign it with a Sharpie marker. (Randel Everett has the one signed by Executive Board members hanging in his outer office as a reminder to all who enter that Texas Hope 2010 is the main thing on our agenda.)

Churches may also want to invite one of the “Ambassadors,” well-known Texas Baptist leaders, to come and speak on Jan. 11 or some other Commitment Day date that your congregation might choose. To enlist a speaker, send an email to Joye.Deadman@bgct.org or call her at 214-887-5446.

Remember, Texas Hope 2010 is a bit different from some past Baptist efforts. It’s not a nice and neat package of things to do being handed down by the state office. It’s a vision for reaching people for Christ and ministering to those in need, especially the hungry. Each congregation makes its own plan. There are some important things we are doing at the state level and we have ideas on the Texas Hope 2010 web site, but most of the actions coming out of this vision will be rooted in your local fellowship.

We are already seeing answers to the call to pray at noon everyday for the lost and the hungry. My prayer is that this is a God thing, not a BGCT thing. To borrow from Henry Blackaby, Texas Baptists are simply trying to join God where He is at work, and Scripture says and experience confirms that God is involved in this work.

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2 Responses to “Jan. 11 needs to be a big day”

  1. David Troublefield Says:

    From a 2008 article about Evangelistic Cell Groups (contact Jon Randles for a copy of the complete article with its “List of 8”: jon.randles@bgct.org):

    ” . . . 5. Growth of churches requires adequate prayerful planning (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5). The sustained growth of Christian congregations is a spiritual happening—and it’s an administrative thing. Spiritualistic believers (whose maturity level appears high but proves low upon examination) down-play requirements for management of church growth; technocrats focus on planning for growth to the exclusion of the Spirit. Scriptures tell the church, though, that its spiritual and numerical growth result from the activity of God in individual and corporate lives—that He acts through the witness of Christians to produce other Christians and the work of churches to establish more churches in the world. Cell groups can network with cell groups literally to pray down upon their towns and friends the revival or spiritual awakening productive of growth, and they should hold each other accountable always to be Great Co-missionaries.

    “6. The dynamic for growth of God’s church is the Holy Spirit (cf. Ephesians 2:16-22). The Holy Spirit was biblical for a long time before He became Charismatic or Pentecostal or anything else which might be the reason Baptist Christians avoid Him. Without the Comforter’s ability to make lost folks horribly uncomfortable in their hearts about their sins and dark destinies, no church since the Cross ever would have existed. On Texas Baptists’ best ministry day, the credit for souls saved and lives changed still will go to the Holy Spirit. It will not be by strength, it will not be by might; it will be by His Spirit, says the Lord (Zechariah 4:6)—or churches and their cell groups in Texas just won’t be. Tell Christian cell groups which would become evangelistic, ‘Pardners, the Holy Spirit is your Partner . . .’”

  2. David Troublefield Says:

    And from a second article about Evangelistic Cell Groups (again: jon.randles@bgct.org for the complete article):

    “. . . In his day, the Roman philosopher Pliny the Younger could envision his homeland once again a thoroughly pagan one. Pliny had requested via a letter to Rome’s early second-century emperor Trajan his official counsel about the judgment Pliny should execute upon confessing Christians in his region, admitting that the lives and witness of those believers in Jesus had had a profound effect on society. But, due to the persecutions he’d enacted, Pliny was able to report to the Caesar, ‘the temples which were almost deserted begin again to be frequented; . . . and the victims for the altars are now readily sold, which, a while ago, were almost without purchasers.’ Trajan’s letter in reply actually advises more restraint, but Pliny did offer that ‘a multitude of men might be reclaimed, if only the door to repentance was left open’—open, Pliny meant, for the fearless Christ-followers in that century to backslide through to silence and safety. While some took the easy way offered, others more serious about their Lord suffered like Him instead and witnessed to the grace of God in their cruel deaths. An awesome example is set by these for Baptists in Texas, and by many Texas Baptists since them: Christian Baptists in Texas simply must speak up! Texas Hope 2010 won’t even be ‘Hope 2008¾’ without it. Evangelism by Texas Baptists today requires Baptists who are evangelistic—and say so . . .”

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