Posts Tagged ‘Texas Hope 2010’

God moves through Congreso

April 12, 2010

I can’t believe I’ve waited this long to share about Congreso. God moved through Congreso like never before. Right before Easter, a record 7,000 Hispanic students came for the event in Waco, with more than 2,000 spiritual decisions being made for Christ. Many of those students were committing to follow Christ for the first time.

According to all the reports I’ve heard, students filled the floor of Baylor’s basketball arena as they committed themselves to Christ, some of them with tears in their eyes.

Praise God for working in students’ lives. Thank the Lord for the hard work of Frank, Angie and the multitude of folks who put Congreso together. For a complete report from Congreso, check out’s the article Kaitlin put together, which includes a great photo slideshow that shows God working. If you’d like a little more Congreso, video of the general sessions can be found on the Texas Baptists’ video page by clicking here.

Hope springs eternal in Bogota

April 12, 2010

The stories of congregations’ involvement in Texas Hope 2010 continue to come in. First Baptist Church in Bogota went door-to-door to every home in the city, visiting with people, taking prayer requests and offering people Bibles.

The day before Easter, the church had a festival with free food, games for children, activities for adults, live music and opportunities for people to share prayer requests and receive Bibles.

The outreach already is producing fruit. On Easter, the congregation had several families come visit as a result of the church’s effort to share the gospel.

The church’s youth minister, Tim Martin, had this to say about the effort:

“On Easter Sunday, we had a packed house,” Martin said. “We had I’d say five or six families who came as a direct result of what we did on Saturday.”

The guests’ appearance encouraged the congregation and helped members see the kingdom impact their efforts were having, Martin said.

“When we saw these faces … we were so excited they were giving us a chance,” he said. “They wanted to see if our church was everything we said it was in the weeks before. We saw that we weren’t just spinning our wheels, we were actually having an impact.”

Hope in Ballinger

April 8, 2010

Stories are rolling in about how church’s recently have been involved in Texas Hope 2010. I just posted a wrap piece that contains several of those stories from around the state.

Here’s another note that came in after I finished that story.

On Sunday, March 7, FBC Ballinger met to distribute the Hope 2010 CDs.  Pastor Bobby Broyles was hoping to have 30 two-person teams to cover their half of Ballinger.  To his surprise, a few over 100 came out for the event.  Having this many people on a Sunday afternoon out to share the Gospel is exciting and life changing.  Already they are seeing families visit because of the effort.  “We look forward to seeing how God continues to work through this effort.”  Broyles said.  The church is also covering Miles and Rowena, small communities in the Runnels association.

Hope abounds throughout Texas, but work still remains

April 8, 2010

VICTORIA – Each week, new faces graced the sanctuary at Northside Baptist Church, each with a different look, background and curiosity level.

But they had a common reason for being there: each was looking into a church that had canvassed its community handing out evangelistic multimedia compact discs in an attempt to share the gospel.

“We have seen visitors every Sunday except this Sunday, and that’s just I couldn’t document it because of the CDs,” Pastor Tim Williams said in an interview before Easter. “We haven’t seen any decisions, but I’ve been telling people that’s not what this is about. This is a sowing ministry.”

Northside Baptist Church is one of six Victoria congregations who distributed 16,000 evangelistic CDs throughout the city as part of its involvement in Texas Hope 2010, an initiative of Texas Baptists that encourages believers to pray for others, care for people in need and share the gospel with every Texan by Easter 2010.

Through the effort, Texas Baptists distributed more than 862,000 evangelistic CDs and countless copies of Scripture. A man ministering in a South Texas detention center gave away more than 40 New Testaments a month. Bosque Baptist Association committed to distributing 2,500 New Testaments. Broken Chains Freedom Church in Wichita Falls held several large events where biker New Testaments were distributed.

In 2009, Texas Baptists gave a record amount of more than $900,000 to the Texas Baptist Offering for World Hunger and are seeking to raise a total of $2 million for the offering in 2009 and 2010. Congregations are sharing the hope of Christ through starting or expanding food ministries that provide practical assistances to tens of thousands, particularly during the country’s recent economic crisis.

Uncountable multitudes of Texas Baptists are praying with others, taking the cares and concerns to God and asking him to provide. Numerous Texas Baptists have shared stories of asking for God to help someone and seeing that help arrive shortly afterward.

Texas Baptists have shared the hope of Christ – through evangelistic events, CD distribution, feeding ministries, sports ministries and a host of other techniques – with throngs of people and many of them have come to know Christ as Savior through those efforts, said Randel Everett, Texas Baptists executive director. But much work remains.

“Now it is time to evaluate Texas Hope 2010 to learn what has happened over these past two years,” he said. “Are there communities or people groups that have been neglected? How effective are the strategies and tools we are using to share the hope of Christ? How do we maintain the emphasis on prayer, care and share not only in Texas but throughout the nations?”

The initiative has encouraged church members to reach out to others in their respective communities, Williams said. Through Texas Hope 2010, Christians are sharing their faith with their friends and co-workers.

“It’s been a very easy and positive thing,” he said. “It’s been a good first touch for some of our folks to get out into the community or to neighbors to begin a relationship or deepen things. There’s a new family in my neighborhood when I did it. They were one of the ones who visited one Sunday.”

Tina Valdez, missions coordinator for First Baptist Church in Castroville, said the CDs were tools that God used to share the gospel. God orchestrated each church member’s visit in the community, selecting a Christian who could best minister to a particular person.

The congregation has offered an evangelistic CD to every home in Castroville and after Easter is looking to distribute CDs to the 900 homes that surround the city.

“It’s been tremendous,’ Valdez said. “I can’t even describe how awesome it’s been. People have been so open. They need someone who will pray for them. They need someone who will be there for them. They need to know someone cares for them.”

In one case, a church member met a person who needed her car repaired. The church member prayed with the woman that God would send someone to fix the vehicle. As the church person left, the woman’s next-door neighbor walked over and asked if she needed help with her car.

Even people living in homes where church members have left the CD hanging in a bag on a door have later called the church to ask about when the church has worship services.

“It’s like God working in front of you,” Valdez said. “It’s like you had a front row seat. It was just awesome.” “God is blowing the doors open in Castroville. It has been awesome. It has just been awesome.”

Procter Baptist Church in Port Arthur partnered with Harvest Time Bible Church to reach out to the neighborhood through CD distribution. Roughly 10 people made professions of faith and many others expressed interested in visiting one of the churches.

Rick Erwin, pastor of Procter Baptist Church, said Texas Hope 2010 has encouraged people to live out their faith on a regular basis.

“I believe that Hope 2010 has brought some unexpected benefits for our church family. First, there is a new excitement about getting into the community. We had people visiting that have never been door-to-door in our community before,” he said.

“One of our men who was very bashful about talking to anyone concerning their relationship with Christ was put in a situation where he had no choice but to share the basics of salvation with a woman that was asking him how she could be saved. When he got back to the church he asked, ‘Pastor, will we get to go again next week?’ Of course the answer to that was an emphatic “Yes!” This effort has rekindled a new passion for sharing the gospel that I believe will refocus our vision for winning folks where we are and see our new neighbors as a blessing rather than stumbling block.”

Though the Texas Hope 2010 campaign was slated to end on Easter, Texas Baptists continue sharing the hope of Christ with their communities. .

Churches continue to look for ways to meet the needs of the hungry, are giving to the world hunger offering and are getting involved in the Texas Hunger Initiative, a Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission-Baylor University School of Social Work partnership that grew out of Texas Hope 2010 and seeks to end Texas food insecurity by 2015.

Churches are signing on to become summer feeding sites, a particularly strong need for the vast number of Texas children on free lunch programs at school but do not have anything during the summers.

Some congregations plan on starting to distribute evangelistic CDs this Spring. Amarillo Area Baptist Association churches are targeting early May as when they will blanket the area with Scripture.

“It’s an opportunity for churches to get outside themselves and be visible in their community. Obviously the one opportunity to share the gospel is the main reason to do it,” said Amarillo Area Baptist Association Director of Missions Bryan Houser.

“We would like to see lives impacted and changed by it by people being exposed to the gospel. We would like some visibility for our churches as being out in the community and caring about people. We’re talking about the CD distribution, but we also hope it helps with caring opportunities.”

Everett praised Texas Baptists for how they already have allowed God to use them and how they plan to allow God to work through their actions. As long as there is a need, Texas Baptists will remain committed to sharing the hope of Christ with a world in need of hearing the gospel.

“Texas Hope 2010 is a great start to an Acts 1:8 strategy,” he said. “We must maintain this commitment to sharing the gospel in every endeavor we undertake until everyone has the opportunity to respond to the hope of Christ.”

Hope for every Baylor hospital patient

April 7, 2010

A group of smaller churches provided hope to those facing crises in their lives this Easter.

Congregations in the Allied Baptist Church Network worked together to provide 2,290 Texas Hope 2010 evangelistic multimedia compact discs to chaplains in the Baylor Health System, one for every patient in its Dallas County and Collin County hospitals.

Churches involved in the effort are Irving Baptist Fellowship in Irving, Valley View Baptist Church in Farmers Branch, Big Springs Baptist church in Garland, Northlake Baptist church in Dallas, Colonial Baptist church in Dallas, Bible Way Baptist church in Dallas, Westchester Baptist church in Grand Prairie, Faith Baptist Church in Duncanville.

David Fortenbury, pastor of Irving Baptist Fellowship, said the churches wanted to help chaplains in their effort to minister to people in the hospitals. When people face challenges such as illness, they are open to the gospel.

“We wanted to give the chaplains a good tool,” Fortenbury said. “At Easter time, the whole world turns to the cross. People who are down, their health is affected, are open.”

The effort is part of the churches involvement in Texas Hope 2010, an initiative of Texas Baptists that encourages Christians to pray for others, care for those in need and share the gospel with every Texan by Easter 2010.

Four days to go

April 1, 2010

Four days remain until Easter, a day Christians celebrate the the resurrection of Christ. It’s also the culmination of Texas Hope 2010, an initiative that seeks to share the gospel with every person in Texas by Easter 2010, care for those in need and pray for those around us. As we sit here this day, how are we doing in the effort? I’ll let President David Lowrie answer over on his blog.

Hope spreading into Juarez

March 16, 2010

The effort to spread the gospel throughout Texas is impacting Juarez as well. Check it out in the Tyler paper.

Hope is calling Ellis County

March 11, 2010

ROCKETT – Hope is a phone call away for Ellis County residents.

Fourteen churches in the Ellis Baptist Association called and talked to nearly 10,000 people on the telephone, discovering whether each of them is connected to a congregation, taking prayer requests and inviting them to come to a special worship service and lunch at a church close to their respective homes.

“All the research says if you invite someone they will come,” said Ellis Baptist Association Director of Missions Larry Johnson. “So we’ve been out inviting people to church.”

The congregations partnered with Harvest Unlimited, an evangelical ministry that specializes in this sort of outreach, to connect with 4,168 “unchurched” families, roughly 42 percent of the people church members spoke with. Ten percent of those families indicated they would come to the special March 7 service and meal functions. More than 1,000 families indicated they are interested in visiting a church in the future.

The outreach is part of “Ellis Hope 2010,” the association’s participation in Texas Hope 2010, an initiative of Texas Baptists to share the gospel with every Texan by Easter 2010.

Johnson said area church leaders see Ellis Hope 2010 as an opportunity to work together in an effort to expand God’s kingdom.

“This is something we need to do,” Johnson said. “It would be good to pull our churches together. It would be good to pull our churches together for an evangelistic effort.”

Though the churches didn’t expect all the families who indicated they would come to the service to actually come, visitors did make their way to area congregations March 7. Rockett Baptist Church in Rockett, which typically has about 80 in its Sunday worship service, had at least 16 visitors, many of whom stayed after the service for lunch and fellowship.

Rockett Baptist Church members made sure to greet each of the visitors and attempt to make them feel as welcome as possible. Following the service, each visitor was given a mug, candy and some information about the church’s ministries. During the catered lunch after the service, church members fellowshipped with visitors and the guests were eligible for gift cards that were raffled off.

“I’m certainly trying to just get to meet people who are unchurched in our close proximity,” said Pastor Cory Mullins. “Just being how people are today – being closed off and more reliant on social networking sites … it’s kind of harder to meet people and get to know them.”

Mullins said church members will follow-up with the people who visited March 7 but also will visit with the other families who on the phone expressed interest in the church but did not come. The congregation has their contact information and knows a bit about them.

Even if people do not come to an Ellis Baptist Association church, Johnson believes church members have performed a valuable ministry. More than one-third of the people who spoke with the Baptists on the phone shared some sort of prayer request. The churches have prayed for those requests and continue to do so.

Near the end of the calling, Johnson pointed to the efforts of Fourth Ward Baptist Church in Ennis, which saw 79 percent of the people they spoke with share at least one prayer request.

“Prayer requests have been absolutely out of sight for them,” Johnson said.

Seize every opportunity to let God love others through you

March 4, 2010

This morning, I discovered this blog post. It inspired me. I hope it inspires you. To check it out, click here.

And as Sherry writes, “Seize every opportunity to let God love others through you.”

‘It’s not the closed doors that keep me coming back; it’s the doors that open’

March 2, 2010

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything beyond news releases in this space. Honestly, I’ve been trying to keep up with all that is going on across the state connected to Texas Hope 2010. It’s a great issue to have.

This afternoon, Randy Evans, pastor of First Baptist Church in Holland, shared with me that the congregation is visiting every home in its Zip Code — roughly 1,000 homes — and offering a multimedia gospel CD and a dozen homemade cookies. At each door, church members visit with residents ask if anyone in home has a prayer requests and shares some information about the church.

After church members visit homes on Saturday mornings, they come together to discuss how everything went. Each meeting shares another story of how God is working in Holland. One of the leaders said something I found profound:

“I don’t do this because of the closed doors. It’s the doors that open that keep me coming back.”

Not everyone opens their doors to strangers on Saturday mornings. But some people have and do. It’s there that God has arranged divine appointments, connecting people with common friends, interests and bonds. He uses particular people to connect with other particular people and nudge them toward God’s kingdom.

The same is true in your life and mine. I pray that the closed doors don’t get any of us down. And I pray that we recognize the doors opening before us and take advantage of them. Where is God opening doors for you to share the gospel?