Volume 5 - Issue 3

Online Exclusive

The In-Between Vision

Karl Fickling, director of interim services, shares insight on the “In-between Vision” and the process by which a new pastor can join with the congregation to form a vision for where the Lord is leading them.


Online Exclusive

Pastoral transitions: Times to thrive

We are highlighting our intentional interim ministry with two articles online this summer. Read a story highlighting the work Intentional Interim Mark Brister has been able to do for several Texas churches.

Read more

Texas Baptists mobilized to influence lawmakers at 2017 Advocacy Day

WATCH a video highlighting the outstanding speakers, workshops, training and Capitol visits that took place during the Christian Life Commission’s Advocacy Day in Austin.

Texas Baptist Men
Disaster Relief Day

WATCH a video highlighting the impact of Texas Baptist Men Disaster Relief in the lives of thousands each year, made possible by your support of the Texas Baptists Cooperative Program.

Articles From Issue 3

Digital Edition

Healthy Bodies, Healthy Churches

When your child is sick, you begin a process of gathering information so you can determine what is wrong with her and what your next steps should be. Perhaps one of your first steps is to check her temperature. If the number on the thermometer is close to 98.6° you can relax a little and move on to your next step in making her more comfortable. If the numbers are too high, you know your child is not healthy and you need to act quickly. Numbers can be very helpful. They make good gauges and guides, but they make poor goals. Your child’s health is your goal, not the numbers on the thermometer.

The same is true in the church. Numbers... [continue]

Truth to be obeyed, not advice to be heeded

Some people have a sweet tooth; I have teeth made of sugar. My grande white chocolate mocha with extra whip and an extra pump of white chocolate epitomizes this. When the barista announces my coffee flavored sugar drink before the morning rush crowd, a tinge of shame comes over me. However, this shame subsides when she announces the next order – a no foam, soy milk latte at 91 degrees with two packets of Splenda and a light sprinkling of hazelnut.

Who would have thought warmed bean water could be so customizable?

Such is life in 2017. We know what we like, how we like it, and we expect the barista to serve our drink to us our... [continue]

Fearfully and wonderfully made: Empowering a new mother to celebrate life

When 19-year-old Angela* came to the Life Design Program, a Buckner Children & Family Services program supported by Baylor Scott & White Health, she was seven months pregnant and had nowhere to live. She moved back to Dallas after dropping out of college due to her unintended pregnancy and felt that plans for her life had taken a drastic detour.

Angela was bouncing from place to place, sleeping on friends’ couches, all the while continuing to progress in her pregnancy. She felt like her world had been turned upside down and struggled with insecurity and shame. Expressing feelings of failure and disappointment about her past... [continue]

Keys to a Gospel-centered summer: Q&A with the Great Commission Team

Summer church ministry may look and feel a little different than other times of the year. From camps and kids programs to sports clinics and block parties, opportunities to engage your community with the Gospel are endless. We sat down with our Great Commission Team leaders to ask their perspective on all things evangelism and discipleship. Here’s what they shared:

What summertime ministry made the biggest impact on you as a young person?

Delvin Atchison: It was Vacation Bible School. I came from a small town and small towns didn’t have a lot of camps, mind you this is 40 years ago, but we did have Vacation Bible School. It was... [continue]

5 steps to make the most of your camp experience as a leader

By Jennifer Deibel, Contributing Writer

The car washes are complete, the spaghetti dinners served, funds raised and you’re ready for camp.

For many youth and children, a week at camp each summer is the highlight of the year. It’s a time to get away from the mundane daily routines, meet new people and have lots of fun. It can, however, be much more than that. Camp can be a truly life-changing experience.

Danny Dawdy, executive director at Highland Lakes Camp and Conference Center, says, “The power of Christian camping is one of the greatest tools a church has. Coming away from a student’s regular routine into an environment of... [continue]

Care + Share: 11 effective ways to reach your community

Outreach in any community begins with intentionality - caring for others and finding ways to share Jesus in a clear, concise way. The summer months provide an especially unique opportunity for churches to impact the lives of those around them. While the best outreach ideas often come from you and those in your church, your friends at Texas Baptists are always available to come alongside and help find more ways to make an impact in your community. Contact the missions team to learn more, or try one of the ideas below.

1. Fire up the lawn mower for someone in need

Ask your city if they know of any senior adults who are having... [continue]

Making the mystery of the Gospel known at Super Summer

To make the mystery of the Gospel known to unbelievers requires remembering what it was like to be lost, Shannon Hopkins told a room of 200 Super Summer leaders in preparation for upcoming camps.

Hopkins, a missionary to Honduras, returns to Texas each summer to serve as an assistant dean one week of Super Summer as an opportunity to give back to a those who invested so much in his life.

As he dissected the heart of this year’s Super Summer theme “Making the mystery of the Gospel known” for deans, assistant deans and the other camp leadership, Hopkins encouraged each person to remember what it means to be a foreigner and an... [continue]

Cuidar + Compartir: 11 maneras efectivas para alcanzar a su comunidad

El alcance en cualquier comunidad comienza siendo intencional—cuidando de otros y encontrando maneras para compartir a Jesús de una manera clara y concisa. Los meses del verano proveen una oportunidad particular para la iglesias impactar las vidas de los que les rodean. A pesar de que las mejores ideas de alcance vienen de usted y los miembros de su iglesia, sus amigos en los Bautistas de Texas siempre están disponibles para ayudarle a encontrar maneras para hacer un impacto en su comunidad. Comuníquese con su equipo de misiones para aprender más, o trate una de las ideas a continuación.  

1. Use sus podadoras de grama o... [continue]

Pastoral transitions: Times to thrive

By John Hall, Contributing Writer

Moses is one of the most recognized figures in the Bible. He takes on Pharaoh. He leads the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. God even gives him the 10 Commandments as they converse face to face.

He’s one of the greatest examples of leadership in all of Scripture, irreplaceable in his role in God’s story. But God’s story of redemption doesn’t end with Moses. It continues as Joshua transitions into leadership.

Today, many churches find themselves in times of transitioning leadership. Research consistently has shown the average tenure of a pastor is between three and four years, presenting... [continue]

The In-Between Vision

Every pastor knows they will hear this question: “What is God’s vision for our church?” Or, it might be stated a little differently, like, “What are we supposed to be doing? What is God’s will for our church?” These questions will be asked either during an interview with a search committee, or right after the pastor arrives new to a church, or both.

Many pastoral candidates have a ready answer. They have gone to a seminary class, or they have attended a leadership seminar, or they have read a book, and they have a specific image in their mind of what a church—every church—should look like. Unfortunately, those pastors’ plans often... [continue]