Dallas: This week my responsibilities took me to my home away from home—Dallas. As you probably know the Baptist Building of the BGCT is located near Baylor Hospital close to downtown. The beautiful spacious offices are a testimony to the foresight of our Baptist leaders, and the providence of God. You may not be aware but the Baptist Building and its operation is not directly a result of Cooperative Program giving! The Baptist Building celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, and I learned the story of how a handful of key Baptist leaders had the wisdom to sell the BGCT offices in downtown and to take the proceeds to purchase the current land, build the offices, and to endow their upkeep all from the proceeds of the sale. With the help of Baylor Hospital this piece of property has become an effective tool in the hands of Texas Baptists.
This week a subcommittee of the Committee on Convention Business (COCB) met to review the requests for exhibitors for this year’s annual meeting in Houston, November 16-17. During the meeting we reviewed requests from a wide variety of ministries and vendors. I was encouraged and amazed at the wide variety of ministry partners God is bringing into our circle. If you have the opportunity to attend the convention, you will find in the exhibit area many old and new friends. A few of the new exhibitors will be Mercy Ships, Navpress, Lead Like Jesus, and Remote Sermons. I must admit one of my favorite parts of conventions are the hours spent in the exhibit areas learning more about the new ministry opportunities and partnerships available to me and my church, and hanging out with my friends. In fact, Bill Wright, one of my closest friends, looks forward to going to the convention so he can hang out in the halls and harass messengers as they pass by! Usually Bill has more people hanging out around him than anyone I know.
The “City Reach” for this year’s convention in Houston is going to take a powerful evangelistic turn with the help of the Bill Glass Evangelistic Association. Dr. Everett, John Randles and Bill Glass have worked together to put together an evangelistic effort that could potentially give us the opportunity to share the gospel with over 100,000 people during our days in Houston. Texas Baptists will join up with Bill Glass and his team to enter the prisons near Houston on the weekend before. In addition, Bill Glass will be bringing in a team of professional athletes to speak in high school assemblies all across the greater Houston area. These same athletes will be available to speak in area churches on Sunday in special evangelistic events. If you or your church would be interesting in hosting one the athletes please contact me so we can make the necessary arrangements.
In closing, I traveled north to Lewisville to have lunch with Matt Chandler and Jeremy Pace of the Village Church in Highland Village. Matt Chandler is one of the finest young pastors in the nation. He is a product of Hardin Simmons University, and has an amazing heart for God and for reaching his generation with the gospel. I wanted to talk to Matt because I believe he represents the kind of young leaders that we need to shape our future. During lunch together they shared with me about the synergy of the Acts 29 Network, and their desire to plant over 200 new churches in Texas in our major metropolitan areas. I hope and pray this conversation will deepen our relationship with Matt. If we are going to embrace the future, we need to get young leaders like Matt at the table. Better yet, we need guys like Matt leading the way.