Month: September 2015

Reach Texas Mission Offering emphasis slated for late September; $1.3 million-goal set

Nearly 27 million people inhabit the state of Texas—an ever-increasing number representing nations and people from around the globe. Statistically, in order to keep pace with the 12 percent population growth experienced since 2010, as many as 30 rural and 1,000 urban churches must be planted each year. While messengers to the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention have designated the largest portion of their in-state budget to evangelism and missions, giving $4.5 million to those specific gospel tasks in 2015, they desire to do more.

The annual Reach Texas Missions Offering provides the opportunity to do just that, inviting churches to band together in Cooperative Program fashion to give another $1 million-plus toward reaching the lost in Texas. Of money given through the September offering, 100 percent goes directly toward mission and evangelism efforts in the state.

SBTC Church Planting Lead Associate David Alexander says the yearly missions offering plays a crucial role in reaching the Lone Star State.

“More people groups live in Texas than anywhere else in North America,” Alexander says.

In fact, reports indicate that 16 percent of Texans are foreign born, and 35 percent speak a language besides English at home. More Muslims live in Texas than in any other state, worshipping in some 170 mosques—the largest one in the U.S. to be fully constructed by March 2016 near Houston. The 75038 zip code in Irving is the most ethnically diverse neighborhood in the entire country.

The growth and diversification of Texas has brought the foreign mission field to North America, and the Reach Texas Offering helps fund Texans’ efforts on that field, Alexander says.

“One-hundred percent of the offering is used to help the SBTC churches reach international people groups, mobilize teams of people to creatively impact their communities and start new churches in Texas. The focus is resourcing SBTC churches in their missional kingdom work in Texas.”

Houston’s First Baptist Church Pastor Greg Matte, whose city is now more ethnically diverse than New York City, said in a video message to fellow Texans that, in essence, state missions is now world missions thanks to the influx of global peoples to Texas.

“God has brought the world to our city,” Matte said. “And we want to bring Jesus to our city.”

Houston church planter Chris Bradford says the Reach Texas Offering coupled with the way Southern Baptists of Texas give on a continual basis through the Cooperative Program makes an enormous impact in his church’s ability to minister in South Texas.

“[The SBTC] lovingly and gracefully came alongside me and helped me start this church and financially helped us get started,” said Bradford, who leads Pathway Church in Mont Belvieu. “To be honest with you, it’s churches just like you guys—the SBTC and churches that are alongside partnering with us—that have helped us come to the east side of Houston and reach people for Christ. And so, Pathway Church [has] been effectively doing that for the last year—leading people down the pathway to real life. That’s what we’re here for. So I want to thank you for giving to the Cooperative Program and the Reach Texas Mission Offering.”

This year, the week of prayer emphasis for the Reach Texas Offering runs Sept. 20-27. The goal for the offering is set at $1.3 million, with videos, posters and bulletin inserts available online at

Church-Related stories:

Reach Texas Missions Offering: Reaching Freeport

FREEPORT—Pointing people to Jesus Christ is the goal of everything Crossover Community Church in Freeport does.

Church planter Jonathan Sublet openly tells people in his community the church has “ulterior motives” to all the service and generosity that characterizes Crossover. Ministering to the local football team, helping kids during back-to-school season, giving families resources in credit management, offering help to job seekers—all of it, he says, is done via a desire to introduce people to Christ.

“We know the deepest need is for people to hear the gospel, so we look at all of our interactions, all of our partnerships as a way to meet people where they’re at to be able to share the gospel with them,” Sublet said. “We don’t want to send more educated, healthier, wealthier sinners to hell. We want people to have relationships with Christ and to be able to grow and mature in their relationship—not to just settle for a shallow Christianity but to have this deep relationship that he offers with deep community with him and his son.”

The annual Reach Texas mission offering is one way that Texans across the state can join hands with pastors like Sublet and churches like Crossover to take the saving truth of the gospel to as many people as possible. One hundred percent of the money given through Reach Texas does exactly that—it reaches Texas. It goes directly to the task of taking the message of hope to places like the grassy lot in Freeport that lies in a neighborhood full of people that need Jesus. People that planters like Sublet are devoting their lives to reaching with the help and support of fellow Texans.

To learn more about Reach Texas and to find free church resources such as bulletin inserts and flyers, visit