Richards: SBTC poised to make difference as it matures

GRAPEVINE-Jim Richards told the Executive Board during its summer meeting Aug. 3 the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention is poised to make a difference among Baptists as it passes the five-year mark.

Richards, SBTC Executive Director, said the convention in its first five years had reached its goal of becoming a viable ministry in the state of Texas and is entering a new epoch in its life.

Richards unfurled several goals for the SBTC in the coming years. First, he said the convention should demonstrate that we are the best at missions strategy in the state of Texas because of church planting among under-evangelized groups and developing in the DNA of those churches a passion for planting other churches and commitment to the SBTC’s core values.

Second, Richards voiced the hope that we will be the provider of choice for services to local churches. In our time, as it has changed, local churches resource all types of ministries to meet the needs of their congregation. Unfortunately, we’re seeing a trend away from doctrinal loyalty, defined, If it works, we’re going to use it regardless of where the source has its doctrinal position. We want to not only say that we can provide doctrinal resources, but attractive, positive and innovative resources for local churches.

Third, Richards said, the SBTC should be a good partner to the Southern Baptist Convention through the Cooperative Program, continuing on our pace to the end game which is 55 percent (of CP Missions giving) going on to the Southern Baptist Convention. Once the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention reaches that point then we will have accomplished what we set out to do. And our statement is that we?re doing more with less in Texas without Texas having to do with less.

Summing up, Richards said the SBTC can be a leader among Baptists. Up to this point we’ve been a fledgling convention, a breakaway convention, a renegade convention. We?ve had a lot of adjectives attached to us to describe us. But the next adjective that?s going to be used is a leading convention.

Richards said the convention’s commitment to missions and evangelism, cooperation through the CP Missions funding channel, theological agreement without uniformity, and minimal organizational bureaucracy, can be a model for other Baptist entities.

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