‘Praying and Going’ is more than a theme

Embracing the unengaged people groups (UPGs) is a daunting task. The Southern Baptist churches in Texas are up to the challenge. There are over 3,800 people groups that have no church, no strategic witness and in many cases have never heard the name of Jesus. Many of these are in remote areas or hostile conditions but others are readily accessible with no overt opposition. Without Jesus these people are going to a Christ-less eternity.

Will your church be one of one thousand Texas churches to embrace a UPG? The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention and the International Mission Board are teaming up to make it possible for you to directly address the lostness. There is a process in place for training, equipping, and going. It starts with a willing heart.

All Southern Baptist churches in Texas are invited to the Irving Convention Center on Tuesday, Nov. 15. Starting at 6:30 p.m., the Travis Avenue choir and orchestra will begin a night like no other. Michael Dean, pastor of Travis Avenue, will bring a biblical exposition on “Praying and Going to the World.”

Beloved and retired missionary Rebekah Naylor will share testimony about serving among unreached peoples. A live link to South Asia will enable us to hear from David and Peggy Shepherd, who minister among unreached peoples. By video the executive director of the Indian Baptist Society, Subba Rao, will talk about the great need of embracing the unengaged.

Tom Elliff is sending a special word of greeting. Hillcrest Baptist Church’s children’s choir will sing an invitation as we have opportunity to say with the prophet Isaiah, “Here am I Lord, send me!” Closing out the night will be a powerful message from God’s Word by the extraordinary pastor and author Mark Dever of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.

There are a lot of important aspects to this year’s annual meeting of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. What I have just described to you will be the climax. Setting the table for Tuesday evening are activities for the preceding two days.

Sunday night the Spanish-language session of the SBTC meets simultaneously with the Bible Conference. On Monday there are morning and afternoon worship times of the Bible Conference with a Ministry Café at lunch. Dynamic preacher-practitioners lead throughout the conference.

The annual meeting begins on Monday evening at 6:20 p.m. There will be singing, preaching, praying and a little business on the side. President Byron McWilliams’ message concludes the evening. Tuesday morning features the Convention Sermon by Nathan Lino, pastor of Northeast Houston Baptist Church. Tuesday afternoon is time for most business with officers’ elections and my report. Throughout the annual meeting, Southern Baptist Convention and SBTC ministries will share testimonies about what God is doing in Texas, the nation and the world.

This brings me back full circle to Tuesday night. Pastor, if you want your people’s hearts stirred, this is it. Director of missions, if you want your churches challenged, this is it. Christian layperson, if you want a cause bigger than any other, this is it. All Southern Baptist churches in Texas are invited to this Kingdom night of “Praying and Going.”

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