AUSTIN—The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention will host two luncheons March 1 to present the newest “Reach City” strategy, Reach Austin.
One luncheon will be at Calvary Baptist Church in San Marcos from 10 a.m. to noon and the other will be at Northside Church in Austin from noon to 2 p.m. The SBTC’s new Reach Austin strategist will be introduced at each luncheon.
Austin is the 11th largest city in the nation, the 3rd largest state capital and last year was named the second “Best City for Millennials” by Forbes magazine. Forty-one percent of the 2.1 million residents are unchurched and 33 percent are de-churched. While largely made up of Anglos and Hispanics, Austin is also home to many African Americans and Asians.
Communities under the Reach Austin umbrella include those between Georgetown and New Braunfels (from north to south), and between Cedar Park and Bastrop (east to west). Inside the boundaries are Buda (the fastest growing city in the Austin area), Round Rock, Pflugerville and San Marcos. The SBTC currently has six church plants in the Austin metro area.
Through “Reach” the SBTC seeks to equip and support churches in fulfilling the Acts 1:8 commission of spreading the gospel at home and around the world.
Barry Calhoun, SBTC mobilization director and church planting associate, said Reach facilitates “opportunities to engage in and/or learn to do foreign missions within the state and reach some of those same people groups here in Texas that they engage in other countries.” He added, “The methodology is church planting and revitalization through evangelism.”
The “Reach” program name was first used with “Reach Houston,” but the strategy was used in other cities and regions prior to Houston—Laredo, El Paso and the Rio Grande Valley.
Through the program, small member churches can more effectively mobilize for missions in the state. For example, Calhoun said, “The Bi-Stone Association, which is a small association with small member churches, has decided to adopt Reach Houston as a focus for 2018. We hope to see similar things happen in Austin.”
Needs for Reach Austin include the sponsorship of more church planters and assistance with revitalizing existing churches.
Church leaders who want to learn more about Reach Austin should register by Feb. 19 for one of the March 1 luncheons. To register, go to sbtexas.com/mobilization and click on the “Register Now” link under the Reach Austin partnership.