SBTC 2011: ‘Praying + Going’

IRVING—The missionary zeal of the early church is inspiration for this year’s annual meeting and Bible Conference of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, scheduled for the Irving Convention Center, Nov. 13-15.

The theme for the annual business session of messengers, Monday and Tuesday of that week, is “Praying + Going” and comes from Acts 13:2-3: “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.”

The theme is closely tied to last year’s theme, “Praying & Listening,” which was followed by numerous prayer and listening sessions across the state earlier this year.

The SBTC Bible Conference immediately precedes the annual meeting, and will feature regional and national speakers and pastors (See related story page 8).

“‘Praying + Going’ is more than a theme,” SBTC Executive Director Jim Richards wrote in a column for Texas Baptist Crossroads. “It is a lifestyle for the Jesus follower. As we seek the Father’s face we will hear the Spirit’s voice telling us where we should go to share the Good News about the Son. God has a people in your community, state, nation, and the world for you to embrace. Jesus is coming. It could be today. Let’s get going before he returns.”

Each session of the annual meeting will focus on a different area of missionary engagement, from pockets of lostness in rapidly changing Texas to unreached peoples halfway across the world.  

One focus sure to be addressed in sermons and in ministry reports is the challenge from the SBTC Executive Board for Southern Baptists in Texas to adopt 1,000 of the approximately 3,800 unengaged, unreached people groups worldwide. That challenge came after the SBTC board in August granted $1 million in surplus funds through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for international missions.

Closer to home, “The Christian culture that once provided a framework for our nation is fading” and “Texas is no longer only belt buckles and cowboy boots,” Richards remarked.

“There are 200,000 Asian Indians, thousands of Bhutanese refugees and an estimated 500,000 Muslims in Texas. The mega-cities are rapidly becoming gospel-free zones by default. We have our work cut out for us,” he added.

SBTC President and Odessa pastor Byron McWilliams will preach his message to the convention on Monday night, Nov. 14. Nathan Lino, pastor of Northeast Houston Baptist Church in Humble, will preach the convention sermon on Tuesday morning, Nov. 15.

Mark Dever, pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. and the founder of 9Marks Ministries, is the guest preacher during the closing session on Tuesday, Nov. 15.
Tickets to luncheons Nov. 14-15 are available for purchase online at sbtexas.com/am11 or by calling the SBTC office toll-free at 877-953-7282 (SBTC).

Deadline to submit resolutions to the SBTC Resolutions Committee is close of business Nov. 4. Members of SBTC-affiliated churches may submit resolutions by email to lrice@sbtexas.com or by mail to Lane Rice, 4500 SH 360, Grapevine, TX 76051. Resolutions must be accompanied by the author’s contact information and church membership.

Childcare will be available by reservation only for birth through age 9. Shuttle service will be offered between the convention hotel and the Irving Convention Center, 500 West Las Colinas Blvd., in Irving.  

For additional information on the annual meeting and messenger registration, visit www.sbtexas.com/am11/.

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