State missions offering surpasses $1.1 million, seeks sequel in 2009

The annual Reach Texas Offering for state missions marked two milestones this year by surpassing $1 million for the first time and exceeding its goal of $1.1 million.

With the Reach Texas Offering week of prayer scheduled for Sept. 21-28 and a new offering year beginning Sept. 1, SBTC Missions Director Terry Coy said the expectations are high for 2008-09.

“We are very pleased with the Reach Texas giving this year, and we are anticipating another generous year as we seek to reach the unreached in Texas, which each year becomes a larger and more diverse proportion of the state’s population,” Coy said. “The challenge has never been greater in our state.”

In 2008-09, the promotional focus is on the Texas Borderlands, an area north of the Rio Grande and south of a line stretching from El Paso east to San Antonio and Corpus Christi.

Although the SBTC state missions offering supports ministry throughout Texas, the Borderlands focus is strategic, Coy explained.

“The Borderlands region of Texas is the most underevangelized area of the state and has the highest rate of unchurched people,” Coy said. “It also has the highest poverty levels and the highest population percentage of Hispanics.”

More than 4 million people live in the Borderlands, and more than 3 million are Hispanic.

Half of Reach Texas Offering gifts fund church planting, 25 percent goes to various missions endeavors, including disaster relief, missions mobilization, and church planter development, and 25 percent funds evangelism events and training.

For example, the SBTC disaster relief ministry this year mobilized trained “yellow cap” volunteers to the Rio Grande Valley following Hurricane Dolly. Reach Texas funds also bought Arabic Bibles for churches to use in reaching out to Muslims in two Texas cities.

Reach Texas helps fund the annual SENT missions conference, Empower Evangelism Conference, the Student Evangelism Conference, and numerous evangelism training events and resources.

Coy said the Reach Texas Offering’s focus on the Borderlands is motivated by the need to remind Texans of the mission field within the state.

“This is a region where the need for reaching people with the gospel is great,” Coy said. “We also wanted to place some emphasis on Hispanic church planting in general, and this goes hand in hand with that.”

The Reach Texas devotional booklet, available to churches for promoting the offering, covers eight days; each one includes a story of how Texans were touched through the ministry provided by the Reach Texas Offering plus a prayer point for each day. Day one, for instance, tells how SBTC disaster relief volunteers ministered to families in the Rosita Valley area of Eagle Pass near the Mexican border after a tornado struck in April 2007.

Day two tells of Jim and Marsha Wilson, planters of Esperanza del Rio Church in Del Rio. The couple met Ana, who like Lydia in Acts 16:13-15, responded to the gospel and then led her household to Christ.

Day five tells of Yorktown Baptist Church in Corpus Christi and their outreach to Muslims in their area following an SBTC People Groups Champion Project training.

The prayer point for day five states: “Pray that God will use your church to minister to the people groups in your area, and pray that the Lord will empower you to live a missional lifestyle reaching the nations right here in Texas.”

Reach Texas promotional resources, including a bulletin insert, are downloadable at For additional information, e-mail or call the SBTC missions office at 877-953-7282.

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