In the 1940s, members of Central Baptist Church in Luling partnered to construct their own church building. When Pastor Beaux Hinote arrived in the summer of 2011, it was clear that some renovations were in order.
“The cost for our congregation would be demanding, but nothing that they were not willing to invest in,” said Hinote, serving in his first pastorate at Central Baptist. “The facilities were in bad condition and it was reflecting badly on our church. And yet, in my heart, I knew God demands that we love others as we love ourselves.”
It was this truth, Hinote said, that spurred him to challenge his congregation with what he refers to as the “50/50 rule.”
“The 50/50 rule is that we spend 50 percent of what God gives us in-house for the necessities of ministry in our local body and 50 percent for missions and outreach, building the kingdom outside the walls of our church,” Hinote said. “And since our vision for our church is ‘Love God, Love Others, Live Holy,’ I told the church we would only go forward with the renovations if we did for others to the same measure. The cost for the physical renovations would be about $15,000, so I challenged the church to raise an additional $15,000 for local ministry and missions.”
It took just over two months for the congregation to raise the sum. In addition to funding the renovations for their church building, the church was able to begin a new ministry partnership in Honduras.
The challenge has already taken root with the people of the church.
“We ask the congregation to give lovingly more than just the bare minimum of the tithe. They do and are very generous with what God has blessed them with,” Hinote said. “If I am doing my math right, we are a little less than halfway to our goal of the 50/50 rule.”
Hinote credits his passion for missions to his involvement in local and global missions projects throughout his life.
“From the border cities in Mexico to the seawall of Corpus Christi, I have seen the joy and growth that comes with being obedient to make disciples,” he said. “Missions is necessary because there are those who do not know the God who loves them.”
Hinote grew up the son of a plumber in the southeast corner of Texas before graduating from East Texas Baptist University and Southwestern Seminary. During that time he served on staff at several Baptist churches in associate positions, all while dismissing his own call to pastor.
“I once used to look down the hall at the pastor’s office door and smile to myself, giving God thanks that I did not have to do that job in the kingdom. I simply wanted to remain in the background, with less exposure,” Hinote recalls. “But he had different plans.”
Since answering the call to pastor and arriving at Central Baptist, Hinote said he has seen God work in incredible ways. The church has responded to his challenge not only with their giving, but also with their time.
In addition to helping establish infrastructure and support a church plant in Honduras, Central also started a local mission that provides the Luling community a hot meal twice a month. Last summer, the student ministry took a trip to do missions training. Also, the church has helped plant two churches through their local association.
“God is working in the lives of our people and they are building the kingdom in so many ways,” Hinote said. “I cannot begin to recount all the ways he is changing hearts to be bent toward missions and outreach, with evangelism at the forefront.”
Since seeing the church latch onto the 50/50 challenge, Hinote said that Central Baptist is an entirely new church.
“Things are visibly different. We have grown closer as a family, as well as grown numerically and financially. We are seeing people come to Christ, starting a relationship with our savior. Families are being restored. The gospel is being shared,” he said. “Our community is seeing the effects of a church obedient.”