EDITOR’S NOTE: The following are the remarks of SBTC Executive Director Jim Richards upon presenting an oversized check symbolizing a $1 million gift from Southern Baptists of Texas Convention surplus funds for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for international missions. The presentation occurred on Sept. 14 in Orlando, Fla.
Dr. Elliff, staff, trustees, and guests, it is my privilege to stand before you today and represent the churches of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. On Aug. 9 the Executive Board of the SBTC took several historic actions. Two that relate to your ministry are extremely significant.
The first statement was a unanimous and enthusiastic vote to challenge all Southern Baptist churches in Texas to embrace 1,000 of the more than 3,800 unengaged people groups. Everything possible will be done to mobilize local churches to go.
The second unanimous, enthusiastic vote was to give from reserves one million dollars to the International Mission Board through the Lottie Moon Offering for missionary deployment.
Let me explain where this money came from: The SBTC has no money. It all belongs to the Lord. The churches gave the money through the Cooperative Program. It is a unified, undesignated giving plan that provides a synergistic powerhouse of collective ministry.
The Cooperative Program provides for Vacation Bible School clinics, multi-ethnic youth camps, funded church planters and over one hundred other ministries in Texas. This network enables state conventions to assist churches in doing the work of the ministry. Out of many of these collaborative efforts come our missionaries who go to the unengaged people groups.
This one million dollars comes from First Baptist Church, Euless and First Baptist Church, Rockwall. It also comes from Skyline Baptist Church in Killeen and First Baptist Church, Buna, Texas. Some say we are in a post-denominational age. Some make snarky comments about our work together. I want to encourage you to encourage others to stay together, go together and continue to give together. Second Corinthians 8:15 says, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left and whoever gathered little had no lack.” Let’s tell the world about Jesus, together!