WACO—In his final address as president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, Jason Burden spoke of his deep love for Texas and Baptist ministry within the state.
“I love Texas. It’s dear to me. It has nurtured me, provided me and my family opportunities. It has been our primary mission field,” Burden told messengers and guests at the BGCT annual meeting in Waco.
“Everything is bigger and better in the state of Texas, and we’ve enjoyed great ministry here.”
Burden emphasized changes are on the horizon—and already taking place—within the state. The Texas population is projected to grow to 50 million people by the year 2050, he said.
He traced the history of Texas from cattle barons to oil barons to the emerging tech barons who are bringing waves of change in present-day Texas.
“Texas is changing. We could yearn after the ways of yesteryear, but we’d be wasting our time. God’s not going to stand still. God’s going forward, and God is looking for people to keep up with him,” Burden said.
“The kind of Texas that will be in the future is going to be largely determined by what God does through Texans in this room today.”
Burden read from Hebrews 11, offering his hope Texas Baptists exhibit the character of those heroes of the faith found in the New Testament passage.
“Aspects of the new Texas we can’t control. But we can control how we use our resources and how we commit our lives together to a greater cause. … Our reach is being extended, and the reason for that is because our God still reigns,” he said.
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Burden encouraged Texas Baptists to greet incoming residents with love and the gospel message.
“We must make sure that every new Texan is welcomed to our great state with an invitation to know Jesus the Savior,” he said.
“A Texas without Jesus is not a Texas worth bragging about.”