WACO—Baptist General Convention of Texas President René Maciel urged Texas Baptists to ask themselves a penetrating question: “Can you honestly say you’ve given yourself to God this year?”
During his presidential message to the BGCT annual meeting, Maciel called on Texas Baptists to reimagine Christian ministry in the context of living in faith and surrender, saying in light of Jesus’ work, Christians can disagree and still love.
“Is it so much about programs and things and ideas that we lose focus of a God who loves us and wants to have relationship with us?” Maciel asked.
After nearly 10 years as president of Baptist University of the Américas, Maciel took a position as community pastor at First Baptist Church of Woodway in Waco this past September.
Maciel referenced his service to BUA, saying God developed his understanding of what it means to minister the gospel in service to others during his time at the university.
“When we do offer ourselves to God, we do so with a divided heart,” he said. “We give more time and attention to other things around us.”
In surrender, the church should not lose sight of what God has called it to do, he said.
“God wants all of us,” he said. “He wants me to surrender all that I am and all that I have. Every day is a worship experience. You cannot fulfill God’s purpose for your life when you focus on your own plans.”
Maciel’s address helped Tamiko Jones, minister of missions and young adults at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mansfield, reflect on her own journey.
“It made me ask myself, ‘Am I giving my all?’” she said. “These last two years of ministry have been a walk of faith. I was an engineering manager. God called me to ministry, and I didn’t have a job to go to.”
After 16 years of corporate work experience, Jones said, she felt called to full-time ministry.
“When I know I’m serving in obedience, I have a sense of not having to be in control of things. I am in his providence,” she said. “Surrender is hard. But once you do it, there’s no going back.”