SAN ANTONIO—Fulfilling Jesus’ Great Commission requires Texas Baptists to unite for the cause of Christ, speakers told the final worship service of the Texas Baptist Family Gathering.
Texas Baptists must bring the physically and spiritually ill to a place of healing, said Michael Evans, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mansfield.
“I believe that’s our mandate,” he said, preaching from Romans 12:3-4. “I believe that’s our call. I believe we must be passionate about bringing men and women into the kingdom of the most high God.”
People in every community need Christ, Evans noted. Christians must move outside the church walls to share the gospel.
“We must summon the church to service,” he said. “Service is a tangible expression of our love for God.”
Responsibility to share gospel
All Christ-followers have a responsibility to share the good news of Jesus with people around them, Evans said. If each believer takes that duty seriously, great things can be accomplished in the name of Christ, but it requires cooperation.
“We cannot do this alone,” he said. “We cannot save our cities, our state, our nation or our world alone.”
If congregations believe in cooperation, they must work together and fund cooperative efforts, he insisted. They must treat each other like beloved family members.
“Unity cannot be something we just talk about,” he said. “It must be something we live out every day of our lives.”
However, “assassins of unity” lurk in the shadows, seeking to undermine churches’ ministry efforts, said Pete Pawelek, pastor of Cowboy Fellowship in in Atascosa County.
Guard against pride, arrogance
Christians should be vigilant in guarding against unity assassins, such as pride and arrogance, lack of forgiveness; “me-itis” or selfishness, unbiblical conformity, gossip and cowardice. Each can rise up in Christians’ lives and prevent the unity God wants.
“If we desire to experience and live the full life of Christ, we must purge this deadly disease from our church,” he said.
Pawelek encouraged Texas Baptists to “ensure unity assassins are stopped and no longer given a place in God’s church,” noting when that takes place, great things happen.
Pawelek thanked Texas Baptists for the work done over the past decade to embrace cowboys across the state who felt lost without anyone looking for them.
In the past 12 years, more than 200 cowboy churches have been started across Texas, reaching thousands for the kingdom of God, he noted. Pawelek reported more than 1,000 new believers have been baptized in his church during the past 10 years.