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Population shifts present challenges for rural churches

Rural churches in America face a host of challenges as they seek to continue ministry in their communities. Loss of members through population shift from rural areas to urban centers can drain rural churches.
       

Poverty moves into suburbia; creates ministry opportunities

Suburban churches don’t need to leave the state, travel to colonias along the Rio Grande or drive into the inner city to meet the needs of the poor. A recent study shows they may not even have to leave their own neighborhoods.
       

Some rural churches see their calling as providing a laboratory for training ministers

Rural churches, particularly those within driving distance of a seminary or denominational college or university, often become training grounds for ministerial staff.
       

Ways to engage a changing suburb

Suburbs are changing ethnically and socioeconomically, creating ministry opportunities and challenges for churches across the country. Here are some tips from leaders about engaging changing neighborhoods effectively for Christ.
       

Texas Baptists Committed leader says group has moved to ‘next level’

A recent e-mail appeal from six former Baptist General Convention of Texas presidents encouraging attendance at the state convention’s annual meeting in McAllen and an announcement regarding a new blog devoted to historic Baptist principles marked the first—but not the last—efforts of Texas Baptists Committed to reconnect with Baptists in the state, said Michael Bell, chairman of the group’s board of directors.
       

Hundreds make spiritual decisions at Tulia crusade

Some thought an evangelistic crusade in Swisher County wasn’t economically possible, but the sacrifice proved worth it when hundreds made life-changing decisions.
       

RFD--OK, or DOA?

America’s rural churches were built upon and grew from a strong sense of community. Although many rural congregations now are in decline, that community reliance may be the key to spiritual renewal and to thriving ministry.
       

County-seat West Texas church embraces change

Even though First Baptist Church in Sweetwater has ministered to its community 127 years, that doesn’t mean the congregation is beyond changing if changes will invigorate outreach and effectiveness.
       

Baptist historians affirm individual conscience

A group of Baptist historians that meets annually to read and discuss early Baptist writings endorsed a statement affirming the role of individual conscience in Baptist life.
       

Jimmy Carter discharged from hospital

Former President Jimmy Carter was discharged Sept. 30 after two nights in a Cleveland hospital for what doctors say was a stomach virus.
       

BGCT board recommends more cuts in 2011 budget

The Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board voted to recommend a $38 million 2011 budget—$3 million less than the approved 2010 budget, a 7.3 percent reduction.
       
 
 
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