What a blessing it was to preach at First Baptist Church in Huffman. I always am grateful for the opportunity to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to be thankful for the role of the pastor in our local churches. One of the greatest benefits in pulpit invitations is gaining great appreciation for the pastors serving those churches. I always leave with thankfulness for their call and their commitment to the gospel.
As I preached at this church, I also was encouraged not only by the pastor and his love for his sheep, but also for this church’s love for its shepherd.
It was encouraging to see a joyous and active church:
• That is striving to share the gospel with the community.
• That has a very good worship team and pays great attention to their role.
• Where members and deacons step forward to serve and lead.
• With an active youth ministry that is striving to touch the lives of students.
The highlight of the day for me came in hearing many of the children recite Scripture and then sing “Ancient Words.” I didn’t need to preach after they recited the word of God and sang that song. They were the sermon, and their smiles and words proclaimed God’s word. “In the beginning was the Word ….”
Be encouraged that there are healthy and growing churches in our convention.
Be encouraged that there are many churches that have their focus and passion on Christ. They are striving to be a part of the body of Christ and working to build the body of Christ. They are proclaiming Jesus and living it out in their communities. Like Peter and John in Acts 4—because these churches are healthy and teaching and proclaiming the name of Jesus in their communities—they are causing a disturbance. Some are annoyed; others are hearing the message and believing and being added to the church.
Be encouraged that there are many Texas Baptist churches living out the Great Commission and touching lives. They are speaking boldly by their actions and by their service. They represent the body of Christ. They are churches that have grown into a mature body, a unified body, a healthy body. They are churches where each part does its work.
“From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” (Ephesians 4:16).
It was a joy to be at FBC in Huffman. I had a chance to see the church living out the good news of Jesus Christ.
Texas Baptists, be encouraged.
René Maciel is president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and president of Baptist University of the Américas in San Antonio.