Travis Bundrick is the director of Strategic Church Solutions for the Williamson Baptist Association located in Georgetown, Texas. Formerly the associate director, he has served as director for five years. From deep in the heart of one Texan, he shares his background and thoughts on church and ministry. To suggest a Baptist General Convention of Texas-affiliated leader to be featured in this column, or to apply to be featured yourself, click here.
Where else have you worked, and what were your positions?
I served for thirty years on various church staff teams as associate pastor, minister of education/administration and executive pastor. In addition, I served as dean of adult education at Dallas Baptist University
Where did you grow up?
Everywhere. My dad was career United States Air Force. Growing up, I lived in Colorado, New Jersey, Panama, Louisiana and Texas.
How did you come to faith in Christ?
The spirit of God drew me to Christ through the example and words of a great family, a Sunday school teacher and VBS. I can still remember as an 11-year-old boy, after talking with my parents about a lesson in Sunday school, going into my room alone and kneeling to ask Jesus to become “boss” of my life!
Where were you educated, and what degrees did you receive?
I received an associate degree from Angelina College in Lufkin, Texas, a B.S. in education/history from Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches and my M.A. in religious education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth.
Why do you feel called to your particular vocation?
I am passionate about assisting churches to become healthy, vibrant forces to share the grace of Jesus Christ and develop believers holistically to be his servants.
Please tell us about your association—where it’s located, the key focus of its work and ministry, etc.
My association is a collaborative network of individuals, churches and organizations serving together as partners in ministry to reveal Christ, primarily in the Central Texas region.
We are seeking to become catalysts cultivating change for vibrant life in all domains of life. We accomplish this through a very streamlined and strategic structure focusing on planting churches, developing people and discovering solutions. We are proud of our Baptist roots and affirm our distinctive/historical Baptist freedoms, but we are open to any Christian entity becoming a partner in any geographic area.
We are proud of our Baptist roots and affirm our distinctive/historical Baptist freedoms, but we are open to any Christian entity becoming a partner in any geographic area.
What do you like best about leading your association? Why?
I enjoy working with such wonderful people and encouraging each to become who God created them to be and then to help develop them with skills to do what he has called them to do. I like guiding them in soul care, spiritual formation, leading self and serving in their church or organization effectively. I love our diversity and willingness to work with other kingdom groups.
What aspect(s) of associational ministry and/or its mission do you wish more people understood?
I hope more and more people from various denominations and backgrounds will be open to joining with us in our work
How has your association and its mission changed since you began your career?
Oh my — it has changed in many ways. We believe that for “associations” to retain their value, they must constantly be in a “change” mode. We have changed our name, geographic boundary, financial structure, sources of income, operational structure, titles and core ministries. We have streamlined hoping to do three things very well instead of several things so-so.
We have moved from primarily being one aspect of the “denominational structure” that worked so well in the ’50s through ’80s to an independent nonprofit affiliated and connected to several groups, denominations and networks. We are currently praying through the idea of selling our facility to increase funds for church starting. Change will happen, and we try and manage it strategically.
How do you expect your association and/or its mission to change in the next 10 to 20 years?
I think we must become more and more of a collaborative network brought together by a common purpose more so than belief statements, as important as those will continue to be.
Name the three most significant challenges and/or influences facing your association.
Continuing to change in the right way at the right time in order to remain healthy in most relationships with our existing partners. In addition, building multiple sources of income will be pivotal and leveraging our own strengths to forge ahead.
What one aspect of your job gives you the greatest joy or fulfillment?
Guiding ministers to become healthy and holistic in their approach to all of life. Spending time with them as a guide who helps them discover on their own what God is doing to create in them a Christ-like character.
What are the key issues—opportunities and/or challenges—facing Baptist churches?
Learning how to navigate the complexities of our changing world in grace and truth. Finding ways to help people hear and understand our distinctive of freedoms without going through the lens of our methodology.
What are the key issues facing Baptists as a people or denomination?
It is tough being one of our denominational leaders. I pray often for them to be able to lead us into “new realities in new wineskins.” We must streamline, simplify and learn to operate strategically as opposed to tactically or reactively — easier said than done.
What would you change about the Baptist denomination—state, nation or local?
I would emphasize our freedoms — soul freedom, church freedom, Bible freedom and religious freedom — more and build ministries at every level around them as opposed to programs, even though I love programs!
Who were/are your mentors, and how did/do they influence you?
My mentors have been many, but people like Harry Piland, Bernie Spooner and Lawrence Klempnauer mentored me in the past, for which I am forever grateful. More recently, people like Clint Anderson, Drayton McLane and David Crosby have mentored me.
These people took the time to “be” with me and invest in me. They were never too busy. They cared about me first, the ministry second. Each in their own way provided me with “learning opportunities” in ministry that I will never forget. All gave me honest feedback full of grace, even when I didn’t want to hear it, that helped me grow personally and professionally.
Other than the Bible, name some of your favorite books or authors, and explain why.
Dallas Willard, John Ortberg, David Crosby, Warren Wiersbe, A.W. Tozer and Dr. Seuss. Each of these have the gift of speaking truth through their writing that speaks to my soul, helps me think and moves me closer to what is important in life.
What is your favorite Bible verse or passage? Why?
I love the “abiding” chapter in John 15 and the “equipping” chapter found in Ephesians 4. My favorite verses would be Colossians 1:9–14. We must learn the discipline of abiding in Christ in order to live out the equipping ministry in order to produce the results described in Colossians 1.
Who is your favorite Bible character, other than Jesus? Why?
Zaccheus: despite his limitations, he found a way to see what he could not see!
Name something about you that would surprise people who know you well.
I love musicals.
If you could get one “do over” in your career, what would it be, and why?
I would have earned my doctor of education degree while serving at Dallas Baptist University.
Write and answer a question you wish we had asked.
What is another one of your passions? I am an advocate for the education, protection and conservation of the Box turtle.