Texas Baptist Forum

Sunday school offerings

Recently, I was asked to join the “counters” to help prepare the weekly bank deposit for our church.

I was surprised the first week as we began to open the offering envelopes and count the money that we had less than $1 in change. Where was all the change from the children’s and youth Sunday school offerings? There was none.

It seems our church no longer has a Sunday school offering.

Texas Baptist ForumThe majority of the money is given to the church by adult members during the worship services using envelopes sent to their homes. Visitors who want to contribute can use pew envelopes.

Of course, some money is placed in the offering plates. This envelope system makes it easier on the church office staff’s record-keeping and simplifies the preparing of a deposit.

It is not an issue of money that I am concerned about. But it seems to me that by not having a Sunday school offering, we are failing to teach the children and youth about their personal stewardship responsibility. I realize most money given by children and youth really would be from their parents. It seems we may now inadvertently be teaching our children and youth, “Don’t worry about giving until you become an adult and you are mailed a supply of offering envelopes.”

Is our church following a common practice for our Texas Baptist churches? Or do most of our Texas Baptist churches still have a Sunday school offering? I am really curious.

Arthur Whittington

College Station

The “Adelante” initative is historical and brilliant

I am very excited about the “Adelante…the next 100 years” initiative that the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas officers are proposing at Convención’s annual meeting in San Antonio this year.  Considering the growth of the Hispanic population in Texas, and the numerical strength of Hispanic work in Texas, this is the right time for such an initiative.

In 2010, as the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas celebrated its 100th anniversary, it approved a revised unification agreement with the BGCT at its annual meeting (June) in San Antonio.  Messengers to the BGCT’s annual meeting in McAllen (November) also approved this agreement.

Acting on the implications of this revised agreement, president Jesse Rincones and the officers of Convención have ably prepared and are proposing new bylaws, which call for the formation of an executive board for Convención.

The “Adelante” initative is historical and brilliant.  It keeps Convención as a body that is integrally related to BGCT.  It encourages its affiliated churches to continue to support the Texas Baptist Cooperative Program with their offerings and to participate fully in the life of BGCT.  And yet, it gives Convención a new level of freedom to speak into the direction of Hispanic work in Texas and to support new initiatives that meet the ever increasing needs of its work.

Thanks Jesse and Convención officers for your hard work and your insightful leadership.  Adelante!

Julio Guarneri, Lead Pastor

Calvary Baptist Church, McAllen

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