BGCT president: Be encouraged by churches

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.


2nd Opinion: Keeping up with church—by counting

Numbers do matter, because people matter! Healthy churches find the best way to count.


Guest Editorial: To see religion boost public health, watch ‘Call the Midwife’

What the program shows us is how the NHS, planned during the war and created just afterward, partnered with a religious organization to deliver high-quality care to those most in need.


Avoid ministerial burnout by resting in Christ

Give Christ your burdens and your stress, and you will find joy in the ministry, just the way Christ intended.


In Touch: Preaching, BSM, Welcome Pastor, music, [un]Apologetics, annual meeting, WMU, kids

God is working in ministries, events and congregations across Texas.


Editorial: A conversation about “religious liberty” laws and freedom

People of goodwill can benefit by discussing all sides of the issues generated by homosexual rights, same-sex marriage and religious liberty.


Christian persecution; immoral behavior

Forcing a Christian to participate in a gay wedding or lose his business is akin to forcing a Kosher or Halal deli to sell bacon, ,,,

Wales: Taking the long look

Wales: Taking the long look

Student Missions Blog: It pays to step back from time to time and regain some perspective on what's happening across in our little country, and what role the Lord is asking me to play.


Baylor alumni urged to oppose settlement

Letter to the editor: "While the settlement between Baylor University and the Baylor Alumni Association is better than the previous transition agreement, that is not saying a lot."


Guest Editorial: Tocqueville would worry about U.S. character

America's urgent, long-term task is to revitalize our national character by restoring widespread, genuine respect for the ethical principles of all religions that support freedom. While Alexis de Tocqueville warned meeting this challenge would be difficult, he cautioned us never to lose heart.

South Africa: Running the race

South Africa: Running the race

Student Missions Blog: Recently, I was involved in a six-kilometer obstacle race that involved five of us from the orphanage where I am serving. God used that obstacle race to teach me about his unconditional love and grace.


BGCT President: Together

We are missing something when we choose not to come together. We are busy and life is full, but God created us to be together.


2nd Opinion: How covenants make us

New York Times columnist David Brooks contrasts the national importance of forging covenants, which protect relationships, versus drafting contracts, which protect interests. (New York Times


Editorial: The flaws in “religious liberty” laws

What does it mean when “freedom” becomes the banner of groups with opposing viewpoints?


BGCT president: Christ goes ahead of us

Now that we have celebrated a wonderful Holy Week, what does Christ expect us to do next?

rene maciel headshot130René MacielHe was crucified on the cross, buried and laid in the tomb for three days, and then he rose from the dead. Then the Scripture says, “He is not here; he has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you.”

It was a beautiful celebration. The weather was perfect, cool and comfortable. The worship service was diligently directed and thoughtful. And being around my family was a blessing. The whole day was a gift from God.

Now what? What is our next step? The Scriptures say the disciples went to Galilee to see him and meet with him, and he went ahead of them.

texas baptist voices right120The imperfect disciples, 11 of them, obeyed, and they saw him and worshipped him, and then Matthew 28:7 also says “some doubted.” Like me at times, they doubted it was him. They doubted his power. They doubted his existence. Maybe they doubted their own eyes.

This wasn’t the first time they doubted him. On the lake, they thought he was a ghost, and they doubted he could calm the waves. Peter doubted and began to sink. I have doubted him many times, and he still proves himself to be the risen One, and yet he still goes before me.

He goes before us, and he tells us like he told them even in spite of our doubting ­to go—go and make disciples, baptizing and teaching them to obey everything he commanded. Then the wonderful promise, “and surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Even in our doubting and imperfection, he has called us to be disciples, to be followers, and to go and make other followers. That is our next step: “Go”—an action word. We are called to move forward in the building of the church, and he goes before us. He is in front. He is with us. We have a mission, even in our doubt and struggles, even in our little faith, even when we become discouraged and feel like Christ is dead and in the tomb. He has risen, and he goes before us.

It is the body of believers that has been called to go and make disciples. I know many churches struggle and have lost their vision for Christ, but the church is his bride, and the church is the way he has called all nations to come and worship him.

The purpose of the Texas Baptist convention is to care and support the local church body—to strengthen and build, to plant and grow more churches, to go and make disciples. I ask you to continue to pray for our convention to move forward in supporting the body of Christ and that even in our imperfection and doubting, we will go to meet him and worship him.

What's next? It's time to go. He is going ahead of us.

René Maciel is president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and Baptist University of the Américas in San Antonio.


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