Saturday, December 02, 2017

A week in the life of the Baptist Temple Campus

The #BTCampus is a busy place all week. The week begins on Sunday morning at 9 AM with prayer but by this time the custodian has already unlocked doors, turned on lights and prepared the church for for worship. A hostess has made coffee and set up the hospitality table.

There is Bible study for all ages from 9:30 – 10:30, followed by four worship services, at 11, in American Sign Language (Family Deaf Church), Spanish (Iglesia Bautista Betel) and two in English (Baptist Temple Church and Sunny Slope BaptistChurch). At 1 PM CBC, Highland Park meets for worship and Free by theTruth at 2 PM.

Mondays start early as parents begin to drop their little ones at the BT Early Learning Center at 6 AM. By the time our resident charter school starts (Jubilee Highland Park), we have 400 kids on campus. There is ceramics in Fritz Hall, Zumba in the chapel, and basketball (every night) in the gym. Girl Scouts meet in the evening. Our doors close at 9 PM.

On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays our thrift-store and client-choice food food pantry are open from 9 am to 1 pm. Tuesday evening we host Bible Study Fellowship for women (English, Spanish and ASL). A free community meal is served on Wednesday evenings followed by Bible study and worship for all ages. Zumba repeats on Thursday evenings. San Antonio Against Slavery, also meets on Thursday.

Saturday is our quiet day. Only the gym is active in the morning but there are periodic events such as the Fall festival, food distribution, back to school bash and work days. 

An urban church can be the center of community life, ministering to both the physical and spiritual needs of its members and neighbors. Studies by Partners for Sacred Places discovered that more than 80% of the people served by a thriving church are not church members.

If your church closed its doors, would the community miss it?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Are you willing to die for Jesus?

Will you go to jail? Will you lose your job? What would it take for you to put you faith on the back burner?

Every month
  • 322 Christians are killed for their faith.
  • 214 churches and Christian properties are destroyed.
  • 772 acts of violence are committed against Christians
  • 75% of the world’s population lives in areas with severe religious restrictions
  • Christians in more than 60 countries face persecution.

In the wake of the murders of 26 worshipers at Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church, church leaders are attending security conferences and hiring armed guards. Church members are wondering if it safe to attend church. Is it worth risking your family's life?

Christians in America are not accustomed to paying a price for their faith. In fact, many will allow a long list of things to prevent them from attending church on Sunday. Perhaps, the martyrdom of 26 worshipers can help each of us to clarify our relationship with Christ.

The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Philippian church from a Roman jail, in which he made 16 references to joy. He told the faithful that his imprisonment was helping to spread the gospel. Facing possible execution he proclaimed, “to live is Christ, to die is gain (Philippians 1:21).”

He further encouraged them saying, “I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you (Philippians 1:27-28).”

How real is your faith?

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Responding to Hurricane Harvey

Disasters can bring out the best in us; despite what you see in post apocalyptic dramas. Neighbors helping each other and the professional first responders displayed selfless heroism in the face of the storm. They were soon supported by growing numbers of people bringing relief. Among those was Baptist Temple member, Armando Acosta, who repeatedly drove his HEB truck loaded with much needed items into the disaster area.

Texas Baptist Men (TBM) quickly sent 175 disaster relief volunteers who set up mobile kitchens to feed first responders and evacuees in shelters. By the end of the first week, Baptist disaster relief workers from six different states brought laundry and shower for the relief effort,. As the flood waters receded, chainsaw crews, heavy equipment operators and recovery crews began the clearing process. TBM childcare workers, chaplains, crisis responders and comfort dog teams ministered to the evacuees and workers at the shelters.

Other Baptist groups are making plans for the ongoing recovery effort. The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) and the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas are gearing up for ongoing recovery efforts with a focus on rural areas. Bounce (Texas Baptists’ student disaster recovery program) plans to send volunteer teams to the Gulf Coast during spring break and summer 2018. Buckner International is donating 12,000 pairs of shoes collected through its Shoes for Orphan Souls initiative to survivors of Hurricane Harvey.