GALVESTON–“Jesus came for one thing – His Kingdom. And He wants [everyone] to understand that His Kingdom already flourishes for all people,” Scott Venable, lead pastor of Northwood Church in Keller, said during the Devoted Rally at the 2021 Annual Meeting.
The Devoted Rally was held on Sunday, Nov. 14, as part of the kick-off for the 2021 Annual Meeting. Devoted was a time of fellowship and worship for Millenial and Generation Z pastors and ministers and was held at the Pleasure Pier in Galveston.
Israel Mendez, pastor of Alamo Community Church Downtown in San Antonio, welcomed everyone to the gathering.
“Devoted is a time for Millennials, Generation Z and our families to come together… We’re so excited that you’re here. This is a time to fellowship and to enjoy each other’s company,” he said.
Texas Baptists Associate Executive Director Craig Christina also welcomed the crowd. He expressed his excitement about the young ministers in attendance and their passion for the Convention.
He also thanked Baptist Church Loan Corporation and President Gerald James, who helped sponsor the event.
Following a time of worship led by Ignacio Orellana and Mackenzie Rock Jentsch, Venable delivered his keynote sermon. He spoke on what a church that turned the world upside down would look like, drawing from Acts as an example of what a counter-cultural, world-changing church looks like.
Venable explained that younger generations are looking for something more out of the Church than a political movement or a building; they are looking for the Kingdom of God. He said that it will take all the generations working together to make change happen. He emphasized that powerful ministry is not about one person’s platform; it is about His presence, His people and His plans.
“We need people from all generations, and we all have a responsibility to pass down the Kingdom of God,” Venable said.
Bill Noe, associate director of the Center for Collegiate, gave an update on the impact the Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) is making across Texas. He shared that over 200 students have come to know Christ in the past year through BSM work.
“The BSM is not our ministry, it’s your ministry,” Noe said. “BSM only exists because local churches have partnered with us.”
Jordan Villanueva, second vice president of Texas Baptists, explained three resolutions and one motion that a committee of young pastors and lay-leaders presented to the Resolutions Committee for consideration. The three resolutions centered around unity in essentials, generational change and affirmation of women. The motion was to assemble a task force to explore different ways to equip the Convention and churches to reach Millennials and Generation Z and involve them in Texas Baptists life. Villanueva asked three of the committee leaders to share insights about these resolutions: Danilo Antunes, David Foster and Chris Mclain.
“We’re really excited about what’s happening in the Texas Baptists world, and we want to see Millennials and Generation Z directly involved in it,” Villanueva said.
David Miranda, director of Ministers Development and Missional Network and leader of The Pastor’s Common, ended the night by thanking attendees and encouraging them to connect further. He spoke about The Pastor’s Common and Embrace and encouraged ministry leaders to get involved in a network that will encourage growth and foster fellowship.