Weekly Update

His kingdom agenda in Laredo and Arlington

May 15, 2024

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. (Luke 4:18-19, NIV).

At the onset of his ministry, Jesus declared at his hometown synagogue in Nazareth His mission. Immediately after his baptism and temptation in the wilderness, he revealed His agenda. It was a kingdom agenda to proclaim good news to the poor, freedom for the prisoners, recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free and to usher in the year of the Lord’s favor.

As Jesus followers, as the hands and feet of Jesus in this world, His agenda should be our agenda. We will reflect on this at our Texas Baptists Annual Meeting this November 10-12 in Waco. I hope you are making plans to join us for inspiration, information, fellowship and the business of the convention.

It is encouraging to see so many churches and ministries in our state that are advancing this kingdom agenda.

This last week, I had the opportunity to visit with Texas Baptists pastors and leaders in Laredo, Texas. I visited with Osbaldo Lerma, director of the Laredo Ministry Center, a Texas Baptists partnership with Send Relief, and with Ruben Harrison, who works with Osbaldo in leadership development and ministry to the city.

I also had the honor of preaching at the historic Primera Iglesia Bautista of Laredo. Established in 1883, Primera Laredo is the first Spanish-speaking Baptist church, not only in Texas but in the United States. PIB Laredo has produced several pastors, leaders and new churches, even as they minister in one of the most unchurched cities in our state. 

Another highlight of the week was visiting Mission Arlington. Mission Arlington was founded in 1986 as a collaborative effort between Texas Baptists, the North American Mission Board and First Baptist Church of Arlington under the visionary leadership of Tillie Burgin. Over the years, this ministry has grown exponentially.

Mission Arlington is expanding their facility for a medical clinic, which offered us as Texas Baptists another opportunity to come alongside and partner with them. You can read the full story here

Mission Arlington provides an opportunity for individuals and churches to participate in serving the community in Jesus’ name. It also provides a model to be imitated by churches of any size. Not all churches may have a ministry of the scale of Mission Arlington, but any church can find a way to serve her community in Jesus’ name and then watch God work.

The ministry in Laredo and the outreach of Mission Arlington are great examples of Jesus’ kingdom agenda lived out. My prayer is that this vision and action will be multiplied across the state in every church, city, town and community.

Thank you for your partnership in the kingdom and for what you do in Jesus’ name.

Dr. Guarneri is the 21st executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. He holds degrees from Texas A&M University Kingsville, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Dallas Baptist University. He has more than 39 years of ministerial experience and is passionate about sharing the Gospel with the nations and cross-cultural missions and ministry.