Weekly Update

Stepping out in faith

May 22, 2024

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8, NIV)

What an incredible privilege and what a weighty responsibility this promise of Jesus is to us, his disciples. The promise of the Holy Spirit’s presence and power brings confidence to our witness. We do not take this task on our own strength and ability.

The command is all-inclusive. We don’t get to choose between our “Jerusalem,” or our “Judea” or our “Samaria.” My Spanish version of the Bible allows me to see that the “you”s in this verse are plural. In Texan, that means “y’all.” Together, as followers of Christ, we are called to be witnesses in our community, and our city, and our state, and our continent and the rest of the world.

This past Sunday, as Christians celebrated Pentecost Sunday, I had the awesome privilege of participating in our Texas BSM Go Now Commissioning service. I shared a message from Acts 2 reminding hundreds of student missionaries of the power of the Holy Spirit offered to them as they are sent across our state, and North America and around the world this summer. What a moving experience it was to see this army of young men and women stand at the front of Pilgrim Chapel on the Dallas Baptist University campus to be commissioned.

The theme of Acts 1:8 and its fulfillment in Acts 2 continued throughout Monday and Tuesday as our executive board held its hybrid meeting. Broadcasting from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor’s campus, the board gathered in person and online to hear reports and act on important items. What compels and drives us to action is this promise and commission from the Lord.

Texas Baptists are poised to be witnesses in Texas, and North America and the rest of the world as we partner together with churches, institutions and other kingdom entities. You can read a recap of the board meeting and a recap of my report, or watch a video of my report.

Would you join me in praying for the Holy Spirit’s wisdom, discernment and power in the days ahead as we study, listen, dialogue and plan? This is a crucial time. We must step out in faith. But we cannot do this on our own. We need His power and we need to work together in unity.

Thank you for your prayers, your cooperation and your support as we move forward in God’s mission.

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.