Weekly Update

Our prayer for Texas Baptists

May 08, 2024

My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. (John 17:15-18, NIV)

One of the most encouraging aspects of ministry is when someone tells you they are praying for you. Not only is it nice to know that someone cares enough to lift you up in prayer, but it is also powerful to experience God’s presence and blessing.

I am thankful for those people who are praying for me. I pray that you surround yourself with intercessors who will pray for you, your family and your ministry. Above all, may I remind you that Jesus prayed for you and me?

In his high priestly prayer, Jesus prayed that the Father would protect us from the evil one, that we would be sanctified by the truth, so that we could be sent out into the world as the Father sent him. How we need that on a daily basis! How we need that in our churches! How we need that as Texas Baptists.

I’m inviting you to join me as we pray for the direction of our convention. As we consider the needs of our churches, the lostness in our state, the challenges of denominational ministry and the resources with which God has entrusted us, we need wisdom and clarity.

Last week, I met with some Texas Baptists staff and a few pastors to pray and begin a conversation about the strategic direction of the BGCT. We have begun a multi-month process where we are learning, listening and reflecting, which should lead to planning for the next season of ministry.

It is important that we communicate clearly who we are as Texas Baptists and that we have a clear vision of what God is calling us to do today. It is even more important that we be faithful to that calling as God’s people.

In less than two weeks, our Executive Board will meet. We will hear reports, follow up on business and take action on necessary items. I will give a report as executive director and talk about some next steps we can take to stay on mission.

The portion of Jesus’ prayer in John 17:15-18 can guide our prayer for Texas Baptists. We pray that the Father will protect us from the evil one. We know the enemy wants to distract, discourage and destroy kingdom work. But the Father can protect us.

We pray that the Father will sanctify us by the truth. In times of confusion and multiple competing voices, we need to be distinguished and purified by God’s truth. His word is truth.

Lastly, we pray that we would live as sent ones. As the Father sent Jesus into the world, we are sent into the world. May we be a missional people to a world in need of Christ and his love.

Thank you for joining me in prayer in the days ahead. I thank God for the partnership we share as we pray, work and give for the sake of the kingdom.

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.