“There is a big difference between believing in God and believing God,” said Tony Canady, pastor of Triumphal Christian Fellowship, a multicultural and multigenerational Texas Baptists church plant in Waxahachie. “Are you going to remain unwavering, steadyfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of God? Are you going to actually believe God?”
Canady addressed messengers at the first Worship Celebration of the 2022 Texas Baptists Annual Meeting on Monday morning, Nov. 14. He brought a message from Numbers 14:20-24 about how to remain unwavering — reminding attendees to focus on God’s word rather than what they see and trust in God’s heart for his church.
“Set your heart on obedience to the Lord, because when you do that … the chaos around you will no longer affect you,” he said. “Don't just believe in God, believe what God says. He has already promised you He would do it.”
Texas Baptists Executive Director David Hardage brought greetings to messengers and introduced the session sponsor, Hardin-Simmons University (HSU). Eric Bruntmyer, president of HSU, shared a video of the HSU worship team singing “Here I Am” and led the opening prayer.
A time of worship was led by Art Wellborn and the worship team of First Woodway Baptist Church.
The next seven years in Texas
Tom Howe, director of Texas Baptists Church Starting and Replanting, shared with messengers about Texas’ projected population growth and the importance of church planting.
By 2030, the population in Texas is expected to grow by 5.2 million people — adding to the already 15 million people who have no church affiliation in the state. If every Texas Baptists church that currently exists grew by 200 people over that time period, they would reach only 5% percent of those people, Howe shared.
“We need church planters, but even more importantly, we need church sponsors,” said Howe. “Our system at Texas Baptists Church Starting is built on sponsor churches that help work with us as a Convention and also with the associations across the state to start churches, and we need more.”
Howe then invited church planters in the audience to join him at the foot of the stage for a time of prayer. Pastor Joseph Adams of First Baptist Church Hughes Springs prayed a blessing over the gathering of planters.
“Lord, I want to lift these church planters up to you. What they’re setting out to do, Father, they’re going to need you desperately. Go before them, fight their battles,” he said. “I ask that you would keep them in a close personal walk with You … Give them a supernatural wisdom that can only come from You. Give them favor in their communities. Give them fruit in their labors and encourage them to press on.”