Mobilizing Churches to Take on Lostness in 2016

Learn more about the opportunities offered through UBA and the key actions of the UBA staff as they allocate resources of time, energy, finances, and personal development to join God where He is at work to equip and mobilize congregations to effectively share the gospel with their communities.

DECEMBER 2016

Encountering the World of Islam concludes its 13th session during the month of December. 22 individuals have participated in the classes and have been challenged to reach, disciple and plant churches for Muslims in the greater Houston area.

NOVEMBER 2016

A Day with Dads provided a powerful and moving opportunity for fathers in the Wynne Prison Unit in Huntsville to bond and strengthen relationship with children, some of whom had never played with their Dad before. Thanks to Sally Hinzie and volunteers from Eyes on Me, Inc. for making this possible. (Read the full report)

Elements of  a Healthy Team, facilitated by Dian Kidd, UBA Associate Director, provided Church Planters in the Tallowood/Texas Baptists Church Planting Center with the opportunity to explore 9 elements of developing strong leadership teams.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People , led by UBA Executive Director, Tom Billings, provides the opportunity to explore and apply proven habits of leadership.

Leadership Café  continued with the fourth session in a series of five sessions exploring the theory of the Transformational Leadership Model.

UBA Equipping Institute: Millennials  provided the opportunity to explore how to reach and engage millennials in worship and ministry with Parris Patrick, Bryant Lee, and DJ Dave Settle presenting.

OCTOBER 2016

Disaster Recovery Efforts continued as UBA and area volunteers worked on three more homes in the Houston/Fort Bend area.

Prayer, Unity & Transformation were priorities on the hearts and minds of pastors and prayer leaders gathered for a Solemn Assembly on October 22, facilitated by Dr. John Bisagno and drawing an estimated attendance of 1,500 participants.

The UBA Sunday School Leadership Training Conference provided training for Preschool & Children's workers as well as youth, adults, and general officers. 20 in attendance with 5 presenters and an additional 30 who indicated a need for this but were unable to attend that day. Thanks to Brentwood Baptist Church for hosting.

Missions Awareness & Action was the focus for boys and young men, grades 1 - 12, as they joined John Clayton and the other RA/Challengers leaders for a 3-in-1 Camp-Out that provides leadership skills, Christian mentoring, campfire cooking, and a lot of fun!

Pastors Night Out was a great success as Lifeway spearheaded a dinner and panel discussion for English speaking pastors (80 individuals in attendance) on Thursday and Spanish-speaking pastors (96 individuals in attendance) on Friday.

Prayer Camp at the Jester 3 Prison Unit was facilitated by volunteers from Mosaic Church and served 125 participants.

ATCO Missional Dialogue drew 60 participants during the day and 48 in the evening sessions for a presentation from Alan Roxburgh and dialogue around advancing missional networks and initiatives in our greater-Houston area.

Hispanic Leadership Development: 14 women from Hispanic congregations strengthened their leadership skills as they facilitated or continued the Líderes Mujeres process; 24 lay leaders joined them in Líderes Transformadores Congregacionales during the October week.

SEPTEMBER 2016

Disaster Recovery: John Clayton and a few other UBA leaders were able to join Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery Ministry in the second weekend of ministry to those impacted by floods in Houston.

Leadership Café: Session 2 of the Leadership Café Initiative explored the Trait Theory of leadership. Sessions are posted online for viewing with Josh Ellis facilitating and 26 in attendance.

Leadership Cohort: UBA continues to invest in next generation pastoral leadership through the monthly Leadership Cohort Network facilitated by Josh Ellis.

Leadership Development: UBA invested in the leadership skills of four UBA pastors as they enhanced their coaching skills through the Texas Baptists Coaching seminar.

Restorative Justice Ministry: About 150 individuals gathered at the Community of Faith Church for the Re-Entry Summit addressing the challenge of returning to full participation in the community those who have been recently released from prison.

Understanding Your Muslim Neighbor: About 14 participants showed up for the first of 13 weekly sessions of Encountering the World of Islam to gain a better understanding of Muslim friends in the communities around them. Average attendance is 17.

Reaching Ethnic People Groups: Hispanic pastors and church leaders gathered to learn more about reaching diverse ethnic groups in the Houston area at Taller Descubra las Etnias. 26 in attendance.

Equipping for Church Planting: Rickie Bradshaw led the Jesus on Leadership session for the Tallowood/Texas Baptists School for Church Planters; Campo Londoño continued to convene the OIKOS Network, a group of four pastors developing skills for cell/celebration & discipleship through mentoring with William Beckham.

Instituto Biblico Ministerial at Iglesia Bautista Del Redentor report 30 student enrolled from 6 participating congregations. The four courses include New Testament II, Leadership Basics, Biblical Counseling, and Church Administration. Contact Director, Moises Flores by email.

Missions Awareness & Mentoring: Boys and young men in grades 1 - 12 get the benefit of Christian mentors and role models as they participate in the October 3-in-1 campout with John Clayton, UBA Men's Ministry Coordinator.

Community Transformation: 35 Hispanic pastors gathered at Crosspoint Church in a prayer for reaching the lost throughout our city.

AUGUST 2016

Transformation in the Criminal Justice System: 140 inmates and 50 volunteers worshipped and prayed together during the Freedom Weekend at the Jester 3 Unit the last weekend in August. (Read about Freedom Weekends.)

Leadership Café: The five session Leadership Café initiative kicked off with an exploration of Servant Leadership vs. Biblical Servant Leadership with Josh Ellis facilitating; 18 in attendance.

Church in Black & White: UBA pastors and church leaders were challenged to think through some challenging issues about the current state of race relations in our city and our nation as three UBA pastors told their stories of being black in Houston; 70 in attendance. See the Video

Disaster Recovery Ministry: The UBA Team joined several church leaders and the Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery Ministry to provide assistance to flood impacted homes during the weekend of August 25 - 27. Read More

Church Planting Among Hispanics: The bi-monthly PLA-Des groups provide networking to Hispanic church planters and pastors of smaller congregations and continue to be a fertile greenhouse for identifying and developing church planters; 14 in attendance.

Prayer & Spiritual Transformation: A Freedom Weekend is scheduled for August 26 - 28 in the Jester Unit.

Discipleship & Mentoring: The Life Transformation Groups (LCG) continue to be a strong force for discipleship and personal transformation in the prison ministry. 105 inmates in the Terrell Unit are being trained in groups of 3 or 4 to practice gransformational discipleship principles for multiplication. Facilitator:  Charles Andeson

JULY 2016

Hispanic Leadership Development: Líderes Transformadores extended beyond UBA again as Campo & Gloria Londoño travelled to Killeen, TX to introduce 5 new pastors to the process.

Wynne Unit School for Church Planters: Participants in the groups at the Wynne Unit School for Church Planters are preparing for graduation. Thanks to staff Sally Hinzie & Rickie Bradshaw along side volunteers Jerry Phillips, Parris Patrick, Guy Caskey, Bobby Herring (Tre9), and Leonard Hinzie for making this ministry possible, going into its fourth year.

L.O.R.D. Discipleship Training: Guy Caskey of M4Network and Tre9 of Eyes On Me Inc, provided two intensive discipleship training opportunities teaching followers of Christ how to be a disciple that multiplies disciples.

Coming Soon: Eagerly awaiting reports from the TPCC Overflow Preteen Camp and the GA Girls Mission Camp.

Unique Missions & Student Conference:  Provided by Unique Student Ministries, the conference celebrated its 20th consecutive year (Facebook Photos) of providing a 5 day worship, discipleship, and service experience for hundreds of youth. Thanks to Pastor Jaime Garcia for his leadership.

Strengthening Race Relations: UBA Executive Director Tom Billings and Church Consultant Rickie Bradshaw join the Rev. James Dixon and a peaceful group marching with HISD police to City Hall to pray for peace and unity, July 10.

JUNE 2016

Wynne Unit School for Church Planters: Trainers led the men in learning about discovering the Person of Peace, sharing My Story, and using a Ministry Map to identify family and friends with whom to share.

Mentoring Young Men: The UBA RA/Challengers Boys Discovery & Adventure Camp reaches boys and teens in Grades 1 - 12. Through archery, swimming, fishing, ropes courses and more, the guys are mentored on their journey of faith by Christian leaders. Lives are changed; some come to know Christ; others grow as disciples.  

Orality Consortium: Church leaders gathered to network about effective means of sharing the gospel through the use of orality techniques.

Discipleship & Missions: John Clayton, UBA Men's Ministry Coordinator, rejoiced in the salvation experience of one young camper who participated in the Boys Discovery & Adventure Camp.

Prayer for the City: The Pray Houston Steering Council, including Pastor John Bisagno and Consultant Rickie Bradshaw, continues to meet regularly to pray for the transformation of our city and to stratgize on ways to enlist a deeper involvement among leaders throughout the city.

Stand With Nigeria: UBA staff and church leaders gathered to hear the heart-wrenching story of a mother whose daughter is among those kidnapped by the Boka Haram in 2014 from Choba, Nigeria. Learn more about the plight of Christians of Northern Nigeria at www.standwithnigeria.org

Church Consultations: Customized consultations with individual congregations are also a part of the work of UBA. Consultants have assisted congregations in obtaining flood relief, navigating the interim time between pastors, identifying strategic change leverage, planting a new church, and more. 

Seminario de la Biblia de Referencia Thompson: Provided training, discipleship and spiritual develolpment to both pastors and lay leaders discovering more effective means of bible study through use of the Thompson Chain Reference Bible.

Plades: Church planters, potential church planters, and pastors of smaller congregations continue to meet bi-monthly in a network addressing hispanic church planting and development. 31 pastors and church leaders gathered for the June meeting provided an update on Hispanic Realities (Realidades Hispanas), authored by Dr. Daniel Sanchez. Alcanzando la Comunidad Hispana.

Evangelism Training: 21 leaders from Iglesia Amor & Restauracion committed their time to learn how to share their faith more effectively with others as Campo Londoño led an Apologetics class for members of the congregation. 

Volunteer Orientation for TDCJ: The Captain of Correctional Officers thanks Sally HInzie for a "first class event" as UBA hosted a Volunteer Orientation Session attended by 38 volunteers on June 4. Orientation is required for those volunteering in the prison units of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. For information on volunteering, contact Sally.

MAY 2016

Prison Ministry: Rickie Bradshaw, Charles Anderson & Don Gibson conducted the Prayer Boot Camp training at the Carol Vance Unit.

Disipleship / Leadership: 32 planters, pastors, and potential church planter attended Leading an Interactive Bible Study, developing their skills to engage disciples in deeper study of God's word.

Children At Risk: Five UBA pastors led their congregations to participate in the First Annual End of Summer Celebration raising awareness of the plight of homeless children in Alief ISD.

Church Planters has an opportunity to explore Jesus on Leadership as Rickie Bradshaw presented a seminar on the topic in the Tallowood/Texas Baptists Church Planter Institute.

Wynne School for Church Planters:  Guy Caskey, M4 Network Founder and regular volunteer at the Wynne Unit, reports that "the guys did a great job" with their Bible storying assignments. These inmates meet weekly in a small group to develop their discipleship skills. Volunteer Trainer Bobby Herring taught them the 3/3 model for developing a house church and says that it is time "to get these guys ready for release." 

National Day of Prayer: UBA staff members participated in the National Day of Prayer Gathering at City Hall.

Criminal Justice Organic Church Leadership Team meets to plan the curriculum for the upcoming semesters.

Parris Patrick celebrates seeing the results of the Organic Church small group mentoring as "D", one of the Wynne Unit participating inmates, led the group to embrace accountability as they shared how they had kept their commitments to spread the gospel in their cell blocks.

APRIL 2016

Vacation Bible School took front stage as over 100 Spanish-speaking leaders gathered for curriculum training in preparation for summer VBS offerings.

Prison Ministry Organic Church Small Groups were able to continue on April 25 with 13 men meeting in the Chapel and 17 outside in the Trustee Camp. Jerry Phillips, Sally & Leonard Hinzie led the men in Organic Leadership studies.

Devastating floods on April 18 demanded the cancellation of acitvities throughout the city while UBA church groups have mobilized to assist families affected by the floods throughout the city. (recovery information)

At the UBA Equipping Institute: Discovering What Works, pastors and leaders had the opportunity to evaluate their Church Security Protocols, gain a deeper understanding of how to Develop Effective, and develop a more workable and balanced approach to the heavy demands of bi-vocational ministry.

Understanding Your Muslim Neighbor with Sally HInzie and Josh Ellis presenting provided the opportunity to explore potential communication barriers for those seeking to open faith conversations with Muslims.

The Micah 6:8 Conference, attended by UBA leadership and several UBA pastors, provided the challenge to intentionally address the social injustices of our time, including racism, hunger, trafficking, and refugee displacement.

Missional Living in today's world was the topic of an inter-denominational dialogue hosted by ATCO as leaders from a broad spectrum of churches and organizations convened to reflect on Alan Roxburgh's challenge to consider what it means to live "At The Corner Of."

Church Revitalization was a popular topic as pastors and church leaders gathered to hear the story of Faith Memorial Baptist Church and its partnership with sister churches.

Church Planters in the Collaborative Fellowship, facilitated by Pastor Bryant Lee, gained inspiration and practical tips for strengthening the church at the Saturday morning Church Planters Boot Camp.

MARCH 2016

Criminal Justice Ministry: Spiritual transformation and strengthening disciples is the focus of the Prayer Boot Camps held in area prisons. 

Raising Awareness about Human Trafficking: On a Saturday following the 2-day Líderes Congregacionales Retreat, 18 pastors and leaders participated in the Elijah Rising Anti-Trafficking Awareness Tour. Learn more about what you can do to stop human trafficking. 

Developing Missional Next Leaders: Rickie Bradshaw gathered 7 pastors and leaders to address effective discipleship in inner city congregations, with a primary focus on ministries for the parolee and ex-offender.

Strengthening Relationships as Executive Director, Tom Billings, gathered pastors of UBA African-American churches to gain a deeper understanding of current racial injustices and concerns in our city.

Developing Hispanic Leaders: As the hispanic population of Houston continues to grow, it is essential that the church develop leaders who are equipped and able disciples. Líderes Congregacionales convened in March with 68 congregational leaders from Hispanic congregation, facilitated by Campo & Gloria Londoño and the Líderes Transformadores Team. 

Organic Church Discipleship Bearing Fruit: As the groups continue at the Wynne Unit site in Huntsville, 5 trainers, 1 alumni, and 9 class participants persevered through sorting out confusion about location for the classes, finally ending up in the Chapel with several other groups. The inmates shared about the "epidemic of house churches in the unit." Pray for these volunteers and inmates as God continues to multiply their efforts and extend their influence.

Mission Centers of Houston Serving the Inner City: Through the many ministries of the UBA Mission Centers of Houston, families and children are receiving food for both the body and the spirit. Over 2,500 people have received food in 2016 while the after school Kids and Youth Clubs reach on average over 120 children and youth weekly. Thanks to Humble Area's First Baptist Church for hosting the Big Bloc Party in February.

FEBRUARY 2016

Por Causa de la Cosecha, a retreat casting vision for the need for church planting among Hispanics, resulted in 15 pastors and leaders responding to the call to plant a church: 1 traditional, 3 cell/celebration, 11 organic. Campo & Gloria Londoño facilitated this retreat.

Organic Church Discipleship continues as teams rotate weekly through the Wynne Unit in Huntsville. Jerry Phillips, Guy Caskey, Bobby Herring, Parris Patrick, Rickie Bradshaw & Sally Hinzie are part of the Wynne Unit Team. Weekly attendance ranges up to as many as 22 inmates.

OIKOS pastors continue to meet monthly with Campo Londoño and William Beckham as a prototype group learning how to implement cell groups in their congregations.

Congreso Evangelismo  planning breakfast for hispanic pastors drew 52 participants. The Evangelism Congress is anticipated in the fall of 2016.

Leadership Networks are a high priority for UBA. Josh Ellis convenes a monthly Leadership Cohort, a network for pastors in existing congregations; Rickie Bradshaw convenes the Missional Next network that focuses on urban core issues with a priority on criminal justice; Campo Londoño convenes the bi-mothly PLADES network for church planters and pastors of smaller congregations; and Sally Hinzie & Rickie Bradshaw convene the Iron Sharpens Iron network that supports leaders of organic churches. 

JANUARY 2016

Reaching High Risk Cultures involves the willingness to cross cultures, stay out of the spot light, and be persistent in prayer and presence. This group of 8 leaders, including Sally Hinzie, the convenor, meets periodically for networking, prayer, and sharing ideas.

The School for Church Planters at the Wynne Unit in Huntsville has resumed with a team of volunteers rotating weekly in pairs to facilitate the sessions. Monday, January 31, there were 12 participants on the inside with 16 outside in the Trustee Camp.

Keelan Cook challenged 85 pastors and leaders to consider a new way of thinking about Urban Ministry through planting churches in urban areas. Being the Church in an Urban Culture. 01/26/2016 View Video.

Orality Consortium Power Talks were facilitated by Jerry Wiles as nearly 30 people gathered to explore how to better communicate the story of Christ through orality techniques. 01/26/2016

PLADES, the network for church planters and smaller congregations, continues to offer training and support to new church pastors. Pray for the two pastors who attend Plades and are beginning in homes and gaining a presence in the community. 24 pastors and leaders attended the January Breakfast. Facilitated by Consultant Campo Londoño. 01/16/2016

Loving Houston gathered a group of volunteers from area churches who are committed to developing sustaining partnership with local school. 23 attended, including 3 staff and 2 presenters. 01/13/2016

The Freedom Weekend Spiritual Encounter lock-in at the Darrington Unit in January brought 20 volunteers to serve 110 inmates who participated. Church Planter Johnny Gentry, Derrick Davis, and Clarence Williams led the weekend experience with Consultant Rickie Bradshaw and the Missional Next team facilitating.