One of the things I like about working at Union Baptist Association is the kingdom mentality. I have the privilege of serving outside our institutional boundaries on occasion to serve a broader community. UBA believes we are better together not only at the local level but also as we share the gospel and sow seeds for the Kingdom throughout the world. Here are just three of the many opportunities I have to make a kingdom impact in our city.
I haven’t always been a big fan of teams. My perception of teams was what is commonly known as the 80/20 rule—20% of the people are doing 80% of the work. I generally equated “team” with “committee” and saw both as sterile ground for finding solutions and fertile forums for discord. It was not until I arrived at UBA in 1990 that I encountered a learning culture that differentiated between a group of people on task and a truly high performance team.
I was recently archiving some files and came across some info from 2005. That year, Hurricane Rita followed Hurricane Katrina by just a month to the day and devastated New Orleans. Many of our UBA churches—large and small—were heavily involved in helping those who had fled New Orleans. We’re deeply thankful for the action of churches when disaster strikes and proud of a legacy of innovative collaboration in our association. Join us as we reminisce and celebrate some ways we've been better together.
In an age where we're easily divided into camps, churches must fight to remember our common purpose. We must make an effort to be counter-cultural, not only in what we believe but also in the way we live it out. At UBA, we're proud to have several examples of churches doing innovative collaboration, pooling resources, and working together to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ. Here are just a few of those stories:
If I were to ask the people of your church, “Why do you do what you do?” I’m sure I would get a gospel-related response. But the true litmus test of the Great Commission motivation in a church is less about whether or not we make disciples as a matter of obedience—which is good. Instead, it's more about if we're making disciples out of genuine urgency and concern that a person's life be radically transformed by the grace and mercy of their Savior—which is better. I have been challenged by this idea in recent months, and this experience has helped me firm up my “why” for UBA and our churches.
UBA is excited to introduce you to the five new staff members who have joined the team within the last couple of months! The addition of two administrative staff and three African-American church consultants will be valuable as UBA seeks to assist churches in their work. Join us in welcoming Briana, Alba, Lawrence, Bryant, and Mike to the UBA family!
If you ask me today, “What do you do all week?” and then again next week, the answers will probably be different. It’s just one of the many reasons I love working for UBA. Like everyone else on the team, I love churches. I love bringing them together, and I love helping them share the love of Jesus effectively. It takes all of us working together to reach our city. It’s why we’re better together.
Ever feel like the ongoing task of disaster relief is too much for your church? It probably is, but Houston Responds provides a way for churches to be more—together. Come to the Disaster Response Summit October 11, 1-9 p.m. at Chapelwood United Methodist Church. Get acquainted with Houston responds, hear what other churches are doing, and connect with potential partners in disaster recovery ministry. The Summit is free of charge. To register or find out more go to https://www.houstonresponds.org/summit.
To say that Hurricane Harvey shook the region of Houston seems like an understatement. Amidst the chaos, stories of human generosity began popping up everywhere. But the story in the media was consistent: the response to Harvey was led by generous churches, and we have a lot of generous churches. Hurricane or not, it's past time for us to begin sharing some of those beautiful stories of generosity. Here are just a few.
There's no denying Hurricane Harvey was devastating. Many people lost everything and for months, the trash and debris along the side of the roads was a reminder of the devastation this city had experienced. But, those first rays of sunshine after days of rain brought a glimmer of hope. For disasters, though terrible, often bring out the best in humanity.