E-Challenge March 2017

"Could you speak at our conference in May?"

The opportunity was solid gold. The invitation was a high honor and a pleasant surprise.

"We would like to offer you . . ."

The number was almost too good to pass up.

One glance at the calendar, however, revealed the unpleasant reality that had become Tom's new normal. He was overcommitted.

What does overcommitment look like? For Tom, it included all the normal duties related to home and work with a wee bit of recreation thrown in for good measure. It was highlighted by an international business trip, an overnight planning retreat, and professional training he would facilitate all in the same two-week span surrounding the out-of-town speaking engagement offer before him.

What to do, what to do?

What would you do?

What are you doing?

How do you process decisions like these?

Will Mancini tells us in Church Unique that values are filters for daily decision making. Have you articulated your personal core values? How do you use them to make decisions that honor God and serve others?

One of my top four values is Family Time.  This is important because how I spend time is how I calculate value. I want to give my best attention to those who mean the most to me.

Proverbs 5:8-10 sits within a passage about avoiding adultery. Listen to the wise counsel Solomon speaks to his sons - and to us: "Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house, lest you give your best strength to others and your years to one who is cruel, lest strangers feast on your wealth and your toil enrich another man's house" (NIV 1984)

Avoid, he says, anyone or anything redirecting you from the course God lays out for you. Jesus taught us to pray, "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one," (Matt. 6:13). Expand that prayer a bit: "Lead me step by step, thought by thought, word by word throughout this day. Lead me far from tests I still cannot pass and temptations too great for me."

Solomon instructs us to give our best strength to those we love most . When we wander from our primary commitments, we endanger those relationships. It does not take much imagination to understand the implications of Solomon's timeless wisdom.

The Life Younique process includes values discovery and articulation. Values are on display everywhere we look when we know what to look for.

For example, why did you select the car you drive?

Our family needed to purchase a car some years ago. We searched for a used model because my bride the Certified Public Accountant cannot abide the depreciation that accompanies driving a new car off of a dealer's lot. We wanted an automobile we could pass along to our daughter when she began driving.

We live in a major metropolitan area filled with all kinds of roadways, highways, and drivers. We wanted a car that was safe, got good gas mileage, and was somewhat stylish.

We chose a used Volvo S40. It was a fun car to drive and fit our every need. It even came in our daughter's favorite car color. Her philosophy regarding cars is, "If it ain't black, take it back."

Once our daughter began driving and my wife switched to another used black Volvo, we saw our values collide with reality. Or maybe it is more accurate to say reality collided with our daughter's Volvo.

She and a good friend were turning left at a busy intersection when a driver ran the red light and slammed into the side of her little black Volvo.

Arriving at the scene, I discovered a car that was crumpled and bent. I feared the worst regarding the health and wellbeing of our daughter and her friend. To my delight, they were both standing nearby. Neither bore a bump, bruise, or scratch.

While the outside of the car looked really, really bad, the inside was nearly perfect. The only indication of a problem from there were the airbags hanging loose.

I like Volvos.

Let's say Tom shared my Family Time value. He would know that his overstuffed calendar could not endure one more major event without damaging his home life. As amazing and lucrative as the event was because his family was far more valuable to him, the answer was an easy, "No, thank you."

Align your life with what you say matters most. Say yes only to what you sift through your core values. Relieve yourself of the regret of saying yes to those things that are out of alignment with your values. Learn to say, "I'm sorry, but I have another priority at that time."

Questions for Reflection and Action
1. What are your core values?
2. How well do your life management decisions align with what you say is most important to you?
3. How will you reward yourself the next time you say, "I'm sorry, but I have another priority at that time,"?
4. How does it make your loved ones feel when you overcommit at their expense?
5. How do you demonstrate how precious the people closest to you are to you?

With gratitude,

In This Issue
Pastors' Conference and Executive Board
Upcoming Trainings and Retreats
Hearing God Retreats
Weekly Blogs
TBA Bible Drill
App of the Month
Podcast of the Month
Book of the Month
Advocacy Day 2017
Praying for our City
VBS 2017 Training
Discipleship Journey for Pastors and Staff
Riverbend - 50th Anniversary Book
RA Camp
Vancouver Vision Tour
21st Century Wilberforce Initiative
BGCT Upcoming Events
BGCT Upcoming Events
Pastor's Breakfast
Prison, Jail Ministry
Ministry Connect Conference
Ministry Assistant's Conference
Reaching the Lost Conference
Introduction to Interim Ministry
Children's Ministry Leadership Summit
TBA Job Board
News from Churches
Pastor's Conference and Executive Board Meetings
Cornerstone Assistance Network
3500 Noble Avenue
Fort Worth, Texas 76111

March 13 - NO MEETING  Spring Break
March 20 - Executive Board
March 27 - Bob Billups
Alliance Director, 21st Century Wilberforce
April 3 - Jerimiah Smith
Pastor, University Baptist Church

**April 10 - Riverbend hosting at Iron Horse Golf Course
6200 Skylark Circle, North Richland Hills
Reservations Required 
Upcoming  Training  and Retreats
  Upcoming Trainings and Retreats

March 27-31 | Catalyst Room, TBA Office
4520 James Avenue, Fort Worth, Texas 76115

Women's Lunch 'n Learn
April 4 | Tarrant Baptist Association
11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Influencing Culture as Women
Cost: $20.00

reFocus Retreat
April 23-25 | Riverbend Retreat Center
Cost: $125.00
(New peer groups forming for October 8-10)

Hearing God Retreat - (Fasting Retreat)
April 17-18 | Riverbend Retreat Center
1:00 PM Monday - 12:00 (noon) Tuesday
Cost: $50.00

VBS Training
April 29 | Southcliff Baptist Church
4100 SW Loop 820
9:00 AM - 12:30 PM
No registration required
Women's Lunch 'n Learns
Join the ladies of the office, Becky and Casey, as we launch our newest ministry for women! We will be talking about how women influence the culture around them, specifically using social media.
What is a Lunch 'n Learn?  It is a time for women to gather together to fellowship and learn. It will help them grow closer to Jesus and build community. There will be training on different aspects of ministry life. Come grow with us!
When?  April 4, 2017
Where?  Tarrant Baptist Association
What time?  11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
How much?  $20 (lunch included)

Our Weekly Blogs!
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes have been made! Be sure to check out our new blogs that go out every Thursday!
Visit: refocuscoach.org/blog and let us know what you think!
TBA Bible Drill
Bible Drill/Speakers' Tournament

Tate Springs will host the 2017 TBA Association Bible Drill on Sunday, March 26,
from 2:00-4:30 PM.

Children, Youth and High School drills, as well as a Speaker's Tournament
Contact Daniel Engstrom - Email DanielJEngstrom@yahoo.com or call
for more information or to sign up
App of the Month
My go-to app when I'm killing time is Instagram. I love looking at the photos my friends and family members post. Our daughter and I love border collies like our very own Ollie. We find pictures of puppies and border collies and share them with one another to stay connected day by day.

A picture really does paint a thousand words. Wise church leaders use Instagram before Facebook and Twitter. Want to know why? Ask Casey, ( frontdesk@tarrantbaptist.org ) our ministry assistant and social media manager. She will give you a quick tutorial if you like. If you want more, you can arrange time for her to meet with your team and give you an introduction to social media. Take a look at some of her work by following @refocuscoach and @TarrantBaptist. You can also follow me at @davidgbowman.
Podcast of the Month
A new addition to my favorite podcasts! Matt is on staff at Hope Church here in Fort Worth. He is an all-round good guy and his podcast is definitely worth your time.

Matt's target audience is the 25-year-old minister who is still putting his life and ministry together. He generally interviews more seasoned leaders and asks them questions that reveal insights that are particularly helpful for those who are starting their ministry careers.

My two favorite episodes so far are numbers 25 and 26 with Becky Biser and Jay Harris. Gary Crowell is coming up in the queue as well. Listen to it, rate it, and review it. Help him grow his audience.
Book of the Month

With only a couple of hours until I arrived at home, I selected a shorter book that I could listen to in an hour and a half. Monica Leonelle has become a friend to many who have always wanted to write a book but loathe the idea of sitting at a keyboard and creating a manuscript.  

Monica teaches you how to talk instead of type. She has written several books using this method. Dictate Your Book: How to Write Your Book Better, Faster, and Smarter may be right up your alley.

Picture this: You have a great idea for a book. You even have an outline of chapters and the outline and content for each chapter. Rather than sitting down to write, sit down to talk. Or, as Monica says she does, take a walk and talk your book into a recorder. There are several tools like Dragon Dictation and Google Docs that allow you to speak into a microphone while it records what you say in a document. You could complete the first draft of a manuscript in a weekend. Then you could send the manuscript to an editor or edit it yourself. Before you know it, you have a book.

Pick up or listen to Dictate Your Book the next time you need a short book that could change your life.
Advocacy Day 2017

Make Your Voice Heard
Issues In Texas

Texas legislators arrived in Austin early January to begin the 85th Legislature. The regular session will extend through May 29, 2017. The week of March 6 is particularly important because  Friday, March 10 is the filing deadline for all bills that will receive consideration.This means that both the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate as well as the committee structure will be fully engaged in their task starting next week. Dialog, debate and lobbying will be going on at an accelerated pace until the end of the session on May 29.

Dr. Danny Howe, Pastor of First Baptist Church, Saginaw and 2017 Moderator of Tarrant Baptist Association, and I participated in the Christian Life Commission Advocacy Day held at Hyde Park Baptist Church in Austin on Tuesday, February 28. The two guest speakers were Dr. Vincent Bacote and Gabe Lyons. They gave us an excellent picture of the status of Christianity in our country and the perceptions of Americans on religion in general. Workshops were offered at intervals throughout the day on topics such as immigration concerns, needs of foster children, public education in Texas, the rampant presence of human trafficking, payday loan abuses that exploit the poor, religious freedom and the potential for expansion of gambling in our state.

Most of us know that America is a nation "of the people." However, this is only truly so when the people, the citizenry of this "land of the free and home of the brave" let their voices be heard.  Christ followers should lead the pack when it comes to being model citizens who take part by expressing their opinions to those who govern us. NOW is the perfect time for you to write an email to your representative and senator. Let them know how you feel on the issues. To that end, you can click on the link below to see the key legislative priorities that the Christian Life Commission is actively pursuing on behalf of all of us as Baptists, but also for the benefit of all 27+ million Texans. These issues deal directly with the quality of life for the citizens of Texas.

On Wednesday, March 1 we had the opportunity to visit the Texas Capitol to personally get to meet some of the representatives and senators and their staffs. Not everyone can have this opportunity, but all of us can communicate with them on the matters outlined in the link above and perhaps other concerns that are especially important to you. Click on the link below to locate the representative and senator for your zip code at home, church or work.  

It really is that easy to make your voice heard. What else can we do during the time the 85th Legislature is in session? Pray specifically and pray regularly that God will give our elected officials the wisdom they need to make sound decisions. Please don't delay. Make a commitment right now to communicate and pray.

Gary L. Crowell, CPA, CCA
CFO, Tarrant Baptist Association
Praying for our City

Praying for our City
By Becky Biser

Over 18 months ago I sensed God telling me to begin writing our county leaders. First of all, I thought, who am I to write them? Then, I asked God who specifically I needed to write and what He wanted me to say. I started out with 12 leaders and about eight months ago, included four more. So, I hand-write 16 letters to leaders each week.

Each of these letters are different, but I pray and ask God what He wants me to write. You see, God told me that He had strategically chosen them for their position. He has plans for them. I write to encourage and challenge them to keep Christ central in their decisions as they lead.

Each of these letters are different, but I pray and ask God what He wants me to write. You see, God told me that He had strategically chosen them for their position. He has plans for them. I write to encourage and challenge them to keep Christ central in their decisions as they lead.

About eight months ago, I sensed we needed to interview these leaders and video their answers. You can look at the video here to see what they said. Needless to say, I've learned a lot. Mostly to trust God and His leading.
Since this time God has been allowing me to meet with leaders from the business community, healthcare, city, ISD, churches and non-profits. We need a strategy for our city and our county. Things you may not know.
  • Fort Worth ranks #1 in the state of Texas for maltreatment of children
  • 26% of all the physical abuse of children in Texas is in the DFW area
  • Children age birth to five years of age who experience up to four of the following: abuse, neglect, violence, alcohol and drug abuse in their homes on a consistent basis, will not develop the frontal lobe "executive functions" of their brains properly. These children will have problems in life learning and reasoning.
Please be in prayer for our community.
  • Pray that God will heal our land
  • Pray that families will be restored
  • Pray that children will be safe and loved
  • Pray that we as the church, will love these children and their families.
VBS 2017 Training Conference
Vacation Bible School Training 2017
A pril 29, 2017
9:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Southcliff Baptist Church
4100 SW Loop 820
Fort Worth, Texas 76109
No registration required

re:FOCUS Journey for Pastors and Staff


Is is time to refocus your life?

Want to experience a life change journey designed just for pastors, staff and leaders? This is not like any other discipleship conference you have experienced. This is a time you can refresh yourself in a hands-on experiential-type of journey. Here are some of the things you will experience:                                                               
  • A safe environment
  • Time for reflection
  • Time to spend reading the Bible and reflecting on your relationship with Christ
  • Authentic facilitators who let you discover your own way
  • Prayers offered over you
  • Laughter and fun
  • A few stretching and challenging activities
  • Time to hear God speaking just to you
  • A renewed excitement and expectation about what God is doing in your life

The next re:FOCUS journey will start Sunday evening at 6:00 p.m. on April 23rd and end at noon on Tuesday, April 25th at the Riverbend Retreat Center. The cost is $125. Each retreat time is unique and will focus on different aspects to help empower leaders.


Retreat #1
- Leaders will spend time re:Connecting with God and with peers in an experiential learning environment. This time will include alone time with God enhancing their dependence on the Father and time to make friends with peers that are both authentic and safe.

Retreat # 2
- Six months later leaders will come back together to re:Discover who God has made them to be. They will spend time exploring things about themselves and formulating their own personal mission statements.

Retreat #3
- In another six months leaders will re:Think what it means to be a disciple. They will explore passages of scripture and write their own definition of a disciple. They will gain a clear picture of what this disciple looks like and how they personally will help others grow to be a fully devoted follower of Christ.

Retreat #4
- The final retreat six months later will focus on re:Engaging with God in His Kingdom. How has God created me to be most effective personally on engaging others? What is He nudging me to do? How do I most effectively lead myself and others?

Between these retreat weeks leaders will meet together monthly to encourage and pray for each other.

Interested? If so, contact Becky Biser at becky@tarrantbaptist.org.


Sign up today!


Date: April 23-25, 2017 (Begin Sunday evening at 6:00 and ending at Tuesday at noon)

Cost: $125 each retreat (includes lodging, meals, snacks, books and other materials)

Duration: 4 retreats over 2 years


Register Here!

Riverbend - 50th Anniversary Book
R iverbend celebrates their 50th Anniversary in this year, and they are writing a 50th Anniversary history book. 

They are looking for those who would like to purchase ads for the book to celebrate the occasion! If you are interested in submitting an ad, please click here to complete the form.
RA Camp
RA Camp is scheduled for July 18-22, 2017 at Riverbend Retreat Center. Currently, there are beds available for additional churches. Contact Glenn Hedgpeth at 817-249-9968 for additional information. 
Vancouver Vision Tour
2017  Vancouver Vision Tour

May 8-11, 2017

If your church is affiliated with the BGCT, or even dually aligned, arrangements will be made to pay your 
hotel and local travel expenses.   All you need to pay is the cost of travel and a few meals. 

If you or any of your leadership team are interested, please contact David Bowman.
21st Century Wilberforce Initiative - Speak Freedom

Invest in Religious Freedom
Take Action

The 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative advocates for religious freedom as a universal right. Over five billion people, 77% of the world's population, live in a context characterized by religious persecution, discrimination, or restrictions. Twenty Christians are killed because of their faith every day. Genocide is occurring against Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East.

The 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative is creating an alliance of churches that will make religious freedom a priority. Wilberforce provides current, reliable information and training for these churches and suggests practical ways they can mobilize as advocates for defenseless people.

I have worked with Dr. Randel Everett on religious freedom issues over the last couple of years. This is a consuming passion for him and his team. I strongly encourage you to lend your voice and church support to this ministry.

With gratitude,
David Bowman  

For more information about the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative and 
to join the church alliance, visit www.21wilberforce.org .
BGCT Upcoming Events


Texas Minister-Layman Golf Tournament

Pastor's Breakfast
Prison, Jail Ministry

March 11, 2017

Volunteer Training Seminar: 8:30 AM-12 (noon)
TDCJ Volunteer Orientation: 1-5 PM

$15.00 Registration for morning seminar

RSVP to Randy Newberry - randy.newberry@TexasBaptistMen.org

Sponsored by: Texas Baptist Men
Prison-To-Praise International 

Texas Baptist Men
Dixon Building
5351 Catron
Dallas, Texas 75227
Ministry Connect Conference

March 25, 2017

Dallas Baptist University
8:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Leading with Emotional Intelligence:
Making Strong Connections with People and Motivating Them to Serve Others

Featuring Dr. Henry Deneen

Free admission. Lunch will be provided. Registration details to come.
Preparations a re underway for reviveTX , scheduled for April 16-Jun 4, 2017. This is a concerted effort among evangelical churches of multiple denominations to obey the Great Commission and make disciples. Time to Revive is gathering churches around the Metroplex to hit the streets, pray for neighbors, and share the good news of Jesus Christ.  
Take a moment to learn more about reviveTX and to engage in the initiative as a tool to equip church members to be salt and light in effective witness in the Metroplex. You can find out more about reviveTX and upcoming vision lunches at their website, www.reviveTX.org. You can also contact Wade Aaron, reviveTX Church Relations at waaron@timetorevive.com, or 903-570-4757.

Ministry Assistant's Conference
"Talents for Triumphant Service"
Ministry Assistant's Conference

Thursday, April 20, 2017
Immanuel Baptist Church
San Angelo, Texas

Click here to see the preliminary brochure which includes a sneak peek at some of the courses available and how to get your registration started.

For further questions please call Concho Valley Baptist Association at 325-653-4898  or email Aimee at aimee@cvba.org.
Reaching the Lost Conference
Reaching the Lost Conference
March 24-26, 2017

Outreach focus on Catholic, Muslim, Jehovah Witness, and Mormon Doctrine

Friday: 6:00 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM
Sunday: 12:00 (noon)

632 N Las Vegas Trail
White Settlement, Texas
Introduction to Interim Ministry
 M arch 13-15, 2017
Dallas Baptist University

This conference is designed to meet the needs of interim pastors in traditional interim settings. For pastors who desire advanced training in interim ministry, this conference qualifies as a prerequisite for training as an intentional interim pastor.

Registration must be received by March 8, 2017

Children's Ministry Leadership Summit

If you are like many children's ministers, you have a deep desire to take your children's ministry to a new level, but you are not sure how to get there. You have tried every curriculum out there to find that perfect fit. You may have discovered that just because it has a nice cover, the content may be slim to none. What if it isn't in the curriculum but in how you do ministry with children that makes difference? In the typical church in the United States, we are practicing a model that is ineffective in changing the lives of kids in the church today.

We invite you to an exciting training event that will equip you to train and release children for ministry in your church. You will learn proven steps to disciple and empower children for ministry within your local church. The ETNG events are planned for open discussion, and the goal is to assist you in developing a ministry plan and effective steps to implement that plan in your church. For more information about the conference and dates click here (Here is the link:  http://leadersintraining.com/index.php/etng)
New TBA Job Board

Our TBA website has updated our Job Board, and we would like for everyone to check it out. We have recently made changes that should make the process easier to navigate for the employer as well as the job seeker. Please visit our website, check out the Job Board, and get busy posting your new jobs here!

News from Churches
News from churches church
College Avenue Baptist Church has around 250 Baptist hymnals from 1956 and 100 Broadman hymnals from 1940 that they would like to give away. Please contact David Trammell at 
817-926-0283 or detrammell@yahoo.com. 

Azle Avenue Baptist Church is looking for a 15-passenger vehicle to use during youth/mission trips. They are looking for a well maintained, low mileage (100K miles or less) either donated or at a low cost. Before trading in your older vehicle to get a new one, please remember their ministry. Please call Pastor Rafael Solis at 817-808-4832 with any information.

First Baptist Bridgeport has a nice organ that they would like to donate to a church. Please call 940-683-4037 for more information.

First Baptist Grapevine has some "gently" used children LIfeWay Bible Study for Life curriculum they would like to donate to a church in need.It is a full years worth for babies through preteen. Please contact Linda Boney if interested at 817-203-2372.

First Baptist Church in Flower Mound is hosting Dallas Holm in concert on Friday, December 2 at 7:00 PM. Admission is free. For more information, please call 972-539-0641.

Greg Ross has a small organ that he would like to donate to a church. Those interested can contact Greg through either email ross.gregory.l@gmail.com at or by phone at 817-467-1412. Below you will see a picture of the organ.

Wedgwood Baptist Church has an older communion table (still in good condition) and would like to donate it to a church that could use it. Please contact Jeff Laster at 817-292-1400 if interested.