The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention will provide portable baptistries for church plants that plant through Send Network SBTC, the convention’s executive director Nathan Lorick recently announced.
Though this initiative will begin Jan. 1, SBTC will also make the opportunity available to any Send Network SBTC church plants that launched in 2022.
The gift of baptistries, which can often be costly, will be a practical and welcome tool for church planters who often operate on tight budgets and with limited resources.
Lorick noted the heart of the effort to provide baptistries is to serve and resource planters as they launch new churches across the state.
One of the most tangible ways to do this, he said, is by helping them take the gospel to the people in their community.
“I love church planters. I know they face unique challenges as they work diligently to fulfill the calling God has on their lives,” Lorick said.
“As they see lives transformed,” he said, “we also want them to have the opportunity to celebrate as churches by being able to baptize those who have come to Christ. It is an awesome privilege to provide church plants with a tool like this as they seek to reach their communities for Christ.”
Send Network SBTC director Julio Arriola said the gift of baptistries “has the potential to make a difference in dozens of churches every year.”
“We believe in our church planters, and we know they are doing what they are called to do — engaging their communities with the gospel and making disciples of Jesus,” Arriola said.
Send Network SBTC leaders not only understand the limited funds planters have, Arriola said, but also the logistical challenges they face when they do not have their own baptistries. Those planters often are forced to find alternative locations or means to baptize the people they reach.
The end of 2022 marks the end of the first full year of the church planting partnership between SBTC and Send Network SBTC.
During that time, Arriola noted, “We have seen more churches planting churches than we have seen since 2005.” The network has started English and Spanish Send Network assessment retreats for Texas planters, and it also has been working on developing church planting residencies, he added.