New Ministry Center in TX, Opportunity to Reach Gen Z & Importance of Church Construction
A new ministry center will open in Laredo, Texas, as part of a partnership between Texas Baptists River Ministry and Send Relief. The center will serve Laredo and the wider Rio Grande Valley area by connecting churches to ministry opportunities on the U.S.-Mexico border. Shane Pruitt, national Next Gen director for the North American Mission Board (NAMB), says churches now more than ever have the opportunity to step into the brokenness of Generation Z with the hope of the Gospel. And, over a hundred years ago, Southern Baptist P.E. Burroughs wrote on the importance of vestibules, the small gathering areas common in many churches to be built throughout that century.
A new ministry center will open in Laredo, Texas, as part of a partnership between Texas Baptists River Ministry and Send Relief. The center will serve Laredo and the wider Rio Grande Valley area by connecting churches to ministry opportunities on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Send Relief, a collaborative compassion ministry of the North American Mission Board (NAMB) and the International Mission Board (IMB), has opened 19 other ministry centers across North America and Puerto Rico, each designed to meet the specific needs in their local area while training churches to replicate the ministry in their own communities. This will be Send Relief’s first center to open in Texas.
The Texas Baptists River Ministry has been working in the Rio Grande Valley for 55 years, connecting churches in Texas to projects along the Texas-Mexico border and supporting 15 missionaries who work in cities on both sides of the border.
Laredo is home to one of the oldest border crossings in America’s history and serves as the United States’ largest land-based entry point. In addition to its over 260,000 residents, the city sees millions of vehicles crossing the Texas-Mexico border each year. Because of this, Laredo is a unique melting pot of a city that blends the cultures of the U.S. and Mexico.
Shane Pruitt, national Next Gen director for the North American Mission Board (NAMB), says churches now more than ever have the opportunity to step into the brokenness of Generation Z with the hope of the Gospel.
In a video interview with Baptist Press, Pruitt said the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t create new problems for Gen Z, but instead “poured gasoline,” onto problems that were already there.
He encouraged churches to point to Jesus as the solution.
The interview with Pruitt was an installment in a new weekly series from Baptist Press entitled ‘Baptist Press This Week.’ Episodes are available on the Baptist Press website and Baptist Press’s YouTube channel.
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Over a hundred years ago, Southern Baptist P.E. Burroughs wrote on the importance of vestibules, the small gathering areas common in many churches to be built throughout that century.
Today, many new church building projects include large lobbies and even cafes.
Construction experts say it reflects what church members need – connection.
While churches are investing in technology in their worship space following the COVID pandemic, they are longing for community and relationship.
In a story at Baptist Press, Scott Barkley looks at how church buildings reflect the needs of the local church ministry over the last 100 years and they’re meeting needs today.
Read the full piece and sign up for our daily emails at Baptist Press.com.
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