DALLAS — The WorldconneX board of directors affirmed a move April 17 that would dissolve the organization and incorporate its primary functions into the work of the Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board staff.
The BGCT Executive Board must approve the action, initially put forth by BGCT executive leadership, before it takes effect.
If approved, WorldconneX as a corporate entity will be dissolved and at least two WorldconneX staff members will become part of the BGCT staff.
The staff will continue to provide three services to churches — helping them directly send long-term missionaries; assisting them in finding God’s unique calling and giftedness; and connecting with international networks for mission work. The move also will inject more than $1 million into the BGCT missions budget.
“I can’t think of a time in church history where congregations had a greater opportunity to fulfill the Great Commission than today. Communication, travel and globalization bring people groups together from around the world. WorldconneX discovered educational tools and missions partners that will provide resources for our Texas Baptist churches to respond to this kingdom challenge,” BGCT Executive Director Randel Everett said.
“Integrating WorldconneX into the larger missions outreach of the BGCT will provide our churches with the potential of supporting traditional Baptist mission agencies, as well as partnering together to respond to unique gospel possibilities. Using the biblical analogy of the seed dying to give new life, the dissolution of WorldconneX will bring living mission realities perhaps for decades to come.”
WorldconneX Leader Bill Tinsley affirmed this new direction.
“I am gratified to hand off to the BGCT the unique assets of WorldconneX that will help forge a missions future that builds on the past and carries forward the innovative and creative legacy of Texas Baptists,” said Tinsley, who will work for the BGCT on a contract basis through 2009. “I am confident these elements will take root, flourish and bear great fruit for the kingdom of Christ.”
Started in 2002 as a network that would help churches chart a new direction for missions in the 21st century, WorldconneX helped churches work through the process of sending members to serve as long-term missionaries around the world.
Recently, the group created a fund that would help smaller congregations finance the direct sending of missionaries. Those funds are helping support missionaries in South America, Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe.
WorldconneX also helped bring together groups and churches ministering in a region internationally to help them better coordinate efforts. The strongest of these affinity groups were in Kenya and Guatemala.
The organization was instrumental in Texas Baptists ministering in the wake of the Southeast Asia tsunami, helping connect Texas Baptist Men, Children’s Emergency Relief International and numerous churches to missions opportunities throughout South Asia in the wake of the disaster.
“As the BGCT takes action to dissolve WorldconneX as a corporation and to integrate the key components that WorldconneX has created into the life of BGCT, I am gratified to have been given the opportunity to contribute to a new missions future for Texas Baptists,” Tinsley said.
“I returned to Texas in 2001 from my position as executive director of Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention with that goal in mind and a sense of call for that purpose.”
John Hall is news director for the Baptist General Convention of Texas.