LEADERSHIP MATTERS by Roger Yancey, D.Min.

The 19th Annual TEBA Golf Tournament benefiting Church Planting will be held on April 29th at the River Plantation Golf Course.   This is always a great time of fellowship and is open to golfers of every capability because after all, not all tournaments are created equal.  You will be glad you’re not going to play in the Elfego Baca Shootout.  I read about this tournament in an article by Jay Busbee entitled, “The World’s Toughest Golf Tournament: One Hole, Three Miles Long” which was published on June 3, 2009. 

Busbee said in his article, “Held in Socorro, New Mexico, the tournament consists of exactly one hole, and the target is a 50-foot circle. Easy, right? Not so fast. The tee to that hole is 2,550 feet up the side of a mountain, and nearly three miles from the green…The rules alone should give you an idea of how hard the course is. You’re allowed ten balls and must finish with at least one of those. If you can’t find one of your balls in 20 minutes, it’s a stroke. You can tee up every single shot because the terrain is so rugged. You’re even allowed three spotters to watch where the heck your ball goes.

And they’ll have plenty to see. Hazards include abandoned mine shafts, remote canyons, rattlesnakes, mountain lions, and much more. No need to take a full bag; many golfers get by with only a driver and a five-iron.

 Named for Elfego Baga, a local peacekeeper during the Old West, the one-hole shootout is part of the larger Socorro Open and was first played in 1960. Since then, about the only difference is that the players have begun using laser rangefinders. The hazards haven’t changed one bit. Oh, and the course record? Nine strokes to cover three miles.”

 You can read more about it at https://newmexicogolfnews.com/toughest-golf-hole-in-nm-the-elfego-baca-golf-shoot/

 The good news is you won’t have to face rattlesnakes to be part of the church planting challenge, but for those who answer the call to the needs of planting churches, it is just as daunting.  Some have asked why we need to continue planting churches – aren’t there enough churches already?  Let me share with you some basic information to consider:

 FIRST:  The Population Needs within the TEBA are immense.  Each month more than 2500 people are moving into the geographic area of the Association.  We live in one of the 50 fastest growing areas in the nation and the nations of the world are coming to our area.  Houston is the most diverse city in the USA and the TEBA has more than 75 languages present– we need more churches.

SECOND: New churches are one of the best strategies we have to Recover the Formerly Churched or the Completely Unchurched.  New churches tend to reach people faster and have higher baptism and salvation rates than almost 90% of existing churches.

THIRD: Churches Plateauing, Declining, or Dying.  One-quarter of SBC churches reported “0” Baptisms, 60% said they had baptized no youth (ages 12-17), and 80% reported one or fewer young adult baptisms (ages 18-29).  We need to help churches recover life, but we can’t reach all the lost without planting churches too.

 We need new churches, we need healthy churches, and we need to do whatever it takes till everyone can be part of God’s family.  Join us for a day of golf – it may change your neighbor’s eternity.

In Kingdom service,

Executive Director, AMS

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