I recently visited Texas and met with some of the key leaders of the Texas Baptists. I was encouraged to see some necessary transitions and changes but was quite shocked to see the presence of styrofoam cups at the coffee machine in the main HQ.
I believe EDTx is the new SXSW for Texas Baptists and I recommended they send a delegation to the event that happens this weekend. Let me tell you why.
When I first started working as a consultant for the Texas Baptists (BGCT back then) I suggested we work alongside SXSW and send our top artists and creatives to participate. In 1999, we set up a multimedia labyrinth called "Ecclesia" that was promoted by the Austin Statesman as one of the recommended events. In 2001, we did another called "Epicenter". And in 2003 we hosted "Wabi Sabi". Since then, a small team of creatives have continued to have a presence at SXSW which has been a great way of learning, listening, contributing to the vibrant arts scene there.
It changed the way we looked at worship arts. It was a revolutionary experience.
Earth Day Texas, which is the largest Earth Day in the world, might do the same thing for Texas Baptists. It will be an opportunity to consider a Christian cosmology, ecology, our stewardship of the earth's resource. And it might put a stop to those awful styrofoam cups.
I can't believe churches still use these. What does that say about us?
I enjoyed meeting the Festival's director, Michael Cain. He is a warm, friendly man who has faith in God and a deep commitment to managing the planet's resources. I told him I would send some Baptists. I hope they do not disappoint.