‘We are beyond excited,’ report N.C. pastors about Easter services
    April 17 2012 by BR Staff

    More than a week later, North Carolina Baptist pastors are still sharing testimonies of what God did – and continues to do – in their congregation on Easter Sunday and in the days to follow.
    All across the state churches baptized new believers on Easter, and many reported record attendance. While some reports are circulating about churches baptizing 80 to 100 people during their Easter services, some smaller congregations have reported baptisms for the first time in more than a year. 
    High attendance and baptisms on Easter are not uncommon, but some pastors are crediting their church’s success to the Baptist State Convention of N.C. (BSC) and their intentional Easter evangelism emphasis.
    For the past three Easters, in conjunction with the Convention’s Find It Here: Expanding the Kingdom focus, pastors and church leaders have been encouraged to lead their congregations to do the following:
    - Pray for non-believers (family members, friends, neighbors and colleagues at work) by name.
    - Invite non-believers to attend an Easter Sunday morning worship service.
    - Preach an evangelistic sermon and extend an invitation for those attending to make a profession of faith.
    - Baptize new believers on Easter Sunday or the following Sunday.

    The Convention also has offered resources – such as the EvangeCube and a variety of other materials – to help churches draw a larger response from their communities. Based on testimonies shared by pastors around the state, the push seemed to work. Click here to read some of those testimonies from this year and last year.
    “We could not ignore the stream of resources and encouragement [the BSC] kept sending us to make an evangelistic push this Easter,” reported Jason Bland, pastor of Southport Baptist Church in Southport.
    “We began two months out planning Easter as a specifically evangelistic opportunity … banners, invitation cards, posters, video promo, web graphics.”
    On Easter, Southport saw 16 adults come forward during the morning service to put their trust in Jesus.
    The congregation’s commitment, Bland contended, also played a large role in the services’ success. Many members of the congregation invited friends, and the church’s RA group (Royal Ambassadors) hit the neighborhoods to hand out invitations.
    “We are beyond excited to see how God has blessed the work of His people,” Bland shared.
    But the key part of preparation, many pastors contended, was prayer.
    “At Fairview Baptist Church in Statesville we have seen a revival of prayer like never before,” reported Scott Eanes, pastor of Fairview Baptist Church.
    “On Easter Sunday we baptized 16 people ranging from age 5 to 75,” he wrote. “Our youth pastor even got to baptize his son on Easter morning.”  
    Five others were unable to attend Fairview’s Easter service but asked to be baptized on an upcoming Sunday. 
    “God has blessed and to Him goes all the glory,” Eanes added. “Our prayer is that we will continue to see lives changed and that God would use us as His mouthpiece.” 
    One pastor reported that the EvageCubes – which share the gospel through a colorful display of pictures – created excitement among some members of the congregation.
    The EvangCubes were provided free of charge for congregations of less than 120 people, and at a discounted rate for larger churches, through a partnership with the Convention and the North American Mission Board.
    Steve Burnett, a church planter in High Cross Baptist Cowboy Church in Louisburg, handed out several cubes a week before Easter to his congregation.
    “I encouraged the people to use them and not worry about keeping them,” he shared. “I would give them new ones until we had no more.”
    During their Friday Easter service, four people asked for another cube. Since the church began handing them out, five people have come forward to be baptized.
    “The moment that got me was when a little girl came up to me and told me she had remembered ‘the whole story’ and she said she wanted to tell it to others.”

    For more information about Find it Here, go to finditherenc.org or call (800) 395-5102, ext. 5571.
    4/17/2012 3:02:21 PM by BR Staff | with 0 comments
    Filed under: Baptism, BSC, Evangelism

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