Vision Fulfillment Forums seek input
    February 15 2011 by Traci DeVette Griggs, BSC Communications

    Changed lives.

    That’s how Milton A. Hollifield Jr. wants the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) to be measured.

    “We are trying to help churches accomplish what they want to accomplish,” said Hollifield, BSC executive director-treasurer. “We measure what we do by how it’s changing lives.” 

    On Feb. 10, the BSC held the first Vision Fulfillment (VF) forum listening session. The attendance was lower than expected but leaders felt the smaller crowd encouraged an atmosphere of dialogue, with attendees and committee members discussing foundational questions, such as how to ensure that the state Convention is relevant and beneficial to North Carolina Baptist churches as they seek to reach their communities and beyond for Christ.

    The event, which was held at Scotts Hill Baptist Church in Wilmington, was the first of 14 listening sessions planned across the state. (See for a list of future dates.)

    Several wondered aloud if the lack of participation might be a sign that pastors and church leaders are happy with the BSC’s direction and vision. Phil Ortego, senior pastor at Scotts Hill, said he believes the majority of people agree with the Convention’s vision as outlined in the Seven Pillars for Ministry vision statement. The Seven Pillars was written by Hollifield and approved by the Board of Directors, which is comprised of pastors and lay leaders from across the state. (Any member of a NC Baptist church can nominate someone to be a member of the Board.)

    VF committee member Al James, pastor of Carey Baptist Church in Henderson and associate dean of proclamation studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, said he wouldn’t necessarily read the lack of attendance as, “everything is OK” because it might mean that people feel disengaged from the Convention.

    BSC photo by Traci Griggs

    Jairo Contreras, right, one of the Vision Fulfillment committee members, was on hand at the first VF forum Feb. 10 at Scotts Hill Baptist Church in Wilmington.

    Jimmie Suggs, evangelism pastor and administrator at Scotts Hill said he thinks the Convention needs to ask the question, “What would be lost in Christendom if the Convention didn’t exist?” He said his church is constantly evaluating what they do at their church. “How much more should the Convention being doing that?” he asked.

    Mark Harris, committee member and Convention first vice president, responded. “That’s what we’re doing here. We want people to say, ‘Here’s what’s working. Here’s what’s not working.’”

    Of course, the best way for the committee to know what people are thinking and feeling about the Convention’s work is to hear from pastors and church leaders at the upcoming VF forums. The next one is Feb. 24 at Old Town Baptist Church in Winston-Salem from 6:30 to 8 p.m. 

    Participants will be asked to share with the committee and will also be given the opportunity to fill out a written survey and questionnaire.

    VF Committee Chairman Allan Blume considers this an historic moment in N.C. Baptist life.

    “We have seen many very positive changes in Convention life over the past five years. Now is the time to ‘fine tune’ the way we invest our resources within the context of our vision to fulfill the Great Commission. The input of NC Baptists is essential if we are going to cooperate as churches to see God’s glory made known to the nations. Please do not miss this rare privilege to share the priorities that God has built into your heart for completing the assignment Jesus left with us. We really want to hear your heart and we commit to you that we will seriously weigh the input of all NC Baptists.”


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    2/15/2011 4:49:00 AM by Traci DeVette Griggs, BSC Communications | with 0 comments

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