N.C. Baptists, SBC leaders pray for revival
    February 27 2015 by K. Allan Blume & Seth Brown, BR staff

    It’s been more than 200 years since the 1806 Haystack Prayer Meeting in Williamstown, Mass. – the famous prayer gathering of five college students as they took shelter from a storm. That meeting, many believe, was the initial event that led to a revival and a profound missions movement. Many Southern Baptist leaders today are praying for another such event.
    Chris Schofield, director of the Office of Prayer for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, says a prayer for spiritual awakening – a revival – is rising to God all over the country. “It’s been going on for years,” he said.
    Pastors and church leaders across North Carolina are coming to Schofield in search of strategies and resources to encourage their congregations to pray.


    Chris Schofield
    Chris Schofield is the director of the Office of Prayer for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.

    “It’s been building. It’s been growing – the initiatives, the emphases in the different state conventions have all been dovetailing,” he said. “It’s a groundswell.”
    Ronnie Floyd, president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and senior pastor of Cross Church in Springdale, Ark., told Baptist Press in an interview prior to his election to the SBC presidency that, if elected, he would call Southern Baptists to “cry out to God in extraordinary prayer for the next great spiritual awakening in America.”
    Floyd has made good on his word. After taking the presidential post, he launched an outright campaign – via an e-book, speaking engagements and blog posts – to plead with Southern Baptists to call out to God in prayer.
    There is a sense of desperation, of dependence, in the words of both Schofield and Floyd. “As we come to God in humility and repentance, entering into this special season of extraordinary prayer, we plead with God for spiritual revival personally, revival in the church, and the next Great Awakening in the United States,” writes Floyd.
    Schofield wants to make sure that such an emphasis does not come and go as a fad. He wants to see the call to prayer heeded not only by church leaders and pastors, but by people in the pews as well.
    “God is a great initiator of prayer,” says Schofield, “and He’s calling.”
    To that end, there are seven prayer conferences planned for North Carolina Baptists in 2015. Six are regional; one is statewide. The Statewide Prayer Conference is scheduled for March 13-14 at Village Baptist Church in Fayetteville. The plan also includes a 50-day prayer focus for Hispanic churches in the state.


    Ronnie Floyd
    Ronnie Floyd is the president of the Southern Baptist Convention and senior pastor of Cross Church in Springdale, Ark.


    “God is raising up leaders in our convention to say, ‘Hey, wait a minute. Our greatest need is not that we become relevant, not that we have the greatest marketing strategy and not that we need some kind of socio-political change. No, our greatest need is God,’” says Schofield.
    The 2015 SBC annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio, June 16-17, will emphasize prayer for spiritual awakening according to President Ronnie Floyd. In a recent meeting with Baptist editors, he announced the theme, “Great Awakening,” and a full remake of the convention’s hourly schedule.
    Tuesday morning will begin with opening formalities, worship and the president’s address. All six seminaries will follow with back-to-back reports. Floyd said he wants the messengers to see what the “churches are doing through our seminaries.”
    The Tuesday afternoon session brings the first introduction of business, including motions, the Executive Committee report and recommendations, the Committee on Committees report, the Committee on Nominations report, the Resolutions Committee report and the election of officers.
    “Tuesday night, I want us to call for a national gathering of Southern Baptists to pray for the next great move of God in America and to reach the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Floyd said. The two hour session will include time to “unpack the Word of God,” pray a lot and worship.
    “Are [Southern Baptists] in clear agreement that the number one need of America is a mighty spiritual awakening? I promise you, I know of no hope apart from that,” he said. “We’re all concerned about our nation, let’s call out to God for our nation. God can do more in a moment than I can do in a lifetime.”
    The entire Wednesday morning session is reserved for global missions. Messengers will hear from the Woman’s Missionary Union, North American Mission Board (NAMB) and International Mission Board (IMB), followed by a two-hour celebration of missionary sending. Kevin Ezell, president of NAMB and IMB president David Platt will be speaking.
    After the Wednesday noon break for seminary luncheons, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission report will be the center point of the afternoon session that will include a panel discussion.
    Floyd said since the Supreme Court will release their decision on same-sex marriage in June, “We felt like there is a real need to prepare our churches for whatever happens. Without a move of God we already know where it seems the pendulum is going.”  So a panel of five leading Southern Baptists will be interviewed by Floyd on the subject, “The Supreme Court and same-sex marriage – preparing our churches for the future.” 
    Go to praync.org to learn more about prayer events in North Carolina. For more information on the SBC annual convention, visit SBCannualmeeting.net.

    2/27/2015 1:43:35 PM by K. Allan Blume & Seth Brown, BR staff | with 0 comments
    Filed under: N.C. Baptists, prayer, revival

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