Hopewell Baptist gives hours, dollars to missions
    June 22 2011 by Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications

    Lee Pigg is often asked how it happened, or what he did to make it happen, and he never really knows exactly how to answer. 

    In the past six years Hopewell Baptist Church in Monroe, where Pigg is pastor, has gone from 165 in Sunday morning worship attendance to nearly 1,000. He went from being the only staff member to now leading a staff of 11. “I remember telling my wife, ‘I think we’ll have 400 people at Hopewell one day.’ Never did I think we’d be where we are today,” Pigg said.

    The population in Monroe hasn’t really increased in recent years. Situated about 20 minutes from Charlotte and Concord, Pigg said Hopewell is in the middle of nowhere, between cotton fields and cornfields. When Pigg came to Hopewell in 2002 his goal was two-fold: preach God’s Word and love the people.

    “I believe that is what started to become contagious,” he said. “They started to take that as their mission.”

    As people get excited about the ministry of their local church they start inviting others and bringing others with them, and that has made all the difference.

    “They have seen others get excited, and that’s exciting. The leadership is excited and that has just spilled over. We see people wanting to be part of something bigger than themselves,” Pigg said.

    This mentality of wanting to do something “big” has perhaps never been so apparent as in recent months, when a three-month focus on worship, discipleship and ministry resulted in 65 baptisms, 6,000 hours of ministry service and a $40,000 missions offering. About one third of the 65 baptisms represent new believers in Jesus Christ.

    Hopewell Baptist Church used Ecclesiastes 4:12 to tie in different strands — worship, discipleship and ministry — to make a stronger cord for part of Find It Here emphasis.

    Earlier this year, when trying to decide how the church would participate in the Find it Here Easter evangelism emphasis, Pigg decided to do more than just the Easter focus. In March he began leading the congregation through a focus on worship. In April the focus was discipleship and in May the focus was missions.

    Each of the three focuses come from Hopewell’s mission statement, based on Ecclesiastes 4:12. When it came time for the May missions focus Pigg challenged every family in the church and every discipleship group to be involved in a missions outreach that month. The goal was 5,000 hours of outreach from the church in one month.

    They got more than 6,000. One group hosted a neighborhood carnival. The group was able to share the gospel that day and five people prayed to receive Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. On the last Sunday in May, Hopewell received a special offering just for missions.

    The $40,000 was distributed among international and local ministries, including N.C. Baptist Men disaster relief. Also benefiting was N.C. Baptist Hospital, Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute and Caraway Conference Center and Camp.

    Pigg said the focus this year has helped the congregation be more intentional in thinking about how to reach out to the community. One church member asked to pray for the waitress at a local restaurant, then invited her to church. Before long, she had prayed to receive Jesus Christ and was baptized.

    Hopewell is Pigg’s first pastorate. He worked 10 years in the business world and was successful, but God was calling him to something different.

    A popular quote goes something like this: “Attempt something so big for God that if He doesn’t show up, you’ll look like a fool.” It’s one that Pigg takes seriously.

    “We need to do something bigger than us so that there’s no way we can take credit for it. Don’t be afraid to challenge your people,” he said. “I honestly believe they are waiting on us to challenge them. I believe that’s the kind of challenge God honors.”
    6/22/2011 8:11:00 AM by Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications | with 0 comments

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