When missions meets ‘glory’ of God
    March 24 2014 by BR staff

    “The reason we have breath is that we may live for all peoples. There are individuals who live, die and never hear the gospel. This cannot be tolerable for us,” said David Platt, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., at the 2014 North Carolina Missions Conference.
    Sponsored by Baptists on Mission (or North Carolina Baptist Men), the “For the Glory of His Name” missions event took place March 21-22 at Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C. About 1,600 registered for the event.
    “The need is urgent,” Platt said, “to be on the front lines of the battle. Are we going to spend our lives for the accomplishment for the Great Commission or not?”

    BR photo by Emily Blake
    During a breakout session at the 2014 N.C. Baptist Missions Conference, churches were given opportunities to do various mission projects in the community surrounding Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte. One of the projects available was a block party held in a diverse apartment community populated largely with Burmese immigrants. Here, volunteers help children to make bracelets with beads representing the gospel story.

    Founder and president of AnGeL Ministries and daughter of Billy Graham, Anne Graham Lotz spoke on the subject of forgiveness among Christians.
    She said, “Forgiveness is an act of worship. If you ask me, the greater the wound forgiven the greater the act of worship.”
    In order forgive, Lotz explained, Christians need to bring their wounds to the Lord, choose to forgive, seek reconciliation and then leave the rest to God.
    In Matthew 25:31-47, “Jesus is not preaching works-salvation,” said Brian Loritts, lead pastor of Fellowship Memphis, a multicultural church ministering to urban Memphis, Tenn.
    Narrating the life of William Wilberforce – English statesman, philanthropist and abolitionist – Loritts said that the main question for young Wilberforce was, ‘How do I reconcile the gospel of freedom with a culture advocating the evils of slavery?’”
    Loritts emphasized to the attendees that for “Wilberforce and for us, salvation precedes works. Your redemption in Christ will lead to fruitful action. And that fruit is a change in lifestyle that is in proportion to the Holy Spirit in your life.”
    The conference also held a hands-on mission breakout session where attendees could serve the neighborhoods and people of Charlotte. Opportunities included a mobile dentistry clinic, a block party, prayer walking and a children’s ministry.
    Cabin Missionary Baptist Church in Duplin County had many participants at the apartment ministry.
    “We’re here trying to share the gospel,” said Dennis Kennedy, a member of the church. Referring to a man playing corn hole with him he said, “I can’t speak [the language of] this fellow, but he seems happy about the game. I’m glad to get his mind off the stress of life for a while.”
    Kennedy hoped to later show him a gospel presentation video in Burmese on his friend’s iPhone.
    E. Stanley Jones professor of evangelism at Drew University in Madison, N.J., and visiting distinguished professor at George Fox University in Portland, Oregon, Leonard Sweet said that the average American views nearly 3,000 advertisements daily.
    Sweet warned that these can become “sermons” the individual begins aligning his or her life to.
    Identity requires narrative, said Sweet, and America is shaping our identities with a narrative contrary to true story of scripture. One particular place where identity is shaped is around the dinner table.
    “The whole ministry of Jesus is one big table,” Sweet said. “If you are reading the Gospels and not getting hungry, you’re not reading them correctly. Jesus ate good food with evil people.
    “The first command from God’s mouth in the Bible is ‘Eat freely’ and the last command is, ‘Drink freely.’ Everything in between is a table. Scripture is not to be a snack or smorgasbord. It is a meal and Jesus is served up on this platter.”
    Platt encouraged the attendees to sacrifice everything for the sake of the gospel. He asked, “What if God really wants the entire world to hear His gospel? We have the Holy Spirit residing within us and because of this, we should be intentional about using the power of the Spirit to make disciples all over the world.”
    The 2015 conference will be at April 10-11 at Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem.
    There is a DVD available for each of the three sessions at a cost of $5 per DVD. The resource includes only the speakers. Visit baptistsonmission.org for more information or contact (800) 395-5102, ext. 5599, or NC Baptist Men/Baptists On Mission, P.O. Box 1107, Cary, NC 27512.
    3/24/2014 3:10:49 PM by BR staff | with 0 comments
    Filed under: Baptists on Mission, community outreach, N.C. Baptists

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