Annual meeting spotlights church health, Hispanic outreach
    November 4 2015 by Seth Brown, BR Content Editor

    “The local church is the key for us as a convention of churches to be able to impact lostness through disciple making,” said Milton Hollifield Jr., executive director-treasurer of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC). “Growing healthy, outwardly focused, disciple-making churches throughout North Carolina is necessary to seeing this strategic mission accomplished.” Hollifield spelled out this vision in his address to the messengers at the BSC annual meeting as part of the report by the board of directors in Greensboro Nov. 3.

     
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    Milton Hollifield Jr. addresses the messengers of the 2015 Baptist State Convention of North Carolina annual meeting.

     
    “Most churches have good people in them that love Jesus and love God’s word, and they’re committed to missions at home and around the world, but those churches are still not healthy. They are not multiplying, and worse, they don’t even know it,” Hollifeld said, quoting a recent study by LifeWay Research.
     
    His words of warning came before the announcement of a new initiative of the BSC to help weak and dying local churches become healthy and vibrant. Hollifield received approval Nov. 2 by the executive committee to create a ministry team titled “Church Health and Revitalization Team.”
     
    Brian Upshaw, who currently heads the BSC disciple-making team, will lead the new initiative, providing “coaching and consulting to pastors and churches for the purpose of healthy missional growth.” The goal is for Upshaw to be assisted by contract consultants across the state that will be chosen based on church leadership expertise and experience.
     
    Priorities of the team include disciple making, church health, church planting and mobilization. The process for helping plateaued or declining churches will focus on three areas of development: the man, ministry and mission.
     

    Hispanic outreach

    Hollifield also gave an update on the convention’s five-year strategy that began in 2013 for impacting lostness through disciple making as it relates to a strategic focus on population centers in North Carolina.
     
    The Strategic Focus Team targets population centers across the state, but Hollifield emphasized the fact that rural areas are not ignored. “In addition to our staff,” he said, “we will bring on additional contractors in order to expand these efforts next year and beyond.”
     
    Some rural counties in the state are predicted to receive large influxes of Hispanic people in the coming years. To prepare for this demographic change, the executive committee also voted during its meeting to reclassify a current staff position to reach North Carolina’s growing Hispanic population, according to a BSC press release. The newly developed Hispanic strategy coordinator position will be assigned to the Strategic Focus Team. Antonio Santos, the current leader of the Church Strengthening Team, will fill this position.
     
    Brian Davis, the convention’s associate executive director-treasurer, said that the creation of Santos’ new position is a necessary step in reaching the growing numbers of lost Hispanic people groups in the state.
     
    “We’re always trying to evaluate how to best position our staff to fulfill our strategy to impact lostness through disciple-making,” Davis said. “There is a need to help coordinate efforts not only in the population centers, but beyond."
     
    Two resolutions came before the Committee on Resolutions that messengers approved during the Tuesday afternoon general session, including a resolution on impacting lostness among immigrants, proposed by Jarrod Scott, senior pastor of Green Pines Baptist Church in Knightdale.
     
    The resolution proposed “that local churches should seek to encourage distinctly biblical responses to the realities of immigration.” Scott also engaged in discussion from the floor of the convention, saying, “The call here is not to necessarily look at [immigration] just as every American might look at it, but to look at this as Christ has asked us to look at it.”
    11/4/2015 4:46:10 PM by Seth Brown, BR Content Editor | with 0 comments
    Filed under: Annual Meeting, Brian Upshaw, BSC, Milton Hollifield




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