August 2010

Appreciate your pastor

August 23 2010 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer

Before coming to serve at the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina I served a number of years as a pastor. My years as a pastor were some of the greatest in my life. The Lord taught me what it means to really study the Scriptures and what it means to really love people and serve people.

However, as I learned and as many of you can surely understand, being a pastor was one of the most challenging experiences of my life. A great sense of responsibility comes when you are given the task to correctly divide the Word of God and to shepherd God’s children.

The demands on a pastor are great. A recent article that came out in The New York Times talks about how more and more pastors are facing the problem of burnout.

A researcher at Duke University commented in the article that one pastor he met had not taken a vacation in 18 years. Why? The researcher said it is because pastors and clergy, “tend to be driven by a sense of a duty to God to answer every call for help from anybody, and they are virtually called upon all the time, 24/7.”

Having had the tremendous privilege and blessing of meeting many of our North Carolina Baptist pastors, I know they are indeed called upon 24/7 and, because of their servant hearts, try to do whatever they can to help those in the congregation or community. The task can be overwhelming, and I am not surprised to read that pastors are trying to figure out how to balance all that life demands.

Maintaining balance is very important for a pastor. Your staff at the Baptist State Convention understands this, and they want to help pastors in our state achieve balance in all areas of their lives. To do this, we have hosted a one-day event called “Church Health Institutes” all across the state. The next one coming up is on Sept. 9.

During these events pastors work through a framework called the “Well-Lived Minister’s Life” when they evaluate their health in various areas, such as spiritual vitality, marriage, family and setting boundaries. I encourage you to attend one of these institutes and let God refresh and re-energize your life and ministry.

Pastor Appreciation Month is just around the corner. Please take some time during the month of October to let your pastor know you are grateful for his faithfulness to the calling God placed on his life. Healthy churches begin with healthy, godly leaders. Thank your pastor for leading your church to be a body of believers focused on Kingdom work. Thank your pastor for doing all the many different things he does in order to care and to serve.

To our North Carolina Baptist pastors, you have my sincere thanks. 

“And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake.”
— 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
8/23/2010 7:43:00 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer | with 0 comments

Every nation ... our generation

August 9 2010 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer

Every nation…our generation.” If you haven’t heard this phrase yet in your church, I hope very soon you will be hearing it often, as it is the theme for the 2010 North Carolina Missions Offering.

Since next month kicks off our annual offering promotion, it is important for you to understand how vital this offering is to helping make life-changing ministries possible.

The NCMO is presently helping fund 179 church planters who work with the Baptist State Convention’s church planting ministry.

Last year, we helped Southern Baptist church planters start 98 new churches across this state.

These new churches represent various ethnicities and backgrounds, including 25 Asian, two Chinese and two Filipino churches.

With more and more people moving into our state from all over the world, church plants are critical in reaching them with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our God is truly bringing the nations to us, and I am excited to think that because of church plants people in North Carolina can worship and learn about God in their own language.

The NCMO provides almost all the support for the work of N.C. Baptist Men.

Each year N.C. Baptist Men carry out 14 ministries in North Carolina and around the world. Last year this group trained thousands of North Carolina Baptists to serve in ministries such as disaster relief and the medical/dental bus ministry.

In 2009, the medical/dental bus ministry went to 152 locations and provided free care to nearly 5,000 patients.

Your sacrificial giving to the NCMO allowed physical needs to be met, and in turn, our medical volunteers were able to share the gospel with many people.

In addition to church planting and N.C. Baptist Men ministries, your gifts to the NCMO support associational mission projects, missions education and promotion, and two mission camps — one in Red Springs and one in Shelby.

Our NCMO theme this year, based on Acts 1:8, is a reminder that we, as believers in Jesus Christ, have been given the responsibility of sharing the gospel with people in our community, in our nation, and in the world.

We do not have time to waste. An estimated 5.5 million people in North Carolina do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The Joshua Project estimates that 2.7 billion people in the world are part of an unreached people group, meaning they have little or no access to the gospel. 

North Carolina Baptists, we have much work to do. The call is urgent and our days are numbered.

We have many resources available to help you with NCMO promotion and planning. If you visit, you will find videos, news articles, brochures and a host of other resources.

I ask that you prayerfully consider supporting missions through the NCMO.

Your gifts will help send the gospel across our state and around the world.

“But ye shall receive power…and ye shall be witnesses unto me…..” Acts 1:8  
8/9/2010 8:27:00 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer | with 0 comments