August 2015

NCMO supports loving others, making disciples

August 25 2015 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

If you ask people to name some characteristics and qualities that distinguish followers of Christ from other people, you are likely to get a wide-range of responses. People are likely to name some things that people should do and things they should not do in their description of a Christian. But would they mention the thing that Jesus Himself said distinguishes individuals who belong to Him?
 
In John 13:34-35, Jesus commands His disciples to love others in the same way He loves us. Doing so will give evidence to the world that we are truly His disciples. It is crucial that we love others selflessly and sacrificially so the world may see Christ in us and be drawn to Him.
 
Since its inception, loving others in Jesus’ name has been the focus of the North Carolina Missions Offering (NCMO). Demonstrating God’s love is the heart of this year’s offering theme, “So They Know.” It is based on Bible verses found in the Gospel of John.
 
When you consider the many ministries NCMO supports in demonstrating Christ-like love to others, a common thread runs through all of them, helping the recipients understand that we care for them because we love Jesus and we want them to also experience His love.
 
When North Carolina Baptist Men’s disaster relief ministry volunteers respond to crisis situations, they are demonstrating the love of Christ by helping people rebuild their lives. When patients are seen on one of the mobile medical or dental clinic vehicles, they not only receive physical care, but they are given spiritual care. With the addition of the health screening bus earlier this year, even more people will now have a chance to hear and respond to the gospel through our medical mission’s ministry.
 
These important ministries are supported through your generous contributions to missions through the NCMO. This special missions offering also provides funding for local missions across our state through designated projects with Baptist associations and our two missions camps located in Red Springs and Shelby.
 
Through numerous partnerships at home and abroad, the NCMO also helps engage and mobilize thousands of individuals in short-term missions work each year. Additionally, NCMO has helped fund church planting efforts across our state, which has proven to be one of the most effective ways to reach others with the gospel.
 
As we partner in helping hurting people, as we work to impact lostness and make disciples in our state and beyond, consider asking each member of your family to give a gift to support missions through the North Carolina Mission’s Offering.
 
Explaining to the younger generation why we do this is a great way to lead them to pray for, give to and involve themselves in missions. Teach them to be open to God’s calling for them! To find out more about NCMO, visit ncmissionsoffering.org.
 
By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another” – John 13:35.

8/25/2015 10:31:58 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments



Building faith-filled families

August 11 2015 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

One of the greatest joys in my life is to see a child grow in their understanding of the things of God and come to express a genuine growing faith in Jesus Christ.
 
The Bible is clear that Jesus loved children. During His earthly ministry, Jesus often called little children to Himself. In fact, He rebuked the disciples when they tried to prevent them from coming to Him. Our Lord even said that we must become as little children in order to enter Kingdom of God.
 
Those of us who are parents and grandparents have the great privilege and awesome responsibility to shape and influence the next generation. This is a primary responsibility that we must not expect or depend on anyone else to do for us. Although Christian parents have the responsibility to nurture and develop their child’s faith in the home, most feel inadequate or ill-equipped to accomplish this mission. Additionally, many are deceived by the forces of spiritual darkness and made to believe they cannot fulfill this responsibility.
 
When we talk about creating a disciple-making culture within our churches and homes, your convention staff recognizes the need to educate, equip and encourage families to be disciple-makers in the home. Church leaders need to work with parents and grandparents in reaching their children for Christ and help them mature spiritually. Just as we provide guidance with our children’s intellectual, physical and social development, it is even more important that we give priority to their spiritual growth.
 
To help pastors and parents in this endeavor, the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) and our Church & Family Connect ministry are providing the Building Faith-Filled Families conference. This one-day, hands-on workshop is designed for pastors, church staff and lay leaders to help the church partner with parents and families to equip them to make disciples in the home.
 
This event will be offered in two different locations on consecutive days. Make plans now to attend the Building Faith-Filled Families event in Raleigh on Thursday, Sept. 24 or in Wilmington on Friday, Sept. 25. The format and content of the workshop will be the same on both days.
 
Mark Smith, family pastor at Lakeview Baptist Church in Hickory and author of two books on the family, will join several of the BSC’s evangelism and discipleship consultants to address issues related to marriage, parenting, spiritual life and more. Additional details and registration information for this event may be found online by visiting ncbaptist.org/cfc2015.
 
You are also encouraged to like us on Facebook (facebook.com/ncbaptist) and follow us on Twitter (twitter.com/ncbaptist). Through these channels, our Communications Team shares encouraging verses, practical tips and helpful resources to assist parents and families in their disciple-making efforts. We are also sharing resources that will be helpful and beneficial to families by using the hashtag #disciplemakingathome.
 
When you consider the rapidly declining spiritual environment within our present culture, surely you understand it is of eternal importance that you adopt an intentional laser focus on the business of making disciples who follow Christ in your home.
 
… so the next generation … will put their trust in God … and keep His commands.” – Psalm 78:6-7
 
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Milton A. Hollifield Jr. is the executive director-treasurer for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.)

8/11/2015 11:08:07 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments