August 2017

Having ‘eyes to see’ opportunities

August 22 2017 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

In John 4:35, Jesus uses a farming illustration to make a spiritual application. He instructs His followers to lift up their eyes to the fields around them, and He says those fields are ready for a harvest. Here Jesus is not talking about a harvest of grain, but instead He is talking about a harvest of souls for the kingdom.
 
This verse has application for us today because when we see the spiritual needs of people all around us as Jesus does, we are moved to action. “Eyes to See” is the theme for this year’s North Carolina Missions Offering (NCMO), an annual offering that supports a variety of ministries across our state, nation and world. This year’s NCMO goal is $2.1 million, and as we look ahead to this special offering in September, my prayer is that together we can reap a harvest because of this offering.
 
Support for NCMO goes to N.C. Baptist Men (NCBM), also known as Baptists on Mission, church planting, mission camps, associational projects and missions mobilization projects. Year after year, God has used your prayers and financial support for this offering and the ministries it supports to impact the lives of many people in North Carolina and around the world.
 
Within NCBM alone, NCMO supports 17 different ministries, including the very visible ministry of disaster relief. Although it has been nearly one year since Hurricane Matthew impacted North Carolina, N.C. Baptist volunteers continue to engage ongoing relief needs and recovery efforts, and many individuals have come to know Christ as a result of this ministry.
 
Through the NCMO, we have been able to work with about 100 new church plants each year within our state. These churches are reaching new people with the gospel, including many from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Through the work of our church planting team in cooperation with churches, Baptist associations and church planting networks, we now have churches in North Carolina worshiping in more than 69 different languages.
 
NCMO also helps involve more church families in missions through a variety of local, national and international partnerships. One such partnership is with the Door of Hope in Johannesburg, South Africa, a ministry that rescues abandoned children.
 
Since 1999, support for this ministry has helped rescue more than 1,500 babies and helped many of them find a forever family through adoption.
 
N.C. Baptists are now helping construct the Door of Hope Village for children who aren’t adopted. Several missions teams, including several from North Carolina, have worked to construct this village from the ground up.
 
This is only a short list of the many ministries supported by the North Carolina Missions Offering. You can learn more about the offering and the ministries it supports at ncmissionsoffering.org.
 
I thank you for your support of the NCMO. I pray that we will each have “eyes to see” the opportunities that we have been given to make a difference for our Lord.
 
Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” – John 4:35b (NKJV).
 

8/22/2017 8:38:05 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments



Impacting college campuses with the gospel

August 8 2017 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

It is that time of year again – young people around the state are preparing to go back to school, getting ready to begin a new season of growth and learning in their lives. As this time approaches, I want you to pray for a specific group of university and college students: those about to enter college.
 
For many, starting college can be a scary time with numerous challenges, new temptations and increased personal decisions to make. For all, it is a time of growth. Here at the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, our Collegiate Partnerships Team is daily hard at work to make a spiritual impact on the approximately 150 universities, colleges and community colleges in our state. A goal of our Collegiate Partnerships Team is to have no campus left in our state without a reproducing gospel presence.
 
Currently, we are assisting with ministry on 48 different campuses in North Carolina, but we have many more to reach. Are you willing to challenge your church congregation to learn how you can impact the lives of students attending a community college or a university not too far from you?
 
In our efforts to reach every campus and to create a reproducing gospel presence on each of them, the Collegiate Partnerships Team is working with local churches to help equip them to reach college students. North Carolina Baptists, you must recognize that the colleges and universities around you truly are a mission field. In addition to the large number of American students attending these schools, there are also many international students who left family and friends in order to live here and receive a college education. If you will invest some time in these students by offering friendship and hospitality, inviting them to your home and church, you will see several accept Christ as Savior.
 
Our Collegiate Partnerships Team wants to challenge you and teach your congregation how to reach these college students for the Lord. To help you with this task, the Collegiate Partnerships Team is conducting a free workshop next month to familiarize churches with the first steps of engaging a college campus with the gospel. The “Reaching College Students” workshop is scheduled for Sept. 16 in Chapel Hill and will include hands-on training to give participants the skills and experience they will need to begin engaging the colleges, universities or community colleges that are in their own backyard. Learn more about this event at reachingcollegestudents.org.
 
I give praise to the Lord for what we are achieving together for the advancement of the gospel on college campuses. Will you pray for college students in our state? Please pray not only for the Collegiate Partnerships Team and the ministry of the churches but also for the students who are heading to campus this fall. Pray that the Lord will send us more partners to help reach those who might not otherwise have the opportunity to know Him. Respond to God’s invitation for your involvement in this available missions opportunity.

Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” – Matthew 9:38.
 

8/8/2017 7:01:10 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments